The adoption of technology and innovation has been one of the prominent drivers that have boosted the ground of UAE to become one of the favourable grounds of investment. With the passing time, the UAE has been strengthening itself from all possible aspects by focusing on the non-oil economy and fetching out the maximum possibilities. The United Arab Emirates serves to be a significant investment ground when it comes to financial investments. At the same time, the region has established itself as one of the dominant global tech-grounds. Technology has become an integral part of today’s life and plays a significant role in multiple business industries.
This guide is curated to provide in-depth knowledge about the growth of fintech firms in the ground of the UAE. Let’s start by understanding the base of FinTech.
The Birth of FinTech - A Blend of Finance and Technology
Digital evolution has brought a massive change when it comes to the corporate world. The digital disruption has got the potential to transform any of the business industries. One such efficient sector is the financial sector that stands as the backbone of any economy. With the infusion of digitalization in the financial ground, the industry has uplifted itself to a great extent, giving birth to FinTech- a blend of finance and technology. The implementation has been made with a single idea of creating a practical pathway for the financial markets and authorities to perform smoothly. Global investors find the new diversion of FinTech to be a golden opportunity of investment, that would fetch more return on the investment made.
The FinTech Industry in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates have initiated a step towards bringing a cutting-edge to the finance and technology industry. To accelerate the different business sectors, the government has taken the initiative of building-specific zones for each of the sectors. Now, when it comes to the finance industry, the UAE has got the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)- one of the most successful free zones in the region. You will get to know about it in the latter part of this article.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is one of the attention-grabbing grounds of global investors. The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), is an award-winning international financial centre, located in the UAE. The centre is one of the critical pillars of Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision, which is meant to boost the financial scenario of the region. The Government has been taking multiple initiatives to promote the FinTech industry and spread a word across the business entities.
The growth of FinTech in the MENA region can be understood better by having a glance at the below illustration.
To know more about FinTech application in DIFC, click here.
Key Drivers of the FinTech Industry Across MENA Region
The key drivers of the FinTech industry are:
- Consumer Demographics
- Internet & Payment Adoption
- Consumer Attitudes
- Regulatory Sandbox
- Fintech Funds & Accelerators
- Private Capital Availability
Initiatives Taken by the Government
The period of Oct 2019 has been game-changer for the FinTech industry as the MENA region has organized the leading FinTech and Financial event, which welcomed more than 5000+ delegates from over 70 countries. More than 130+ speakers were invited to drive the event and the industry forward. The highlights of the event are stated below:
- Figure out the most disruptive FinTech talent from across the world
- Showcased companies that are building the future of the FinTech industry
- The corporate financial challenges are considered
- Served as a business collaboration platform for more than 2000+ Startups, Scale-ups, and SMEs
- Inaugurated FinTech Abu Dhabi Awards, a set standard to excel the field of FinTech
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
The Dubai International Financial Centre is the backbone of the financial industries prevailing in the region of the UAE. DIFC was incorporated in the year 2002, is a special economic zone that stands as one of the fastest-growing financial centres in the region of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asian Markets (MEASA). The centre has got its own judicial system, a business framework that allows the business professionals to conduct the business operations at ease. The DIFC is one of the independent free zones that offer many flexibilities to its esteemed clients.
Business Structures in the DIFC
Dubai International Financial Centre allows the following business entities to come forward and incorporate their business:
- A company limited by shares
- Limited Liability Company
- Recognized Company
- Protected Cell Company
- Open-ended Investment Company
- General Partnership Company
- Limited Liability Partnership
- Limited Partnership
- Investment Trusts
Apart from the finance business, the DIFC offers numerous opportunities for business investors dealing in different business domain to come forward and invest in the region. Some of the facilities available in the DIFC includes:
- Ultra-modern space options
- Retail outlets
- Cafes & Restaurants
- Art Galleries
- Residential Apartments
- Hotels etc.
