Comparison of Dubai LLC and Abu Dhabi LLC companies in 2023

Summary at a GlanceDubai trading companyAbu Dhabi company
Total year 1 engagement set up costs?US$28,187US$22,633
Total year 2 costs (incl. audit and tax)?US$9,850US$12,180
Our Client must travel during the engagement?YesYes
Total engagement period?3 months4 months
Corporation tax rate on net profits (click link)?0%0%
Average monthly skilled labor salary (click link)?US$3,500US$3,500
Average monthly office rental per sq m?US$61US$45
Average monthly warehouse rental per sq m?US$30US$20
Literacy % of population?90%90%
English language proficiency % of population?78%50%
Tenancy agreement required before incorporation?YesYes
Resident UAE shareholder required for trading companies?51%51%
Consulting companies can be 100% foreign ownedYesYes
Can sign sales contracts with local clientsYesYes
Allowed to invoice clients within the UAE?YesYes
Must rent office premisesYesYes
Average annual rental cost for a 100 sqm. officeUS$79,700US$54,400
Expatriate perception of the cityExcitingFamily Oriented
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYes
Allowed to export goods?YesYes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff?YesYes
Incorporation requirements
How long to secure company registration number?2 months6 weeks
Minimum number of shareholders?21
Individual and corporate shareholders allowed?YesYes
Minimum number of directors?12
Resident director required?NoNo
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1US$1
Fast turnkey solution available (click link)?YesYes
Corporate director(s) allowed?YesYes
Public register of shareholders and directors?YesYes
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable0%0%
Withholding tax on dividends paid overseas0%0%
Annual financial statements required?YesYes
Statutory independent annual audit required?YesYes
Export taxes on goods and local GST or VAT?0%0%
Tax exempt free zones available314
Access global double tax treaties?6666
GCC member (click link)?YesYes
Corporate bank account considerations
Healy Consultants’ preferred bank?SCB DubaiSCB Dubai
How long to open corporate bank account?5 weeks4 weeks
Do I travel to open the bank account?YesYes
Multi-currency corporate bank account?YesYes
Multi-currency corporate visa debit cards?YesYes
Corporate ATM card available?YesYes
Bank rating by World Economic Forum?2323
Ease of getting credit by WEF?33
Employment considerations
Average skilled labour monthly salary?US$3,500US$3,500
Average unskilled labour monthly salary?US$800US$800
Average pension/insurance benefits % of salary?12.5%12.5%
Mandatory labor unions?NoNo
Minimum notice to dismiss employees?30 days30 days
Quotas on foreign workers?YesYes
How long to get work permit approved?4 weeks3 weeks
Office space required to secure each new employment visa8sq.m.12sq.m.
Population % with degrees10%13%
Logistical considerations
Proximity of sea port in kilometers?43kms or 45 min. drive34kms or 30 min. drive
Proximity of airport in kilometers?12km or 25 min. drive35kms or 30 min. drive
Internet connectivity ratingStrongFair
Population (in million)2.11.4
Computer literacy % of population71%80%
UAE purchasing power (GDP per capita)$64,500$64,500
UAE market size (in USD billions)401.6401.6
Average annual inflation rate in 2014-15?4.30%5.0%
Average unemployment rate in 2014-15?0.30%4.1%
Ease of doing business index (click link)3131
Country credit rating (S&P)AAAA
Percentage of expatriates living there88.5%75%
Number of international schools6224
Number of night clubs and bars27135
Number of golf courses117
Number of global annual events1924
Government debtUS$142bnUS$104bn
Government sovereign fundUS$70bnUS$875bn
Mercer cost of living6768
Estimate of engagement costsUS$US$
Healy Consultants company registration fees7,9507,950
Corporate bank account opening4,9504,950
Estimate of Government fees5,3506,700
Resident director fees (0 if not required)00
Project management fee3,9503,950
Estimate of total outgoings in Year 128,18722,633
Draft sales invoice attachedView invoice PDFView invoice PDF

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For additional information on our incorporation services, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi