Offshore Companies

Offshore Companies

In 2003, the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) issued regulations governing offshore companies. In 2006, Ras al-Khaimah followed and issued its own offshore legislation (formerly RAK/RAKIA, now RAKICC).

Companies incorporated under these offshore legislations are not allowed to have any business activities within the UAE. However, they may have bank accounts in the UAE and they are also allowed to own property within the UAE (restrictions apply).

The offshore regulations are in line with the latest international practices along the lines of other typical offshore locations. These companies are flexible international instruments that can serve many objectives like

  • Trading operations
  • Consultancy services
  • Asset protection
  • Tax planning
  • Holding and investments, etc.

The main differences between JAFZA and RAKICC Offshore Companies are the fees and the requirements for directors, managers and secretaries. The Ras al-Khaimah requirements are usually lighter, Jebel Ali offshore companies have some restrictions.

Every offshore company must, through a registered agent, maintain a registered office which can be anywhere in the UAE, i.e. outside the offshore zone.

Offshore companies cannot use Double Tax Treaties.