International
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In more than 90 countries

United Arab Emirates

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Mike CAMUS
Head of International Desk Middle East, Turkey

Support by the
Crédit Agricole group

Last updated: August 2021

The International Desk in Africa, Maghreb and the Middle East provides support to the Group's clients in the United Arab Emirates for the implementation of their operations locally (account opening, company creation, local financing, international guarantees issuing etc.)

It is supported by Crédit Agricole CIB's branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and in First Abu Dhabi Bank, a leading partner bank.

For non-banking services, such as searching for partners or prospecting expeditions, the International Desk offers the support of its partners who are leaders in the internationalisation of companies (ALTIOS, French Business Council), as well as local service firms.

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Means of payment

With the United Arab Emirates

Company cheque

Bank cheque

SWIFT transfer

Bill of exchange

Promissory note

Documentary remittance

Documentary credit

Usage

Weak / None

Weak / None

Common

Common

Weak / None

Weak / None

Common

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Advice from the
international desk

General Information

The United Arab Emirates diversified its economy well before the global oil market crisis. They have encouraged the emergence of new activities such as tourism, financial services, renewable energies, high-tech industries, etc. There’s a rich business ecosystem and the country is still very attractive.

There are no exchange controls and no restrictions on the transfer of funds

A foreign company can establish itself in the UAE by setting up a branch or subsidiary.

A branch of a foreign company must have a sponsor (called a domestic agent), and the sponsor must be a United Arab Emirates national or a company 100% owned by United Arab Emirates nationals. A United Arab Emirates company must be at least 51% owned by United Arab Emirates nationals. Sponsors of the branch have no ownership rights in the branch. The capital held by a foreigner may not exceed 49% not including the free zone.

The United Arab Emirates has more than 40 free zones, including Jebel Ali Free Zone, DMCC, Dubai Airport Free Zone, South Dubai, DIFC, etc.

In general, free zones focus on different areas of activity, including maritime transport, goods, media, financial services and telecommunications, and they have their own regulator. Operations within a free zone may be 100% foreign-owned, and no United Arab Emirates national agent or United Arab Emirates partner or shareholder is required.

The branch or subsidiary must first obtain a licence from the federal and/or municipal authorities to carry out its proposed activities.

It is necessary to rely on a local firm to create a company (advice, administrative procedures...) in particular because of the different possible statute options.

On 15 September 2020, a historic normalisation agreement was signed with Israel after years of boycott and restrictions.

 

Means of Payment & Banking Specificities

US dollars are the most widely used currency for transactions due to its fixed parity against the dirham (AED). Euros can also be used.

The type of relationship you have with your client client is essential to determine the most optimal payment method. Nevertheless, we recommend that you use the confirmed documentary credit, as the risk of late payment is not zero.

It is possible to request advance payments: between 10% and 30% of the total amount of the order, in exchange for a guarantee of a refund of the advance payment to the customer.

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