After quickly overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and becoming one of the most open countries in the post-pandemic era, the UAE has proven a high level of security and financial stability that has attracted high net worth individuals and very wealthy to secure their assets.

Besides being the second largest economy in the Gulf, the UAE has the advantage of having a favorable tax environment where some jurisdictions allow companies to pay 0% income tax for the first 50 years. With the current recovery in the tourism industry and the booming real estate market surpassing pre-pandemic economic milestones, the UAE has emerged as a desirable jurisdiction to invest.

Best jurisdictions to structure and finance investments in the UAE

To structure an investment fund in the UAE, one must choose a jurisdiction to secure their assets. Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) and Dubai International Financial Center (“DIFC”) are two financial free zones in which investment zones are incorporated.

Due to its international standards and frameworks based on English common law, ADGM has grown in popularity over the years for investment fund matters. This jurisdiction is regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi (“FRSA”).

The DIFC, on the other hand, has been gaining momentum over the past few years for those looking for an attractive jurisdiction to establish investment funds in the GCC region. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”) is responsible for regulating this jurisdiction.

Selecting the optimal jurisdiction for each case requires comprehensive experience in the investment fund industry, knowledge of fund lifecycles, and technical know-how on structuring an optimal investment fund. in both jurisdictions. Investors should also consider permitted structures, reporting requirements, eligible investors and custodians, minimum subscription and offering, financial authority fees and the timing of application, incorporation and launch.

Legal advice on the structuring of investment funds in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Legal advisers such as lecocqassociate can offer valuable advice on how to structure an investment fund in the UAE. They can provide advice regarding fund jurisdiction, fund formation, drafting of prospectus and other documents required to structure an Abu Dhabi (especially ADGM), Mainland or Dubai Investment Fund (in the DIFC).

Lecocqassociate is present at the ADMG as a Legal Advisor and at the DIFC as a Structuring Consulting Firm. In addition to advising on favorable fund jurisdictions, formation and structure, they coordinate with relevant financial services regulators, provide funds to general partners, advise on marketing, exit strategies and redomiciliation of funds, as well as feature professional asset managers.

Lecocqassociate can offer extensive financial regulatory advice in the UAE and abroad. The company has worked with notable crypto companies and structured and incorporated the first crypto token investment fund in the UAE.

The team is made up of culturally and linguistically diverse professionals with a proven track record in the legal landscape. They possess the integrity, emotional intelligence and creativity to build tailor-made solutions for each case.

Hooriya Qazal Rajput runs the business in the United Arab Emirates. She has over 12 years of experience in successfully structuring private banks and investment funds for family offices and ultra high net worth individuals in the United Arab Emirates. She specializes in advising on the structuring and set-up of regulated entities, including investment fund structures. Hooriya Qazal Rajput is a graduate of the University of London and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Mutual Fund Management from FitzWilliam Group, London.