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JAFZA (United Arab Emirates)

Special Status Non-Resident Company (Company limited by shares)

JAFZ Special Status Non-Resident Companies are offshore companies incorporated in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Dubai).

JAFZA Non-resident companies are entitled to do business internationally and may not carry out trade or business within the UAE, or any free zone.

This includes rent offices or facilities within the territory. But they may exceptionally acquire real estate in UAE in designated areas and in government-approved development projects.

JAFZA Non-resident companies are also allowed to have relationships with residents providing certain professional services such as legal or consulting, and they have access to the banking system and can open corporate bank accounts in UAE.

The banking sector in UAE is considered solid and capitalized, being the main financial hub of the region, the Dubai International Financial Center, and another sizeable and expanding financial center, the Abu Dhabi Global Market.

Offshore companies in JAFZA are generally used to carry out activities such as international trade, overseas consulting and advisement, international professional services, holding company, hold intangible assets, investment, and joint investment company, intermediary brokers, overseas property owning, shipping and ship management.

Any activity related to banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, collective investment schemes, trust management or trusteeship, is strictly prohibited.

As they are considered non-residents for tax purposes, they cannot benefit from UAE tax treaties. However, they are usually authorized to own shares of FZ or local companies, or even establish a branch onshore.

A JAFZ Non-resident special status company is a powerful instrument for international trade, asset protection and wealth management.


Corporate income tax – JAFZA Nonresident companies are treated as nonresident entities for tax purposes, and therefore exempt from any form of taxes, as long as the place of effective management of the company is not in the UAE, and they do not constitute a permanent establishment in the UAE.

The place of effective management is generally understood to mean the place where the company is managed and controlled - determined by facts and circumstances, including the following:

  • The place where meetings of the board of directors are held.
  • The place where the company’s officers make their decisions.
  • The place where other, similar factors evidencing management control occur.

A permanent establishment in the UAE could be constituted if the following occurs -

  • the company has a place of business, a branch or an office in the UAE (e.g. employees working in the UAE); and/or
  • the company has a dependent agent in the UAE who regularly exercises the authority to negotiate or conclude contracts on behalf of the company in or from within the UAE.

There are other situations where a permanent establishment may be constituted such as construction sites, mines, etc.

Other taxes – In U.A.E. there is no personal income tax, capital gains tax, real property tax, inheritance tax or estate duty, capital transfer tax, gifts tax or wealth tax.

There is a real property tax levied on the transfer of properties, at rates that vary from 2% to 4%, depending on the Emirate where the property is located. Some municipalities, e.g. Dubai, also levy an annual property tax on the assessed rental value of the property.

There is V.A.T. at 5% on most goods and services. However, as JAFZA Nonresident companies do not generally trade within the UAE, V.A.T. is not generally relevant.

  • Offshore Income Tax Exemption
  • Offshore capital gains tax exemption
  • Offshore dividends tax exemption
  • CFC Rules
  • Thin Capitalisation Rules
  • Patent Box
  • Tax Incentives & Credits
  • Property Tax
  • Wealth tax
  • Estate inheritance tax
  • Transfer tax
  • Capital duties
  • 0% Offshore Income Tax Rate
  • - Corporate Tax Rate
  • 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate
  • 0% Dividends Received
  • 0% Dividends Withholding Tax Rate
  • 0% Interests Withholding Tax Rate
  • 0% Royalties Withholding Tax Rate
  • 0 Losses carryback (years)
  • 0 Losses carryforward (years)
  • 0% Personal Income Tax Rate
  • 5% VAT Rate
  • 76 Tax Treaties

Country details

United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi
a r - A E , f a , e n , h i , u r

The United Arab Emirates is a former British protectorate and currently a federation of the Middle East, located to the east of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Oman to the southeast, with the Persian Gulf to the north and Saudi Arabia to the west and south. It is composed of a hybrid monarchy consisting of 7 emirates, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, and Umm al Qaywayn.

It has a population of 9 million. Its capital is Abu Dhabi, but the most populated and popular city is Dubai. Arabic and English are their official languages. The official currency is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), pegged to the US dollar at an exchange rate of 3.67:1.

The Supreme Council, made up of each emirate Sheikhs, is the highest political decision-making body in the country. Although each Emirate retains a considered political, economic and judicial autonomy, with different rules and regulations.

