The United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprises seven members: Abu Dhabi (the capital City), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaima and Fujeirha. The total area of the country is approximately 83,600 square kilometers located on the Eastern coast of the Arabian peninsula in the South West corner of the Arabian Gulf.
Dubai is the second largest Emirate and is situated on the banks of the Dubai Creek, a natural inlet from the Gulf which divides the city into the Deira district to its North and Bur Dubai on its South. The city ranks as the UAE’s most important port and commercial center.
The Supreme Council of the UAE, comprising the rulers of the seven Emirates is the highest federal authority. It is responsible for general policy matters involving communications, education, defense, foreign affairs and development and for ratifying federal laws. The UAE became a member of the United Nations and the Arab league in 1971. It is a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), World Trade Organization and other international and Arab organizations.
The official language is Arabic, although English, Urdu and Hindi are widely spoken and understood. Arabic and English are the official business languages.
The non-oil sector of the economy currently contributes some 80% of the total produced domestic products of Dubai and is continuing to expand in importance. This long trading tradition earned Dubai the reputation within the Middle East as the ‘City of Merchants’ remains an important consideration for foreign companies looking at opportunities in the region today.
The UAE has concluded advantageous tax treaties with China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands (air transport), Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Sri Lanka (air transport), Switzerland (air transport), UK (transport). It should be noted that the UAE is not on the OECD, UN or EU blacklists so this jurisdiction may be extremely useful for tax planning purposes.