Middle East trading companies comparisons

Summary at a GlanceDubaiSaudi ArabiaQatarOmanBahrainAbu Dhabi
Total company engagement set up costs$22,000$75,190$30,914$26,900$23,131$29,690
Subsequent annual costs (incl audit and tax)$9,850$18,840$6,600$5,970$7,662$15,350
How long to set the company up?1 month6 weeks1 month3 weeks3 weeks1 month
How long to open company bank account?2 weeks3 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks
Issued share capital required$1$27,000$55,000$390,000$2,660$55,000
Corporate bank account locationSCB DubaiNCB KSASCB QatarHSBC OmanSCB BahrainSCB Dubai
Tenancy agreement required before incorporation?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Do you travel for company incorporation?YesYesNoYesYesYes
Resident director required?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Incorporation requirements
Resident shareholder required?YesNoYesYesNoYes
Minimum number of directors111221
Minimum number of shareholders222222
Resident company secretary required?NoYesYesYesYesNo
Individual shareholders allowedYesYesYesYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedYesYesNoYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable %0%20%10%12%0%0%
Statutory audit requiredYesYesYesYesYesYes
Annual tax return to be submittedYesYesYesYesYesYes
Access to how many double tax treaties663137286166
Tax exempt free zones available3162434
Resident company for local tax purposesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Withholding tax payable0%5-15%0%0%0%0%
How long to get work permit approved1 month1 month1 month1 month1 month1 month
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in the country?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Logistics considerations
Allowed to sign sales contracts with local clientsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to invoice local clientsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Average monthly salary of skilled labour$3500$3700$4500$4000$3500$3500
Average monthly salary of unskilled labour$800$1300$700$1000$2000$800
English spoken by what % of the population (estimate)78%40%60%30%45%50%
Literacy rate %94%95%97%91%96%94%
Office rental per square meter per monthUS$65US$25US$58US$25US$20US$45
Warehouse rental per square meter per monthUS$30US$13US$30US$13US$10US$20
Country credit ratingAAA+AAA-BBB-AA
Internet connectivity ratingStrongPoorStrongFairStrongFair
GDP per capita (US$)US$64,500US$52,200US$143,400US$39,700US$51,700US$64,500
Government liberal or controlling of daily businessModerateModerateModerateStrictLiberalModerate
Population % tertiary enrollment25%41%12%29%29%25%
Global competitiveness ranking (1-6)
Ease of doing business global ranking 2014-2015 (lower the better)318268706531
Population2 million28 million2 million3 million1 million0.61 million
Unemployment rate4%6%0.4%15%4%4%
Inflation rate (2014-2015)1.27%3.5%3.1%0.6%2.8%1.27%
GDP 2015 US$ billionUS$82billionUS$752billionUS$210billionUS$78billionUS$34billionUS$248billion
Average annual growth (2014-2015)4.4%2.7%6%2%5.3%4.4%
Estimate of engagement costsUS$US$US$US$US$US$
Healy Consultants engagement fees5,95028,75013,02511,25010,90011,140
Government fees6,20011,6509,5001,2801,0316,800
Corporate bank account opening4,9503,7502,9502,9502,9502,950
Estimate of total outgoings in Year 122,00075,19032,37026,90023,13129,690
Draft sales invoice attached

Contact us

For additional information on our incorporation services, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi