Dubai ‘Virtual Licence’ for investors in 101 countries

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 1 October 2019: The launch of the region’s first ‘Virtual Company Licence’, was announced by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

Aligned with the third Article of the 50-Year Charter, which aims to build a ‘Virtual Commercial City’ in Dubai, the Virtual Company Licence will allow investors worldwide to do business in Dubai digitally without requiring residence.

Sheikh Maktoum said that Dubai is making major strides in enhancing business regulatory frameworks and emerging as one of the world’s best business environments. Dubai’s leadership has taken a number of innovative decisions and initiatives to further cement Dubai’s position as one of the world’s major business hubs.

The Virtual Company Licence, a joint initiative of Dubai Economy, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA), Smart Dubai, and the Supreme Legislation Committee, focuses on three main sectors:

  • Creative industries
  • Technology and
  • Services

The Virtual Company Licence will enable freelancers and business people worldwide to have access to a regulated e-commerce platform and easily work with Dubai-based companies while also exploring new markets and investment opportunities digitally.

Dubai Economy will start receiving applications for the Virtual Company Licence from businessmen and investors in 101 countries through the website or through the offices of VFS Global across 11 locations worldwide. VFS Global, headquartered in Dubai, is the world’s largest technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. The initiative is expected to attract more than 100,000 companies and offer new opportunities for innovators and local companies, accelerating economic activity and the knowledge economy in Dubai.

Virtual City

The virtual city is designed in full compliance with international agreements that Dubai and the UAE are party to. The programme allows only verified non-resident individuals to register a company, and the owners of such companies have to be the nationals or tax residents of countries that have implemented the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and share tax information about their citizens and residents. Virtual Company Licence owners can manage all their business-related activities, including document signing and submission digitally, and the signatures are legally binding in the UAE.

Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy said: “We are proud to launch the first Virtual Commercial City in the region that will provide virtual licences for doing business digitally and without requiring residence in Dubai, in partnership with the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs. The initiative underlines the role of Dubai Economy in shaping the future of business…It also marks a quantum leap in the concept of doing business and will be a major attraction for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Al Qamzi further said: “The Virtual Company Licence is a testament to our commitment to eliminating barriers for the private sector, which is a strategic partner in sustainable development. The public and private sectors are integral to Dubai’s diversified economy and the Virtual Commercial City will further strengthen public-private partnerships in enhancing Dubai’s profile as a global business and investment destination.”