FinTech in DIFC
The digitalization of financial services has been proceeding ahead with an unprecedented pace. Understanding the growth opportunities, the DIFC has come forward with FinTech Hive that accelerates the processes from financial institutions and insurance partners, paving out an opportunity for the investors to come forward and invest in the respective domain. The DIFC provides numerous facilities to the business investors to come forward and set up their business.
How to Start a Company in the DIFC?
To start a company in the Free Zone of DIFC, one has to go through the following process:
- Duly fill the application form
- Proceed towards the initial approval
- Keep your documents handy
- Make sure to keep ready the minimum share capital
- Proceed ahead by opening a bank account
Documents Required to Start a Company in DIFC
The list of documents that need to be submitted while opening a company in DIFC includes:
- Anti-money laundering procedures and controls
- History of the financial position
- Company’s internal audit functions and compliance system
- A well-structured business plan
- Information on the operating system and controls
- Details of the shareholders (identity and address proof)
- Propriety certificate confirming the institution’s fitness to conduct business
- Proposed institution’s organizational structure
- Audited accounts of the shareholders for the past three years
Benefits of Starting a Company in the UAE
Global investors prefer to select UAE as the ultimate investment-destination because of the following benefits:
One of the major concerns of the business investors and owners are corporate and income tax payment. Well, the ground of UAE provides the flexibility to the business investors to come forward and enjoy the tax-free benefits. There stands complete exemption of personal tax; however, the UAE Government has implemented the VAT proceedings from 1st Jan, fixed at the rate of 5 per cent.
2. Complete Repatriation
The next benefit that the business investors enjoy is that they don’t need to pay any fee while liquidating their business at any point. The total capital invested and profits earned can be repatriated, and that holds an additional benefit to the business owner investors.
3. Various Location Option
When it comes to a business location, the investors have got multiple options to choose the best place for their business entity. Options like Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore are available; however, one must have proper knowledge before choosing the best business location.
4. Easy Incorporation Process
For years, the business incorporation process has turned-down to be an easy one. The Government has streamlined the business incorporation process to make it much easier for global investors to come forward and invest in. The ease of business incorporation has grabbed the attention of international investors, thus provoking them to go forward and invest.
5. Easy Availability of Business License
In the ground of any, it serves as a mandate to grab a business license to operate the business activities. Now, there are multiple licenses that the region offers to different business investors dealing in various business industries. To know more about the UAE business licenses, click here.
6. Upcoming Expo 2020
One of the most awaited events, Expo 2020, is on the edge of getting inaugurated. The event, which will be held over six months, is looked forward as a business-collaboration platform. The event is expected to grab a count of 25 million visitors and is projected to contribute a count of Dh 122.6 billion AED into the nation’s economy.
These are the benefits that will benefit an investor to a great extent, paving out multiple opportunities for them to earn more returns on the investments made. However, to settle the incorporation process at ease, the business investors prefer to proceed ahead with business experts who hold complete knowledge of the legal proceedings of business incorporation.
How Can Commitbiz Help?
Commitbiz Management Consultants help you with strategic business inputs, handles all the legal documentation and give complete business advisory solutions to ensure hassle-free business incorporation.
Our professional experts are well-versed with the incorporation procedures and maintain a vision to accelerate your FinTech business in the UAE.
Commitbiz was established in 2007 with a vision to provide world-class management advisory services to enterprises in the private, government, non-government and academic sectors. Over the years, we have developed comprehensive capabilities in several functions and speciality segments. We have emerged as the chosen partner in several innovative and path-breaking initiatives undertaken by various businessmen across the world. With over 50 team members and 2,000+ clients, we are now one of the top business consulting firms in the UAE.
How Can We Benefit You?
Standing as one of the top business consultants in the UAE, we assist you in the following processes:
- Strategize to accelerate your business growth
- Streamline your business growth
- Comply with the legal rules and regulations
- Provide tailored business solutions
- Helps you establish the business pillars with post-incorporation solutions like accounting, taxation etc.
If you are planning to step ahead and set up your business in the UAE, do contact us-we’d be glad to assist.