Comparison of Dubai LLC and Abu Dhabi LLC companies in 2024

Summary at a Glance Dubai trading company Abu Dhabi company
Total year 1 engagement set up costs? US$28,660 US$29,538
Total year 2 costs (incl. audit and tax)? US$16,570 US$12,003
Our Client must travel during the engagement? Yes Yes
Total engagement period? 3 months 4 months
Corporation tax rate on net profits (click link)? 0% 0%
Average monthly skilled labor salary (click link)? US$3,500 US$3,500
Average monthly office rental per sq m? US$61 US$45
Average monthly warehouse rental per sq m? US$30 US$20
Literacy % of population? 90% 90%
English language proficiency % of population? 78% 50%
Tenancy agreement required before incorporation? Yes Yes
Resident UAE shareholder required for trading companies? 51% 51%
Consulting companies can be 100% foreign owned Yes Yes
Can sign sales contracts with local clients Yes Yes
Allowed to invoice clients within the UAE? Yes Yes
Must rent office premises Yes Yes
Average annual rental cost for a 100 sqm. office US$79,700 US$54,400
Expatriate perception of the city Exciting Family Oriented
Allowed to import raw materials? Yes Yes
Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff? Yes Yes
Incorporation requirements
How long to secure company registration number? 2 months 6 weeks
Minimum number of shareholders? 2 1
Individual and corporate shareholders allowed? Yes Yes
Minimum number of directors? 1 2
Resident director required? No No
Minimum paid up share capital? US$1 US$1
Fast turnkey solution available (click link)? Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed? Yes Yes
Public register of shareholders and directors? Yes Yes
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable 0% 0%
Withholding tax on dividends paid overseas 0% 0%
Annual financial statements required? Yes Yes
Statutory independent annual audit required? Yes Yes
Export taxes on goods and local GST or VAT? 0% 0%
Tax exempt free zones available 31 4
Access global double tax treaties? 66 66
GCC member (click link)? Yes Yes
Corporate bank account considerations
Healy Consultants’ preferred bank? SCB Dubai SCB Dubai
How long to open corporate bank account? 5 weeks 4 weeks
Do I travel to open the bank account? Yes Yes
Multi-currency corporate bank account? Yes Yes
Multi-currency corporate visa debit cards? Yes Yes
Corporate ATM card available? Yes Yes
Bank rating by World Economic Forum? 23 23
Ease of getting credit by WEF? 3 3
Employment considerations
Average skilled labour monthly salary? US$3,500 US$3,500
Average unskilled labour monthly salary? US$800 US$800
Average pension/insurance benefits % of salary? 12.5% 12.5%
Mandatory labor unions? No No
Minimum notice to dismiss employees? 30 days 30 days
Quotas on foreign workers? Yes Yes
How long to get work permit approved? 4 weeks 3 weeks
Office space required to secure each new employment visa 8sq.m. 12sq.m.
Population % with degrees 10% 13%
Logistical considerations
Proximity of sea port in kilometers? 43kms or 45 min. drive 34kms or 30 min. drive
Proximity of airport in kilometers? 12km or 25 min. drive 35kms or 30 min. drive
Internet connectivity rating Strong Fair
Population (in million) 2.1 1.4
Computer literacy % of population 71% 80%
UAE purchasing power (GDP per capita) $64,500 $64,500
UAE market size (in USD billions) 401.6 401.6
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) 31 31
Country credit rating (S&P) AA AA
Percentage of expatriates living there 88.5% 75%
Number of international schools 62 24
Number of night clubs and bars 271 35
Number of golf courses 11 7
Number of global annual events 19 24
Government debt US$142bn US$104bn
Government sovereign fund US$70bn US$875bn
Mercer cost of living 67 68
Estimate of engagement costs US$ US$
Healy Consultants company registration fees 7,950 7,950
Corporate bank account opening 4,950 4,950
Estimate of Government fees 5,350 6,700
Resident director fees (0 if not required) 0 0
Project management fee 3,950 3,950
Estimate of total outgoings in Year 1 28,660 29,538
Draft sales invoice attached View invoice PDF View invoice PDF

Contact us

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