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German Legal Expertise in the Middle East since 1981

Virtuzone – UAE’s latest Free Zone

Guiding Principle

Virtuzone is the very latest Free Zone in the UAE and at the same time Fujairah’s newest free zone concept. The new free zone focuses on companies in knowledge-based industries such as media, marketing, advertising and consulting. It is designed to assist small companies and individuals to open their new business in the UAE within 10 days with minimal fees and absolute transparency.

A. Vision

Virtuzone was founded under the Emiri Decree No. 4 of 2007 of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, ruler of Fujairah. The Virtuzone main office however is located in Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai Marina and is offering very attractive packages and opportunities especially for small businesses or those companies entering the UAE for the first time. As part of Fujairah Creative City, Virtuzone is designed especially for foreign owned companies, individuals, small businesses and corporations to establish their business simply, within a short time, cost efficient and in a transparent form. The application for registering a company is online-based, while the authority will issue the trade license within 10 days after receiving the application. Companies and/or individuals will enjoy

  • 100% Foreign company ownership;
  • 100% Corporate tax exemption for 50 years;
  • 100% Personal income tax exemption;
  • Virtuzone value-added services;
  • No paid up capital;
  • No business plan.

Virtuzone is offering currently business activities and categories such as Publishing; Film/Production/Post-Production; New Media and Media Support Services; Music and Entertainment; Broadcasting Management; Design; Information Agency; Music and Entertainment; Consultancy; Media and Marketing Services; Information Technology.

B. The 4 Pillars of Virtuzone

The concept of Virtuzone consists of 4 pillars, why individuals, small companies etc. shall choose the Virtuzone for establishing their business.

1.  No Office, No Rent

The Virtuzone model is allowing international entrepreneurs to operate their business from home or office anywhere in the UAE. This makes Virtuzone unique by eliminating the need to have a physical office. Of course should anyone wishes to have an office, Virtuzone will sell or rent an office accordingly.

2.  Quick and Easy

The application for registration of a company in Virtuzone is online-based. All documents have to be submitted online. There is no need for the preparation of a business plan and submission of bank statements. Within a timeframe of ca. 10 days after having submitted the application, Virtuzone will complete the registration procedure and will issue the trade license. After having received the trade license up to 5 residence/employment visa can be obtained. The process of obtaining a residence/employment visa is through an electronic application system and will take only approximately 15 days. That means the entire procedure of setting up a business in Virtuzone is much faster than in other free zones.

3.  Business Efficiency

Another advantage especially for small businesses and individuals is that no share capital is required for the establishment of a company. Meaning, that the share capital does not need to be proven to be deposited into a UAE-bank account. A further aspect which makes the set-up of a company in Virtuzone favourable and cost efficient is that there are no charges for office lease since the necessity of renting an office is not given and business can be operated through business centres or from home.

Virtuzone is offering different packages for the set-up of a company, e.g. classic, corporate, branch and offshore packages, including the registration, company bank account, PRO services.

4.  Automated Processes, Human Services

As the name already suggests it is a truly virtual free zone, which can be reached and accessed at all time though the Virtual Office Dashboard from anywhere in the world.

April, 2011 Hanka Jahn
  Meyer-Reumann & Partners – Dubai Office

New Rules and Changes on the UAE-Labour Market

New Rules and Changes on the UAE-Labour Market

Guiding Principles

Starting from January 1st, 2011 several changes took place by the Ministry of Labour issuing new rules for labour and resident permits and the opportunity to switch employers more easily. The following Article will show the recent amendments to the UAE-Labour Law which became effect with the new year 2011.

I. Validity of Residence and Work Permit decreased to two years
A cabinet decision at the end of 2010 reduced the validity of the residence visa and therewith the validity of the work permits for all employees in the private sector from formerly three years to two years. This new rule was implemented in January 2011.

This new decision is in effect starting from January 1st, 2011 and applies only for visa which will be applied from January 2011 onwards. Visa’s already issued before January 2011 (including family visa and husband/wife sponsored visa) are still valid for three years. Only when it comes to the renewal of the residence and work permit, the renewed visa will have a validity of only 2 years.

II. Non-Objection Certificate requirement removed
As part of the ongoing reforms in the labour market, the Ministry of Labour introduce starting from January 1st, 2011 a new regulation that foreign workers whishing to change their jobs do not require a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) and approval anymore from their former employer. With Ministerial Decision No. 1186 of 2010 employee will have the right to change jobs without facing a six-month ban and without the need of a Non-Objection Certificate in the following cases:

  • The employment contract ends or is terminated mutually and the employee worked for at least 2 years;
  • The Employer fails to comply with his legal or contractual obligations;
  • Expiry of a work relationship where the termination is due to economic or legal issue.

In case one of the above mentioned cases applies, a new work permit will be granted without considering and facing the six-month ban.

An exception to this new rule are employees employed under a limited employment contract where the agreed contract period is more than 2 years. Where an employment contract is entered on a fixed term, it cannot be terminated or breached by the employee on the grounds that they have completed two years of service. If those employees are called to cancel their labour permit they will be subject to a one-year ban according to the terms of the contract. In case the employment contract is entered for an unlimited period and the employee completed two years with the same employer, these employees will be free to change their jobs without objection.

January, 2011 Hanka Jahn
Meyer-Reumann & Partners – Dubai Office
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