Dubai: one of the world’s best known tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions

Published: February 23, 2017 at 12:52am

Although the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) describes itself as “an onshore financial centre,” Dubai is unquestionably one of the world’s best known tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, built on an increasingly complex array of offshore facilities: free trade zones; a low-tax environment; multiple secrecy facilities and lax enforcement.

In addition, Dubai has a strong culture of an ask-no-questions, see-no-evil approach to commercial or financial regulation or foreign financial crimes. It has consequently attracted large financial flows and some of the world’s most high profile criminals. A significant slice of the inbound money comes in the form of cash or gold.

Dubai and the DIFC offer several facilities that are ‘classic’ tax haven offerings. On the corporate side, servicing
more than 5,000 multinational companies, Dubai offers:

• Zero percent tax rate on corporate income and profits, guaranteed for 50 years.

• A wide network of double tax treaties, available to UAE incorporated entities (66 treaties as of October 2012.) This makes Dubai a classic corporate ‘conduit’ haven, among other things.

• 100 percent foreign ownership of Dubai registered corporations is possible; there are no exchange controls; free capital convertibility; and a variety of legal vehicles can be established with “capital structuring flexibility”

– From Tax Justice Network’s Narrative Report on Dubai

Read the full report here: