Open economies in the Middle East in 2023

Our ranking in order of preference12345
Summary at a glance
Total year 1 engagement set up costs?US$28,660US$30,914US$34,595US$32,600US$17,860
Total year 2 costs (incl. audit and tax)?US$9,850US$6,600US$14,620US$11,700US$11,100
Our Client must travel during the engagement?NoNoNoNoNo
Total engagement period?3 months3 months3 months4 months3 months
Corporation tax rate on net profits (click link)?0%10%20%23%17%
Average monthly skilled labor salary (click link)?US$3,500US$2,590US$1,000US$2,300US$600
Average monthly office rental per sq m?US$40US$40US$27US$25US$34
Average monthly warehouse rental per sq m?US$25US$28US$20US$9US$25
Must be a 51% shareholder for trading businessYesYesNoNoNo
Must be a 51% shareholder for services businessNoNoNoNoNo
English language proficiency % of population?70%50%45%85%40%
Incorporation requirements
How long to secure company registration number?2 months4 weeks5 weeks8 weeks3 weeks
Minimum number of shareholders?12113
Individual and corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of directors?11111
Resident director required?NoNoNoNoNo
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1US$55,000US$70,650US$1US$3,400
Fast turnkey solution available (click link)?YesNoNoNoNo
Fastest time Healy Consultants set up company?2 months.1 month1 month1 month
Special permit or license required?NoNoNoNoNo
Corporate director(s) allowed?YesNoNoYesYes
Public register of shareholders & directors?YesYesYesYesYes
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable?0%10%20%23%17%
Withholding tax on dividends paid overseas0%0%0%20%10%
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesYesYes
Statutory independent annual audit required?YesYesYesYesNo
Export taxes on goods and local GST or VAT?5%0%16%17%11%
Best holding company to extract dividends?Marshall IslandsSingaporeLabuanSingaporeUAE-RAK
Tax incentives for manufacturing start-ups?YesYesYesYesYes
Access to how many double tax treaties?6650325434
Number of tax exempt free zones available?3781815
GCC member (click link)?YesYesNoNoNo
Corporate bank account considerations
Healy Consultants’ preferred bank?Emirates NDBSCBSCBUnion BankHSBC
How long to open corporate bank account?5 weeks3 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Do I travel to open the bank account?NoNoNoNoNo
Can open a US$ or £ or € bank account?YesYesYesYesYes
Good internet banking available?YesYesYesYesYes
Funds transfer currency controlsNoNoNoNoNo
Bank rating by World Economic Forum?239571827
Ease of getting credit by WEF? score (1-7)31255176
Employment considerations
Average skilled labour monthly salary?US$3,100US$2,590US$1,500US$2,300US$800
Average unskilled labour monthly salary?US$800US$750US$500US$700US$300
Average pension/insurance benefits % of salary?12.50%10%13.25%-6-9%
Minimum national salary?US$400US$550US$450US$500US$250
Mandatory labor unions?NoNoNoNoNo
Minimum notice to dismiss employees?1 month2 months1 month1 month3 months
Minimum redundancy indemnity?1 month2 months1 month1 month3 months
Quota ratio of foreign workers to local staff?YesYesYesYesYes
How long to get work permit approved?4 weeks3-6 weeks5-7 weeks4-8 weeks6-9 weeks
Manufacturing considerations
Cost per unit of electricity? US$
Rank for getting electricity (click link)4404410954
Warehousing space rental (per sq. m.)?US$25US$28US$20US$9US$25
Ranking for transport infrastructure (click link) (1-7 best)
Ranking for customs procedures out of 10 (click link)?
Average import duty % on raw materials?0%0%0%0%0%
Government incentives for startups?YesYesYesYesYes
Computer literacy % of population?90%90%90%95%90%
Internet connectivity rating?StrongStrongStrongStrongStrong
Global business efficiency index (click link)?23215430-
Preferred manufacturing city?DubaiDohaAmmanTel AvivBeirut
Proximity of sea port in kilometers?111341.42.41.5
Proximity of airport in kilometers?31519207.7
Proximity of rail in kilometers?0519207.7
Literacy % of population90%96.30%93.40%97.80%93.50%
Local purchasing power (GDP per capita)US$43,876US$97,518US$5,422US$37,032US$10,058
Local market size (in millions of people)9.572.
Average annual inflation rate in 2014?3%3.10%5.50%1.50%3.20%
Average unemployment rate in 2014?2.60%0.612.60%6.70%6.60%
Ease of doing business index (click link)225011740104
Country rating (click link) AAAABB-A+B-

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Middle East, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon