Foreign companies have many options for establishing offices in Dubai. For a branch or subsidiary office located in the mainland, licensure must be sought from the Dubai Department of Economic Development. Regulatory pre-approvals from local governmental authorities may be necessary depending on the business activity.
Foreign companies seeking 100% ownership of their offices may consider setting up a branch or subsidiary in one of Dubai’s numerous free zones. It must be noted that, in order to engage in trade activities outside of the free zone, i.e. mainland Dubai, the company must execute an agreement with a local service agent. As previously mentioned, regulatory pre-approvals from local governmental authorities may be necessary depending on the business activity.