The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. The GDP per capita is currently the 14th in the world and 3rd in the Middle East. Petroleum and natural gas exports play an important role in the economy, especially in Abu Dhabi. More than 85% of the UAE's economy was based on the exports of natural resources in 2009.
An enormous construction boom, an expanding manufacturing base, and a thriving services sector are helping the UAE diversify its economy. Nationwide, there is currently $350 billion worth of active construction projects. Aluminum, steel, iron and other forms of metal exports along with textile produce a significant amount of income and are expected to surpass the income brought in by petroleum and natural gas exports within the next 40 to 60 years.
Even in light of the well publicized issues Dubai have encountered in the recent past, the UAE, and more particularly Dubai and Abu Dhabi remains a region that international companies are trying to get a foothold in. As such there are an enormous number of opportunities for international contractors, recruiters and companies.
What must be taken into account when looking to contract or provide services in the UAE is that you or your staff will require both Work Permit Sponsorship and local pay-roll. It is very difficult and time consuming to start a company in any of the emirates as a foreign owned enterprise. So if a company wishes to relocate their staff or source international contractors they will require a locally based Contractor Management Company to provide a fully employed local solution for their employees (Work Permits and local payroll).
This is particularly relevant for foreign recruitment agencies or consulting companies who are sending staff into the UAE. Incorporating locally takes ages and then the process of being registered to sponsor your workers is a nightmare. If you need to get on the ground fast we recommend putting your consultants through one of our partners until you have setup your own entity (should you choose to). Then once you are setup and appropriately licensed to operate you can transition your staff into your local office.
As an individual, working in the UAE can be a highly rewarding experience, an opportunity to experience living in the Middle East, high earning rates and paying zero income tax! Dubai is comfortably the most Western of all the Emirates with a thriving expatriate scene with most expatriates working in the UAE based there or Abu Dhabi.
Our services in the UAE include:
Tax, Payroll and Employment Solutions for Clients and Individual Contractors
Sponsored Work Permits for Clients/Contractors/ Freelance Workers
Self-Employed / Pty Ltd Companies
Expatriate Tax specialists
Insurance (Private Health / Travel / Professional Indemnity)
Bank Account Opening
You can reach all our resources for the UAE from this page.