To start an industrial project in the UAE or to effect any changes to
an on-going project, the owner or proprietor must obtain a license
from the Ministery of Finance and Industry.
All industrial projects are governed by Act Number 1 of 1979 and
subsequent Ministerial orders. In principle, a license for an
industrial project is granted to a UAE national. However, licenses may
be granted to applicants of other nationalities under circumstances to
be considered by the Minister of Finance and Industry, provided that
the chairman of the project and his deputy are UAE nationals and that
the company implementing the project is incorporated pursuant to the
laws applicable in the UAE, ie, the Commercial Companies Act. If the
applicant is a natural person who is a party to a project with a
company incorporated as above mentioned, the Minister may determine
the size or proportion of investment to be contributed by such person,
provided his contribution is not less than 51 per cent.
An application to establish an industrial unit or project must be made
to the Ministry of Finance and Industry, addressed to the Advisory
Industrial Committee, in the form designated by the Ministry. Such an
application must include:
Name of the applicant and the trade name of the project;
Legal form of the project, whether it is a limited liability company
or otherwise, capital, and distribution of shares;
Total cost of the project, necessary equipment, and number of
Annual production when the project comes into full operation;
Expected income per month;
Markets where the products are expected to be sold; and
Privileges and exemptions required to be granted.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents:
Approval of the local authority, ie, the Department of Economic
Development in the respective Emirate;
Map of the site allocated to the project;
Memorandum and articles of association of the company, if the
applicant is a company incorporated in the UAE, and a copy of its
trade license or a copy of passport of the proprietor, if the
applicant is an individual; and
Letter from a bank operating in the UAE, evidencing the financial
ability of the projects owner.
The applicant must begin establishing the project within six months
from the date of approval by the Ministry; otherwise, it will be
canceled unless there are justified reasons for the delay.
Certain privileges and exemptions may be granted to an industrial
Allocation of building site for the project either free or on lease
Rental of necessary industrial buildings for the project in the
industrial areas established by the government;
Supply of electricity and water with normal charges;
Exemption from custom import duties on import of machinery,
equipment, spare parts, and raw materials necessary for running the
Exemption of locally made products from export duties and taxes; and
Exemption from tax on profit, capital, and income.
National products have priority in government purchases if they are
competitive with similar foreign products in quality and price.