Open IT Companies in the UAE

Pauline Familara
Pauline Familara
20 February 2023
Open IT Companies in the UAE

Today, the UAE is one of the largest business, economic and financial centers of the world and one of the most attractive jurisdictions for foreign entrepreneurs. Ideal conditions for conducting business with a loyal and soft tax system have been created for them. The state pays special attention and support to foreign companies investing in developing digital technologies in any direction: from software development to machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies. To support IT in Dubai and the other 6 emirates of the country, there are local and federal programs to reduce costs when registering companies and financing and to promote business outside the UAE.

What Are the Benefits of Running an IT Business in Dubai?

In addition to state support for activities in the field of innovation and technology, registration of an IT company in the UAE brings such significant benefits to foreign entrepreneurs as:

  • The possibility of opening a local company with 100% ownership by a foreign owner or a firm in a free zone, a large selection of specialized free economic zones;
  • Obtaining the maximum profit at a zero interest rate of tax on the income of legal entities and individuals. An opportunity to get tax residency and not pay taxes in your country. After all, the Arab Emirates has signed international agreements on the avoidance of double taxation with many countries;
  • Financial stability, thanks to the fixed exchange rate of the local currency (dirhams), the absence of inflation, and the presence of a reliable banking system;
  • Freedom of movement of funds, unimpeded repatriation of profits, and the lack of currency control with the ability to conduct calculations in any currency without conversion;
  • Confidentiality of information about the company’s activities and all its beneficiaries;
  • A great demand for the services of IT companies in Dubai and other emirates of the UAE, the opportunity to enter the global market with the creation of holdings, and participation in international tenders from jurisdictions with high creditworthiness.

Foreign owners of IT companies have equal rights with local business people and conduct their activities both in the country and abroad under the same conditions.

Registration of an IT Company in the UAE

The procedure for registering an IT company in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and other emirates involves the following scenario:

  1. Choose the organizational and legal form of a legal entity and the place of its incorporation: on the mainland of the country or in one of the SEZs (free zones);
  2. Approve the name of the company by the chosen organizational and legal form;
  3. Prepare corporate and personal documents of shareholders and directors: translate them into Arabic with subsequent certification by a notary and legalize them under the law. The list of necessary corporate documents may vary, depending on the place of incorporation and the type of company;
  4. Rent an actual office space or a virtual Flexi desk office;
  5. Apply for company registration and a package of documents to the DED (Department of Economic Development);
  6. Obtain licenses for selected types of activities;
  7. Open a corporate bank account;
  8. Pay the necessary fees.

Types of Licenses for IT Companies

It is necessary to obtain an appropriate license to conduct business in the field of the IT industry in Dubai and other territories of the UAE. In this area, licenses are provided for such activities as:

  • IT development: creation and testing of software and video games, support of developed products;
  • IT service: software installation, maintenance of normal functioning of hardware and equipment, their maintenance, testing, and repair;
  • Trade in IT products (software, gadgets, devices, computer devices, and their accessories);
  • IT-consulting: consulting and support of users, conducting surveys and studies to improve the operation of software and technical means;
  • Data storage: ensuring the operation and maintenance of web servers and server infrastructure, provision of virtual servers and cloud storage;
  • Cyber security: building protected computer systems, responding to cyber attacks, external and internal threats;
  • EdTech: the creation of educational platforms and use of digital technologies for training purposes;
  • FinTech: design and provision of innovative tools for lending, card-to-card money transfers (P2P), crowdfunding, and electronic money (e-money).

Before entering the market, all products and goods offered by companies working in the IT field must undergo certification in their direction (ISO/IEC 2007, TRA, ROHs, G-Mark, IEC).

Where is the Best Place to Open an IT Company in the UAE?

To conduct business in the IT sphere in Dubai and any other part of the United Arab Emirates, you can open a company:

  • On the mainland (mainland company), which allows conducting activities throughout the territory of the state and abroad;
  • In a free economic zone – such a company can only operate within its Free Zone and work with foreign partners.

The best conditions for conducting business in information technologies are created in highly specialized free zones. Here, you will find a modern infrastructure and many companies with which you can establish fruitful cooperation, including the leading corporations in this industry: Microsoft, Google, SAP, Oracle, and others. Only in the emirate of Dubai, there are 4 such SEZs (Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Internet City, D3, and Dubai Media City).

The best place to choose for the incorporation of your business depends on the direction of activity and the concentration of the target audience for selling your products, goods, and services. Dynasty Business Adviser specialists will help you choose the right place to register an IT company in the UAE and open a business quickly.

  • John M. Smith: «Dubai The Maktoum Story» ISBN 3-8334-4660-9

  • Heiko Schmid Economy of Fascination: Dubai and Chicago as Themed Urban Landscapes. — Berlin, Stuttgart 2009. — ISBN 978-3-443-37014-5.

  • Внешняя торговля ОАЭ Архивная копия от 3 декабря 2013 на Wayback Machine | Страноведческий каталог «EconRus»

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