The United Arab Emirates (Sometimes simply called the Emirates) is a federation of seven Emirates each governed by a hereditary emir, with a single national President. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. The world Business center point has declared as Dubai in the year 2010. Successful efforts at economic diversification have reduced the portion of GDP based on oil and gas output to 25%. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the UAE has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement.
· Visa are required for all visitors with the exception of nationals from the following 33 countries:
· GCC Nationals (Gulf Cooperation Council member countries): Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
· Western Europe: France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican City, Iceland, Andorra, San Mario and Liechtenstein.
· United Kingdom
· North America: USA
· Australia and New Zealand
· Far East: Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong
· Visitors must enter the UAE within 2 months from the date of issue of the visa
· Only single entry is allowed.
· Once the visitor departs from UAE, the visa will be automatically canceled
· Re-entry into the UAE is permitted after 30 days of exit
· The bearer of the visit visa is not allowed to work in the UAE
· An overstay charge of AED 200 will be charged per person on the first day and additional AED 100 for every additional day of over-stay.
· A work permit is not the same as a residency visa. The residency visa allows you to live in Dubai and the UAE for a period of time (usually 3 years). To work in Dubai, you also need to apply for a work permit or labor card. Usually, the company you work for will arrange both work permits and residency visas for you and your family.
· Some companies are efficient at arranging work permits and residency visas, others are tardier and can take months or longer. It can also depend on the relationship with the company.
A residence visa is required, to enroll in
primary, secondary or high schools which means students will normally be under
the sponsorship of one of their parents.
Students under parent's sponsorship wanting to enroll into tertiary level university, college or institution:
· Sons, below the age of 18 in full-time education can be sponsored by their parents
· Unmarried daughters of any age can be sponsored by their father (or their mother if she is employed in a high-level profession)
Students attending a tertiary level university,
college or institution:
Full-time students can be sponsored by the university, college or institution, that's if this service is offered by the university, college or institution, please check to be sure. Student Residence Visa Documents, Requirements, and Restrictions
· Student Residence Visas are normally only valid for 1 year at a time, renewed each year during the study program.
· Students from some countries will undergo a security check to make sure they are not considered a threat to UAE security.
· A medical test at an authorized medical center (allow AED 350 to 500) will normally be required. The medical check is a blood test and chest X-ray for HIV (AIDS), Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis (TB), Leprosy, and Syphilis. If results come back positive for any of those conditions, the person is deported, except for syphilis which is treated, but this may change, check with UAE immigration department or UAE Ministry of Health (it's possible to get conflicting reports from each of these government agencies.)
The Federal Law stipulates a total local equity of not less than 51% in any commercial company and defines seven categories of business organizations, which can be established in Dubai. It sets out the requirements in terms of shareholders, directors, minimum capital levels and incorporation procedures. The seven categories of business organization defined by the Law are:
· General partnership company
· Joint venture company
· Public shareholding company
· Private shareholding company
· Limited Liability Company LLC
Limited Liability Company
A Limited Liability Company can be formed by a
minimum of two and a maximum of 50 persons whose liability is limited to their
shares in the Company's capital. Most Companies with expatriate partners have
opted for this Limited Liability Company, due to the fact that this is the only
option which will give maximum legal ownership i.e. 49% to the expatriates for
a trading license. Fifty-one per cent participation by UAE nationals is the
general requirement for the Limited Liability Companies. Therefore the normal
shareholding pattern for an LLC is:
Local sponsor - 51%
Foreign Shareholder (s) - 49%
While foreign equity in the company may not exceed 49%, profit and loss distribution can be mutually agreed. Responsibility for the management of a Limited Liability Company can be vested in the foreign or national partners or a third party. The time required to form a company will be approximate 1-2 weeks from the date of receipt of all the documents. The procedure and cost breakup will be given upon request.
Branch / Representative Offices of Foreign Commercial Companies
The Commercial Companies Law covers the
formation and regulation of branches and representative offices of foreign
companies in the UAE and stipulates that they may be 100% foreign owned,
provided a local service agent is appointed.
A branch office, legally regarded as part of its parent company, is a full-fledged business, permitted to perform contracts or conduct other activities as specified in its license. A branch office may only be engaged in activities similar to those of its parent company.
Only UAE nationals or companies 100% owned by UAE nationals may be appointed as local service agents. Local service agents - also sometimes referred to as sponsors - are not involved in the operations of the company but assist in obtaining visas, labour cards, etc and are paid a lump sum fee per annum. The time required to form a branch of a foreign company is approximately 3-4 weeks from the date of receipt of all the documents.
Business plan, current profile and last two-year financial statements must be submitted to prove the credibility of the company. Companies that are of trading nature must have manufacturing facilities in their country of origin. All branch ventures are subject to the approval of the Ministry of Economy.
A representative office, on the other hand, is limited to promoting its parent company's activities, i.e. to gather information and soliciting orders and projects to be performed by the company's head office. Representative offices are also limited in the number of employees that they may sponsor. Procedures are the same for representative office setup except two-year financial statements are not mandatory.
The detailed procedure and cost breakup can be availed via a request.
In setting up a professional firm, 100% foreign ownership, sole proprietorships or civil companies are permitted. Such firms may engage in professional or artisan activities. A UAE national must be appointed as a local service agent, but he has no direct involvement in the business and is paid a lump sum and/or percentage of profits or turnover.
The basic requirement for all business activity in Dubai is one of the following three categories of licenses:
· Commercial licenses covering all kinds of trading activity
· Professional licenses covering professions, services, craftsmen and artisans
· Industrial licenses for establishing industrial or manufacturing activity
License for the majority of the activities are directly issued by the licensing authority – Department of Economic Development, Dubai. However certain activities require special approval from the related ministry /department
· Medical pharmacy etc – Ministry of Health
· Air transport. air cargo etc – Dept of Civil Aviation
· Financial institutions, Banks, money exchange etc – Central Bank
· New industrial project, expansion - Ministry of Finance and Industry
· Publishing, printing, newspaper, advertising, video film, photography etc - Ministry of Information
· Education, training etc – Ministry of Education
· Agriculture, veterinary etc – Ministry of Agriculture
· Customs clearance, freight forwarding sea cargo etc - Seaports and Customs Authority
· Telecommunication equipment- Ministry of Communication
· Branch of a foreign company, an insurance company, chartered accountants firm etc- Ministry of Economy
· Legal consultancy – Rulers Office
· Engineering and constructing etc – Municipality
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