Dubai, one seven of the Arab Emirates, is located in the Persian Gulf along its southern coastline, on the Arabian Peninsula. It has the highest population of all the cities of the United Arab Emirates. Although it was founded in 1830, the Arabic country of Dubai looks to be just now, finding its way onto people of the western world's radar of offshore banking and international investing.
With wars currently being cooked in the Middle East, people in other parts of the world may be leery of investing their money in an Arabic country. While Dubai does follow Islamic law, the laws of commerce are in line with those found in most other safe tax havens, and in no way should this keep individuals from taking advantage of the many tax free investment opportunities available there. These features make it an ideal offshore banking location.
Dubai has many expatriates among its 1.3 million people, with languages including English, Urdu, Tagalog, Malayalam and Russian are spoken there. Of course Arabic is the official language. English is one of many languages used at Dubai banks and other financial institutions, and there should never be a problem communicating during business hours.
Abu Dhabi economic vision, which has been formulated by the Emirate's leadership has led to investments in tourism, industries that are knowledge based, real estate, as well as the energy sector investments it is known for. By a strategic use of its oil revenues and investments from outside the country, Dubai has developed a diverse and competitive economy that has helped its citizens find employment opportunities and prosperity. Proof of this can be found in the GDP per capita of $ 40,400 (2008 est.).
While offshore banking is simply defined as "banking in a location or country different from the one you reside in," the reasons and needs of an individual or corporate investor can be many and varied. Dubai is becoming one of the worlds leading financial sectors when it comes to offshore investing and banking. Major banks have made sure that they maintain a presence in Dubai like HSBC Offshore, Abbey National, and ABN Amro. All banking activity is regulated from a central institution called the UAE Central Bank. While many restrictions are placed on banks by this institution, ideally the DIFC free trade zone will free up many of these restrictions and attract even more big name financial organizations. Dubai offers exactly the type of financial environment an investor looking to minimize their tax burden should look for. It has no corporate taxes, income taxes, taxes on capital gains, property and wealth, and offers easy access to additional financing.
Keep an eye on this country as the free trade zones continue to open up, and more financial liberties are being granted which will promote healthy competition in the offshore banking and investing sectors.