The federation is one of the richest countries in the world, supported by a liberal and open economy with the eighth highest per capita income worldwide and a considerable annual trade surplus.

Having the seventh largest oil reserve in the world, its economy is clearly dependent on this commodity fluctuations. In recent years efforts have been made to diversify the economy, be less oil-dependent and develop sectors such as retail, financial and tourism.

A clear example of this strategy is the establishment of free zones to attract foreign capital to invigorate the private business sector.

Especially in Dubai, where oil and gas, barely represent 3% of the economy. Positioning itself as the regional retail hub and a major player in the export market of industrial and manufactured goods, with the 9th largest port worldwide in terms of volume of goods.

As well as being the largest financial hub in the region and being positioned as a top tourist and entertainment destination, where the most luxurious hotels worldwide are located, which in turn is the engine of the real estate, infrastructure, and retail sectors.

The Jebel Ali Free Zone is in the Emirate of Dubai and is the main trading hub of the Middle East, located around the world’s largest artificial port and the ninth in volume of goods.

Although conceived for the distribution of goods throughout the Arabian Gulf, it currently supports the formation of companies from a wide range of activities ranging from commercial, manufacturing, e-commerce or professional services.

Tax treaties

Country Type Date Signed
Tunisia DTC  1996-04-10
Portugal DTC  2011-01-17
Comoros DTC  2015-03-26
Slovenia DTC  2013-10-12
Guinea DTC  2011-11-13
Georgia DTC  2010-11-25
Morocco DTC  1999-02-09
Bangladesh DTC  2011-01-17
Algeria DTC  2001-04-24
Uruguay DTC  2014-10-10
Switzerland DTC  2011-10-06
Uzbekistan DTC  2007-10-26
Estonia DTC  2011-04-20
Mexico DTC  2012-11-20
Sudan DTC  2001-03-15
Montenegro DTC  2012-03-26
Hungary DTC  2013-04-30
Libya DTC  2013-04-01
Fiji DTC  2012-08-01
Mauritius DTC  2006-09-18
Panama DTC  2012-10-13
Serbia DTC  2013-01-13
Yemen DTC  2001-02-13
Lebanon DTC  1998-05-17
Lithuania DTC  2013-06-30
Cyprus DTC  2011-02-27
Latvia DTC  2012-03-11
Kyrgyzstan DTC  2014-12-07
Venezuela DTC  2010-12-11
Armenia DTC  2002-04-22
Seychelles DTC  2006-09-18
Egypt DTC  1994-12-04
Russian Federation DTC  2011-12-07
Ireland DTC  2010-07-01
Kenya DTC  2011-11-11
Japan DTC  2013-05-02
Luxembourg DTC  2005-11-20
Poland DTC  1993-01-31
Spain DTC  2006-02-04
Romania DTC  1993-04-11
Belgium DTC  1996-09-30
Mongolia DTC  2001-02-21
Ukraine DTC  2003-01-22
Korea, Republic of DTC  2003-09-22
Kazakhstan DTC  2008-12-22
Thailand DTC  2000-03-01
Pakistan DTC  1993-02-07
Bulgaria DTC  2007-06-26
Czech Republic DTC  1996-09-30
New Zealand DTC  2003-10-22
Austria DTC  2003-09-22
Malta DTC  2006-03-13
Netherlands DTC  2007-05-08
Italy DTC  1995-01-22
Germany DTC  2010-07-01
Mozambique DTC  2003-09-24
Turkmenistan DTC  1998-06-09
China DTC  1993-07-01
Philippines DTC  2003-09-21
Finland DTC  1996-03-12
Greece DTC  2010-01-18
Singapore DTC  1995-12-01
Belarus DTC  2000-02-27
France DTC  1989-07-19
Tajikistan DTC  1995-12-17
India DTC  1992-04-29
Malaysia DTC  1995-11-28
Turkey DTC  1993-01-29
Sri Lanka DTC  1992-07-07
Indonesia DTC  1995-11-30
Azerbaijan DTC  2006-11-20
Bosnia and Herzegovina DTC  2006-09-18
Canada DTC  2002-06-09
Viet nam DTC  2009-02-16
Syrian Arab Republic DTC  2000-01-26
Brunei Darussalam DTC  2013-05-21

Tax treaties Map



We can help you incorporate a Special Status Non-Resident Company (Company limited by shares) in United Arab Emirates for $5,300.

Click here to incorporate your United Arab Emirates NRDC.

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