The UAE has effectively diversified its economy over the last 40 years to reduce its dependence on the energy sector. As a result, the country now provides international business prospects in several fields, including tourism and technology.
The government’s positive initiatives in this region are continuing, with a growing array of incentives intended to attract professionals and independent company people from all over the nation and promote smaller companies.
- Allowing 100% foreign-owned companies
- Offering prolonged visas for entrepreneurs
- Attracting tech companies to the UAE
- Providing funding and support for smaller businesses
- Creating a healthy and safe work climate
The following are the five ways the UAE government encourages entrepreneurs to start a company.
1. Allowing 100% Foreign-Owned Businesses
In May 2019, the UAE government announced that foreign entrepreneurs would soon be able to own 100 per cent of a locally incorporated company.
Previously, complete foreign ownership was only allowed in the UAE’s growing number of free zones, requiring companies incorporated “onshore” to be 51 per cent owned locally.
Anyone wanting to start a company in another country will gain more accessible access to the UAE due to this move. As a result, foreign entrepreneurs’ competitive landscape has become much more enticing, particularly when viewed in conjunction with other recent developments. If you are one of those entrepreneurs interested in this setting up a business then Dubai business setup consultants at Commitbiz can assist you with it
2. Offering Extended Visas for Entrepreneurs
The UAE government started aggressively granting five-year visas to entrepreneurs seeking to set up shop in the country in November 2018.
Candidates for the five-year entrepreneur visa should have either a company with a minimum capital of AED 500,000 or the approval of a local approved business incubator.
The UAE launched a new five- and ten-year residency visa scheme in May 2019, allowing outstanding non-UAE investors and experts to live, work, and study here without the need for a national sponsor. If the holder’s conditions remain favorable, the visa is extended.
These five-year and ten-year visas require AED 5 million and AED 10 million in investments, respectively. Currently, UAE-based ex-pats will work in 125 business areas without the need for a local sponsor.
With the Gold Card visa introduction in May 2019, the next best thing to residence status is now open to the top tier of investors, entrepreneurs, company director, scientists, and outstanding students. The visa is renewed every ten years, and, unlike other visa holders, Gold Card residents can live outside the nation for more than six consecutive months.
These innovations are seen to make operating in the UAE even more appealing to the international business community.
A long-term visa provides security and opportunity to start a new life in the UAE, whether they are already living and working here or coming from another country.
3. Attracting Tech Businesses to the UAE
The words “entrepreneur” and “startup” are synonymous with technology in many parts. Although the UAE has not historically been known as a tech hotspot in the same way San Francisco has, it is making some strategic steps to change that.
Earlier this year, the UAE government announced the development of Hub 71, a new technology space. Hub 71, based in Abu Dhabi, is a joint venture with Microsoft. The UAE’s dedication to attracting foreign tech talent is further demonstrated by the fact that the government has set aside AED 500 million in investment funds as part of the overall initiative.
All of these initiatives, when combined with the UAE government’s ambitious Government Accelerators initiative, which includes Ghadan 21 – a three-year growth plan worth AED 50 billion – make it clear that the UAE government wants to make the country’s tech scene even more vibrant.
4. Providing Funding and Support for Smaller Businesses
It’s no wonder that the UAE ranks highly for online access to administrative and government facilities, considering the significant strides it’s made in assisting and encouraging entrepreneurs and startups.
To simplify enterprises, the government recently declared that small and medium businesses would receive 5% of government capital projects (SMEs). It is part of a campaign to sign big project contracts with government agencies and create alliances to bid for government jobs.
This move, which is currently targeted at Dubai-based SMEs, will allow them to obtain contracts for projects worth up to AED 400 million.
According to recent reports, those employed on UAE government projects will now be compensated within 30 days, offering greater liquidity to SMEs. Previously, payments for public-sector programmes are made every 90 days.
Also, the Dubai government has set aside 20% of all relevant contracts for SMEs in the run-up to Expo 2020 next year.
5. Create a Favourable Environment for Living and Working
Aside from the atmosphere, there are multiple explanations of why the UAE is a desirable location for entrepreneurs to live and work. In certain instances, it’s because of the government’s tireless attempts to make it so. According to an ex-pat report, the UAE has the 25th best quality of life in the world. It also ranks ninth in terms of safety and protection, making it a suitable place for business owners with families. It also helps because once the main sponsor is approved, visas for spouses and children are simple to obtain.
The UAE is ranked 11th in the nation for business operation ease. Furthermore, there is no personal tax, corporate tax, or other need to file returns for most companies. Thus, it significantly reduces the operational burden of running a business in this field.
The UAE has a long history of attracting talented individuals to live and work here. However, based on recent trends, it appears that the government is now willing to recruit independent entrepreneurs from several fields.
As a result, the ambition and tenacity to start a company from the UAE’s ground stand to gain significantly. Entrepreneurs who can take advantage of these government-led policies, services, and tools would have many choices.
These new initiatives’ expanding support networks, as well as the communities they cultivate, will undoubtedly improve the UAE’s overall startup ecosystem and continue to draw entrepreneurs for years to come.