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Company Formation United Arab Emirates- Ras Al Khaimah: OFFSHORE COMPANIES, FREE ZONE



Many jurisdictions are considered only as tax havens. The United Arab Emirates is a “real” country with a “real economy” with a population of approximately 4 million. It has an established history of international trade, finance and business, and today it is one of the fastest growing countries in the world with one of the highest standards of living.

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) has undergone a paradigm shift in the last few years since it joined the United Arab Emirates in 1972. It is strategically located in the Arabian Gulf and forms the gateway to most of the countries in the Middle East. There have been fundamental and significant changes to the investment policies that have enabled an environment conducive for global businesses to locate their operations in RAK.

RAK is witnessing an unprecedented growth surge with the rolling out of ambitious development plans including investments in real estate, hotels & hospitality businesses, health & education, tourism industry, manufacturing and many more sectors. It has become a landmark, as an important destination of foreign investment.

The RAK government is proactive and encourages the concept of free enterprises to attract investment for overall progress and development of the Emirate.

A Company in RAK

The comparative advantages of availability of land, and relative ease in setting up business offers potential investors easy access to their respective markets.
The choice of a suitable jurisdiction is an important decision and requires careful considerations. Important aspects to be examined and which RAK offers may be outlined as follows:

Political and economic stability of the jurisdiction

  • The availability of a modern and flexible legislative framework
  • Simple incorporation and filing requirements
  • The availability of Double Taxation Treaties - this is very important in order to minimize withholding taxes on the payment of dividends and royalties from contracting states
  • The availability of good calibre professional advisers
  • A good banking system
  • Good telecommunications

    Any investor will benefit from

    RAK is not a dependent or “overseas” territory of another country
    Pressure has been put on traditional low tax jurisdictions by the Commission of the European Community (EU) in conjunction with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The UK parliament has converted British Dependent Territories to British "Overseas" Territories (in 1998). The UK government may apply greater control over its tax haven progeny (ie Bermuda, BVI, Caymans, Gibraltar, Turks & Caicos)

    RAK has double taxation treaties with a number of countries
    Double taxation agreements prevent individuals and corporations from being susceptible to paying tax on the same item during the same time period. These agreements determine which of the two states concerned should levy tax in a particular situation: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Rep., Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Sudan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine.

    RAK is not a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
    No foreign exchange of information.

    RAK is not on the OECD “blacklist” of tax havens (nor the FATF blacklist)

    RAK is not a member of the EU, and is not subject to EU regulation


    Fiscal & Regulatory benefits

  • 100% income tax exemption
  • 100% corporate tax exemption
  • 100% capital and profit repatriation
  • 100% ownership in Free Zones
  • No Import or Export taxes
  • No capital gains tax
  • No Value-added tax
  • No Withholding tax
  • No restrictions on hiring expatriates
  • Land at very preferable rates
  • 25 years renewable lease agreements
  • Proximity to entire Gulf and global markets
  • Residence Visa

    In practice, however, oil, gas and petrochemical companies, hotels, branch offices of foreign banks are required to pay taxes.


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