Dubai joined the UAE in 1971 after the British forces left the Middle East. It was one of the first to join among the seven Emir ruled states - or Emirates. [Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, in addition to Dubai.]
Though UAE is under the complete control of the supreme council of rulers known as Emirs, Dubai has a high level of autonomy. Dubai as we know is famous for its breathtaking skyline, beaches and trade and commerce. Working conditions in Dubai and the UAE, are different to that of other countries and if you are planning to invest there you should be aware of the sponsorship for Dubai terms and conditions.
The climate in Dubai is sub tropical and you get clear skies throughout the year with very little rainfall and that too in winter. Summer temperatures are extreme, with scorching hot days and mild winters.
The population of Dubai consists of people from more than 120 countries including from Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iran, Jordan, Sudan, China, India, Pakistan, the United States and the members of European Union.
If your are an investor and wish to incorporate in Dubai, then you need to know about sponsorship for Dubai. Every foreigner in the country must have a Sponsor. Every business must have a Sponsor or a Service Agent. If you want to visit Dubai, then you need sponsorship for Dubai. Sponsorship for Dubai and in the UAE is very important.
A Sponsor or a Service Agent in Dubai is any UAE national, man or woman, or any UAE owned company who is willing to take on the responsibility of bringing you into the country - as an investor, or as an employee, or even if you are a Tourist. Some Professional categories only need to have a 'Service Agent'.
A Sponsor normally is a 51%+ owner of the business on paper if it is a LLC company. He does not invest any of his own funds, and you are obliged to put 51% of your capital in his name. In most cases he will not partake of the profits of the business, but will take either an annual fixed fee, or a percentage of revenues.
Many investors do side agreements with the UAE nationals offering sponsorship for Dubai, where the Sponsor agrees that the 51% is not his, but this point is not necessarily upheld by the Dubai Courts. A Service Agent is generally only attached to Professional category companies where the professionals are entitled to own 100% of their companies e.g. Doctors, accountants, carpenters.
The official language of the UAE is Arabic yet in majority of the trade and commerce activities of Dubai the English language is applied. But many government documents are in Arabic so they need to be typed by a typist who can do so in Arabic. This is another area where sponsorship for dubai is critical. The Sponsor or the Service Agent, most of the times, signs these documents, and if you trust him, interprets them for you.
Sponsorship for Dubai is how the Government of Dubai, UAE, persuades the local population to welcome these large numbers of foreigners, who outnumber them 1:10, - by allowing the former to make money from every foreign investor who comes into Dubai. The Government itself makes billions of Dollars as visa fees. The banks keep billions of Dollars in security deposits for the employment visas that the companies pay before the visas are issued. And now the insurance companies too will get a significant amount of money because of the new health insurance regime in place from August 2008.
The simplest form of Sponsor or Service Agent generally only signs your application documents for the Trade License, or to the Departments of Labor or Immigration. A more expensive one may help you to get permissions if your documents are stuck in one of the departments. Another may even help you with negotiations for rent or with opening bank accounts.
Other types of Sponsors - those from rich and connected families or those with high government positions will be the most expensive because their name will help you to get clearances - but they will not be willing to go with you to meet anyone to solve a problem. Until the UAE national knows you and trusts you, he will not give you powers to run your own bank account, or make your own applications to the Labor and Immigration ministries. This is the risk for sponsorship for dubai: If you default, then the Sponsor is liable for any checks you have issued and for any employees on your visa, since technically he is the 51% partner!
The typical annual Sponsorship fee can run from US$ 6,200 per year for a small shop to several millions US Dollars for a large multinational company.
In the years up to 2000, the government was eager to have small and medium size businesses from where ever they could get investors. Then, with real estate appearing as a lucrative opportunity, the focus shifted to bigger, branded, UAE business and the market changed forever - especially for the small and medium business owners, as did the sponsorship for dubai fees!
Rules for incorporation have become simpler, but the hundreds of license categories continue to be bewildering. Sponsorship for dubai is sometimes essential to help guide you through the morass of alternatives.
It is much easier now to obtain a license to do business with the several Free Zones springing all across the UAE, but the visa costs have gone up 8 times as have the Trade License annual fees. Free Zones - at last count almost 20, act as UAE business centers and make life easier for the foreign investor and provide excellent world class facilities. In addition, foreigners can own 100% of their companies in the Free Zones as opposed to only 49% when they incorporate a UAE business in the country. But there is still a Sponsor - The Free Zone Authority where you are incorporating. Many multinational companies have set up shop in the free zones.
UAE business is simple after the first year of getting your 'Sponsorship Agreement', office space, your 'Trade License', 'Labor and Immigration computer cards', your own 'Investor visa' stamped in your passport, your 'Driving license' and your bank account.
Opportunities are growing rapidly in real estate UAE and properties are being built here using almost one third of the building equipment of the world. There is continuous rapid growth in real estate uae. Almost US$ 800 bn worth of projects are under construction as of 2008.
UAE is focusing on becoming a regional hub for Health care via the Dubai Health Care City and Harvard Medical Center; Leisure via Dubailand and the entertainment parks in collaboration with Six Flags, Busch Gardens, Formula 1, Legoland, Universal Studios, Bollywood, Marvel, Sea World and Dreamworks Studios; Financial services via Dubai International Financial Center [DIFC] in collaboration with Nasdaq; Education via Academic City and the several universities from around the world; Software via the Dubai Internet City and many more. And so while the Government of Dubai makes a lot of money, sponsorship for dubai is enjoying a boom too!
9/11 was a blessing in disguise to uae business and to sponsorship for dubai. With the restrictions on travel and the intense scrutiny imposed by the US on Middle East money, investors in the region have started investing a portion of their substantial oil portfolios, back into the region instead of into the West as in times past.
As one long time resident of Dubai said: 'You can stand on the sidelines and criticize, question and wait for the bubble to burst, or you can get into the action and make money for yourself!'