Dubai continues to offer a wealth of enticing investment opportunities, with the city attracting AED28.6 billion (US$7.8 billion) in greenfield FDI in 2015, ranking Dubai as the 6th top city globally for foreign capital. Both local and foreign investors operate freely and securely in this robustly yet, sensitively regulated economy.
Dubai Financial Market (DFM) – the government-owned stock exchange - is a best-in-class international platform providing investors with innovative products and services to conduct trading, clearing and settlement in an efficient, transparent and liquid environment (www.dfm.ae).
Additionally, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a 110-hectare district and major global financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) markets.
Established in 2004, DIFC (www.difc.ae) has its own independent, internationally regulated authority and judicial system, global financial exchange, tax-friendly free zone regime, catering to one of the most cosmopolitan business communities in the region. The district houses hundreds of financial institutions, including wealth funds and private investors, in addition to cross-industry multinationals, and a wide range of retail outlets, cafés, restaurants, art galleries, hotels, residential and public green spaces.
As an independent free-zone, DIFC offers 100% foreign ownership governed by a common-law framework distinct from the UAE legal system. It offers a 50-year guarantee of zero taxes on corporate income and profits complemented by the UAE’s network of double taxation avoidance treaties. Dubai was ranked the 1st regionally, and 18th globally, in the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index.
Building on its regularly modernising financial and regulatory ecosystem, Dubai has proven itself repeatedly as a trusted investment partner both for established large scale organisations and the SMME sector, guaranteeing legal security and strong governance. The city ensures fair and reliable application of all laws and regulations to preserve the rights of individuals and institutions and is equally committed to transparency in the implementation of policies, legislations and services.
Dubai FDI – a division within the Dubai Economic Department (DED) dedicated to assisting inward investors, guides, advises and provides practical help on all aspects of business decisions and management. Their support ranges from determining optimal legal structures to identifying investment opportunities, and introducing a vast network of government and private sector contacts to interested parties. (www.dubaifdi.ae)
Investing in property
Additionally, foreign investors can own residential accommodation (apartments, condominiums, independent homes/villas etc.), and hold partnerships or stocks in companies. The Real Estate Regulatory Authority - the Land Department’s regulatory arm - supports investors with legislation that effectively regulates the relationship between all contracting parties, and by organising the property exchange process.
The department provides many services, extending its role to planning, organising and evaluating operations related to real estate licences, organising and developing real estate activities and making a commitment to protect investors by monitoring projects financially and technically. (www.dubailand.ae).
At September’s 2017 Cityscape Global real estate exhibition in Dubai, developers unveiled around 40 new projects, including mega development marvels that are valued close to AED30 billion (US$8.17 billion). This adds to an ongoing pipeline of currently underway building projects in the UAE worth AED836.8 billion (US$228billlion), according to data provider BNC Network.