As a member of UAE international investors Council and Emirates Japan Marketing Council, ICLO has the needed professional understanding of the inbound and outbound investments structured in UAE or from UAE.

Investing in UAE

Practically, ICLO advices its local and international clients on the investment legal framework in three UAE distinctive jurisdictions: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and UAE mainland.

The laws and regulations of the three jurisdictions are offering interesting investment systems that are positioning UAE to be a leading investment hub in Western Asia.

We advise clients in setting up in ADGM and getting advantage from its truly common law environment. In particular, we assist in setting up SPVs, structuring holdings, creating funds and we advise on structures and solutions that can be used to optimize family wealth planning and organize family businesses.

In DIFC, we assist clients opting for a Dubai based structure to operate their investment through a variety of structures including funds and trusts. We also counsel clients in relation to the DIFC Wills Services Center that gives non-Muslims investing and living in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah the option to pass on their assets and/or appoint guardians for their children, in accordance with the instructions in their will.

In both financial centers, we advise on the opportunity of opting for the Court Systems (ADGM Courts or DIFC Courts) or the international arbitration institutions having physical presence in ADGM (ICC) or in DIFC (LCIA).

In UAE mainland, we assist investors in setting up directly onshore or in free zones or in one of the special economic zones.

Since the adoption on 30/10/2018 of the Decree-Law no (18) of 2018 on Foreign Direct Investment, we assist our foreign clients in setting up a 100% ownership company in mainland for the economic activities that are not included in the negative list.

We also assist our foreign clients wishing to invest in UAE or in the region to protect their intellectual property rights and advise them in relation to the local partnership for exclusive or non-exclusive distribution contracts including the attribution of a franchise as per the requirements of the law no (18) of 1981 on Commercial Agencies.

We assist foreign investors in setting up in free zones including Masdar TwoFour54, ADFZA and Kizad in Abu Dhabi and in JAFZA, Media City, Internet City, Design City and DMCC in Dubai.

In the special economic zones, ICLO has a useful understanding of Long Term Lease Contracts and PPP regulations at federal and local levels.

Investing from UAE

UAE offers a competitive advantage for foreign investors who are considering structuring their investments in third countries using UAE as a platform. UAE has signed over 115 Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties and over 80 Investments Protection Treaties. All these Treaties cumulated with other regional and international treaties are fully enforced in the financial centers which provides foreign investors several options including structuring their investments from their home country to a third country via UAE or structuring their investment directly from UAE to reach a third country taking advantage of the relevant BITs with UAE.

The Asia to Africa investments flow can ideally take advantage from these structures given that UAE financial centers are the closest geographically to Africa for investors based in China, Japan, Korea or India. This option is particularly interesting since the signature by ADGM of an agreement with Casablanca Financial Center (CFC) which will give a privileged access to investors setting up in UAE to invest in African French speaking countries.

In another hand, the number of BITs signed by UAE is the highest in the region and is expected to increase. A priority is given to cover the greatest number of African Countries.

Investing in the Future

UAE has strategically opted for the diversification of its economy with a special focus on the new technologies generating added value patents and new creations. The fields of Industry 4.0 are particularly targeted including artificial intelligence, robotics, renewable energy, aerospace, agriTech, finTech, healthEC …

In 2017, UAE appointed the first Minster of Artificial Intelligence and launched a Council for the Fourth Revolution Industry that adopted The UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution aiming to strengthen the UAE's position as a global hub for investments.

To promote investments in the Industry 4.0, UAE issued the Federal Decree Law no (25) of 2018 authorizing the UAE Cabinet to issue a temporary license to any project related to future technologies or artificial intelligence until the promulgation of the appropriate law.

ICLO’s Holistic Approach

To optimize the investments of qualifying investors abroad, ICLO provides them with a useful combination of legal, tax and audit due diligence of the targeted sectors and/or markets. ICLO also evaluates the viability of trans-border Joint Ventures, provides a multitask assessment to evaluate the real value of the assets of the partners in the targeted countries and advice on the pertinence of the warranties along with the best options for an exit plan whenever needed.

To provide the prospective investors with these multi-disciplinary services designed to mitigate the investments risks, ICLO is adopting a holistic approach through an international team of quality experts with local depth and global expertise in the fields of finance and investments, trans-border joint ventures, international tax and auditing.

In ICLO, we assist the qualifying investors in reviewing and analyzing the relevant laws and investment treaties along with operating a trans-border due diligence before taking a decision to invest. We also provide investors with accurate updates regarding legal and administrative aspects of UAE investments and finally assist them directly to launch and operate their business safely.