Starting an Investment Company in Dubai, UAE: Complete Guide 2023


Dubai, UAE, stands tall as a beacon of prosperity, innovation, and opportunity in the Middle East. With its dynamic business environment, strategic location, and investor-friendly policies, it has become a magnet for entrepreneurs and investors from around the globe. In recent years, Dubai has been actively bolstering its position as a fintech hub, attracting both local and international players seeking to revolutionize the financial industry. As the emirate continues to embrace technological advancements and strengthen its financial ecosystem, there has never been a more opportune time for starting an investment company in Dubai, UAE.

Keeping up with the latest trends and developments, Dubai has been making significant strides in establishing itself as a thriving fintech hub. According to a recent article published on Gulf Business, Dubai is actively bolstering its fintech hub status by fostering collaboration, encouraging innovation, and providing a supportive ecosystem for fintech startups. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has been at the forefront of this transformation, attracting fintech firms and venture capital investments that are reshaping the financial landscape of the city.

Additionally, Dubai’s ambition to become a global tech and innovation hub is further exemplified by the news of a pan-European tech investment firm setting up shop in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). As reported by International Investment, this move reinforces the UAE’s commitment to diversify its economy and attract top-tier tech companies, providing further impetus for entrepreneurs and investors looking to tap into the region’s tech-driven future.

The rise of fintech and the influx of tech-focused investments highlight the immense potential and favorable business climate that Dubai, UAE, offers for starting an investment company. As a testament to this, the emirate provides two premier free zones – the DIFC and ADGM – specifically designed to cater to financial and investment businesses.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the steps to start an investment company in Dubai, along with the benefits of operating in the DIFC and ADGM. Additionally, we will discuss the required documents, approximate costs, and highlight how Adam Global can assist you in the setup process.

Requirements to get the investment company license in UAE

To get an investment and finance business license in the UAE, you will need to meet the following requirements:u003cbru003e1. Have a minimum share capital of AED 1 million.u003cbru003e2. Appoint a UAE national as a director.u003cbru003e3. Obtain a trade license from the relevant authority.u003cbru003e4. Comply with all applicable laws and regulations.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe process of obtaining an investment and finance business license in the UAE can be complex. It is important to seek u003ca href=u0022 adviceu003c/au003e to ensure that you meet all the requirements and avoid any delays.


How to get an investment and finance business license in the UAE

Here are the steps on u003cstrongu003ehow to get an investment and finance business license in the UAE:u003c/strongu003e

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The UAE has a number of free zones and mainland emirates that offer investment and finance licenses. Each jurisdiction has its own set of rules and regulations, so it is important to choose the one that is right for your business.

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Once you have chosen a jurisdiction, you will need to register your company with the relevant authorities. This process typically involves submitting an application form, providing proof of identity and residency, and paying a registration fee.

u003cstrongu003eObtain a license.u003c/strongu003e

Once your company is registered, you will need to obtain a license from the relevant authority. The licensing process varies depending on the jurisdiction, but typically involves submitting an application form, providing proof of financial solvency, and meeting certain other requirements.

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Once you have obtained a license, you will need to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. This includes things like paying taxes, filing annual reports, and keeping accurate records.

Here are some additional tips for getting an investment and finance business license in the UAE:

  1. Hire a consultant who specializes in investment and finance law. This will help you to navigate the complex legal requirements and avoid any costly mistakes.
  2. Do your research. Make sure you understand the different types of licenses available and the requirements for each one.
  3. Be prepared to invest time and money. Getting an investment and finance business license in the UAE can be a costly process, so make sure you are prepared to invest the necessary time and resources.

Obtaining an investment and finance business license in the UAE can be a complex process,

but it is essential for businesses that want to operate in this market. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your business is compliant and ready to start operating.

Choosing the Right Free Zone: DIFC and ADGM

To establish an investment company in Dubai, selecting the appropriate free zone is crucial. The DIFC and ADGM are two premier free zones that offer numerous advantages and cater specifically to financial and investment businesses.

1. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC):

The DIFC is a globally recognized financial hub, known for its advanced infrastructure, supportive regulatory framework, and strong legal system. It provides a wide range of financial services, including asset management, private equity, wealth management, and more. The DIFC offers a business-friendly environment, attracting top-tier financial institutions and professionals from around the world.

2. Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Located in the capital city of the UAE, the ADGM is another prominent free zone offering a favorable ecosystem for investment companies. It specializes in various financial activities, such as fund management, asset servicing, financial advisory, and fintech. The ADGM is renowned for its innovative approach, regulatory transparency, and access to a vast network of global investors.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a popular destination for investment and finance businesses. The country offers a number of advantages, including a stable economy, a skilled workforce, and a strategic location.

Activities Covered in DIFC and ADGM:

Both the DIFC and ADGM provide an extensive list of permitted activities for investment companies. These activities may include:

  • Asset management
  • Wealth management
  • Investment advisory
  • Fund management
  • Private equity
  • Venture capital
  • Securities trading
  • Financial consultancy
  • Islamic finance services
  • Fintech innovation and more

Benefits of Operating in DIFC and ADGM:

By establishing your investment company in the DIFC or ADGM, you can leverage numerous advantages, including:

a. 100% Foreign Ownership: In both free zones, foreign investors can retain full ownership of their companies, without the need for a local sponsor.

b. Tax Exemptions: Investment companies in the DIFC and ADGM enjoy zero corporate and personal income taxes for a specified period, enhancing profitability and growth potential.

c. Regulatory Framework: Both free zones have robust regulatory frameworks that provide investor protection, transparency, and compliance with international standards.

d. Infrastructure and Networking Opportunities: DIFC and ADGM offer state-of-the-art infrastructure, world-class facilities, and a vast network of global professionals, fostering collaboration and business growth.

Documents Needed to Setup an Investment Company in DIFC and ADGM

What documents you require to start an investment company in DIFC or ADGM?

Application formu003cbru003eBusiness planu003cbru003eMemorandum and Articles of Associationu003cbru003eProof of financial standingu003cbru003ePassport copies of shareholders and directorsu003cbru003eBoard resolutionu003cbru003eProof of address for shareholders and directorsu003cbru003eCompliance documentsu003cbru003eAnd other relevant documents as per the regulatory requirements

Approximate Cost of Investment Company Establishment in UAE:

The cost of setting up an investment company in Dubai can vary depending on several factors, including the free zone, office space, visa requirements, and additional services. Generally, the approximate cost of business setup in the DIFC and ADGM ranges from AED 50,000 to AED 100,000 (approximately $13,600 to $27,200), including license fees, registration fees, visa fees, office rent, and other associated expenses. It is advisable to consult with business setup experts to get a precise cost estimate tailored to your specific requirements.

Why UAE is a Favorable Place for Investment Company Business Setup:

Dubai, UAE, is widely recognized as an attractive destination for investment company business setup due to several compelling reasons:

a. Strategic Location: Situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai offers easy access to a vast consumer market and serves as a gateway to emerging economies.

b. Stable Economy: The UAE boasts a stable and diversified economy with a strong focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable growth.

c. Pro-Business Environment: The UAE government is committed to creating a pro-business environment, with investor-friendly policies, minimal bureaucracy, and supportive regulatory frameworks.

d. Infrastructure and Connectivity: Dubai offers world-class infrastructure, modern transportation systems, state-of-the-art communication networks, and a well-developed logistics network.

e. Global Talent Pool: The UAE attracts highly skilled professionals from around the world, providing access to a diverse and talented workforce.

f. Economic Free Zones: The presence of free zones, such as the DIFC and ADGM, provides specialized environments, incentives, and streamlined processes for investment companies.

How Adam Global Can Assist in Investment Company Setup:

Adam Global is a leading business advisory firm that specializes in assisting entrepreneurs and investors in setting up their businesses in Dubai, UAE, and beyond. With their extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the local market, Adam Global can provide comprehensive support in the investment company setup process. Their services include company registration, licensing, visa processing, legal and compliance support, office space solutions, and ongoing business advisory services. By partnering with Adam Global, you can benefit from their expertise and ensure a smooth and efficient setup of your investment company in Dubai.


Starting an investment company in Dubai, UAE, offers immense opportunities for growth and success. The strategic location, investor-friendly policies, world-class infrastructure, and specialized free zones like the DIFC and ADGM make Dubai an ideal destination for investment businesses. By carefully considering the suitable free zone, understanding the permitted activities, preparing the necessary documents, and seeking expert guidance from firms like Adam Global, you can embark on a successful journey in establishing your investment company in Dubai. Embrace the dynamic business landscape and tap into the immense potential that Dubai offers to investors and entrepreneurs worldwide.


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