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Some common questions and answers;
The meaning of "Tax Free" in Dubai...

Dubai is one of the seven regions which comprise the United Arab Emirates. Dubai has a population of just over one million, with the vast majority (99%) living within Dubai City. The United Arab Emirates was formed in 1971 and has been an important and wealthy nation since.

Dubai itself is not tax free, although this generalization is often made. Rather, Dubai contains a number of economic free zones which have various economic incentives to encourage investment and commercial development. These zones include the Internet and Media Cities, the International Financial Centre, Maritime City, the Airport Free Zone, and the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

The Jebel Ali Free Zone, created in 1985, was the first of these economic zones in Dubai. The government has since invested billions of dollars into infrastructure and programs to coax foreign investors to the region. This Free Zone is not entirely tax free, but its incentives make it come very close. Companies which are run within the Jebel Ali Free Zone are given a total pass on all corporate and personal taxation for a period of fifteen years. At the end of this fifteen year period, a request may be made to be tax exempt for another fifteen years – in effect offering the potential for an indefinite tax free status. In addition, there are no import or export taxes on companies within the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

In the 1990s, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City were created. These zones offer many of the same benefits of the Jebel Ali Free Zone, but cater more to media and communications companies. In these zones, tax free status is granted for a fifty year period initially.

The Dubai International Financial Centre was created in 2004, following in the tradition of the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the Dubai Internet and Media Cities. The International Financial Centre is entirely tax free for corporations operating within its borders, with no constraints on how long they can remain tax free.

While Dubai itself is not entirely tax free, there certainly are regions within Dubai which allow foreign investors and corporations to set up shop with no taxation whatsoever. These zones provide a virtually unique opportunity for those looking to avoid corporation taxation either on their own business or on businesses they wish to invest in.

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