Favourable Regulatory Environment
Sharjah is a particularly attractive investment destination and has what is considered the most secure and business-friendly environment within the region.
Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) recognises Sharjah’s sector diversity and offers a wide range of investment and business opportunities. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) are also open to exploring new types of ventures and breaking into new and emerging sectors that align with the emirate’s strategic direction and values.
Investors have the option of setting up either an on-shore company through the Economic Development Department or a Free Zone company with the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority or the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority. Additionally, the Government of Sharjah is working diligently to ensure that the emirate provides a proper regulatory and legal environment conducive to business success. Some of the advantages of doing business in Sharjah include:
- 100% freehold ownership for foreigners
- 100% repatriation of capital & profits
- Exemption of import & export duties
- 100% tax exemption environment
- 100% exemption from all commercial levies
- Economical workforce without any employment restrictions
- Competitive property & warehouse leases
- No income tax
- 5% customs duties
- 5% municipal tax
- Lower minimum capital requirement compared to other emirates (150,000 AED)
- No income tax
Flourishing Economy & Talented Workforce
Sharjah has a highly diversified economy and is growing fast in comparison to other emirates in the U.A.E. This has enabled the emirate to weather a challenging global economic climate and post a strong CAGR of 13.3% in GDP (2002-2009). GDP per capita also increased in recent years by 50% (2005-2009).
The emirate’s economic resilience is further fuelled by more than 45,000 strong small- and medium-sized businesses that benefit from the competitiveness of Sharjah’s supply chain. Entrepreneurs and family businesses in manufacturing, real estate, business services and trading play an integral role in the flow of commerce domestically and regionally.
Strong CAGR in GDP (2002-2009)
GDP per capita increase (2005-2009)
Sharjah constitutes almost 20% of the U.A.E.’s population and has experienced exponential growth between 1975 and 2010, increasing from 75,000 residents to nearly 830,000. Because a large part of the population is between the ages 25 and 34, the country will have many able-bodied people support the future demand for goods and services in the emirate and companies will be able to choose employees from a healthy pool of talent.
Supported by a collection of outstanding higher learning institutions, Sharjah produces some of the brightest and most talented graduates in the region. The American University of Sharjah (AUS) alone has an enrolment rate of more than 5,600 undergraduates from 90 countries, pursuing academic disciplines ranging from business administration, architecture and engineering to fine arts. The talent pool, combined with the cheaper cost of living and labour relative to neighbouring emirates, allows for a tremendous advantage.