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As part of RAKEZ’s commitment to offer a cost effective and world class economic zone, RAKEZ has introduced a Business Secure package that would help support individuals in the UAE to start afresh, embark on their entrepreneurial journey and turn the current challenges into an opportunity.

The Business Secure Package Includes:

  • 1-year license and establishment card
  • 3-year UAE visa and status change
  • Medical and Emirates ID

Plus, additional Incentives such as:

  • 25% discount on full dependent visa packages
  • 50% down payment, 50% after 6 months
  • Same renewal rate guaranteed rate for life

You can now start up your own business for as little as AED 11,535/-*.

Other business / office spring packages have been rolled out by RAKEZ as well for SME’s, entrepreneurs and startups keen to explore the market. These packages provide a choice for a shared workstation, serviced office, private office or customizable office situated in RAKEZ’s premier business zone without putting a high cost.

To know more about RAKEZ offers, please feel free to contact us at mail@affiniax.com.

*Terms and Conditions Apply!

Dubai International Financial Centre Introduces New Licensing Categories

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the leading financial capital in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.As one of Dubai’s independent free-zones, with its own legal and regulatory framework and judicial system, global financial exchange, tax-friendly regime, and a large business community, DIFC is persistent in supporting its businesses to grow by introducing new licensing categories under its operating Laws and Regulations.The newly introduced categories come with reduced license fees and allow more firms to start conducting business in the DIFC.
  1. Short Term License: Under this category, it is now possible for retail businesses and other non-financial companies to operate from DIFC at a competitive cost, depending on the duration of license required.
  2. Restricted License: This license is applicable to firms interested in developing or testing out new, innovative products and services in the DIFC. These initiatives are encouraged by DIFC as this would allow incubators and startups to flourish within the DIFC environment.
  3. Commercial Permissions License: This license would allow both DIFC and non-DIFC entities such as event companies, promotion companies, retail outlets, seminars and educational services to conduct their business activities within the DIFC for a competitive fee.
  4. Dual Licensing: This license will allow the firms which are under the license of Department of Economic Development (DED) such as law firms, audit consultancy firms, family businesses, holding companies and corporate service providers to operate in the DIFC with an affiliate
To know more, please contact our Corporate Services team at mail@affiniax.com.


5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business in Dubai

If you’re planning to start a business in Dubai, there are five crucial things you need to consider before setting up.

1. Forming the business model

It is imperative to understand the model of your business before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. Often companies have been formed where the owner has a great idea but forgets that an elegant solution doesn’t automatically translate into a successful business. Companies require an appropriate and effective business model, with the right pricing, communications, and delivery channel to the right segment of customers to keep the business thriving.

It starts with validating a business opportunity, defining a large customer segment willing to pay money to solve a real problem, in much the same way as a proof of concept or prototype validates a technical solution.

Here are 5 points to understand when building your business model:

  • Ensure your product pricing matches your target segment
  • Ensure that your product offers a feasible solution to consumers’ problems.
  • Pitch your solution to a group of customers, including all pricing details
  • Talk to industry experts
  • Plan a local rollout or pilot

2. Let your business model dictate your jurisdiction

An important part of your business model is the activity of the business. In the UAE, different jurisdictions allow or restrict certain types of activities. For instance, an MEP company cannot operate in a Free-Zone. These typically import products and store them in warehouses and factories, most of which are only allowed in LLC mainland areas.

When you have decided on the business activity, the next step is to determine the location, i.e., the place of operations. With all of the regulations around this area, it is important to seek advice from trusted company formation or business advisory companies.

3. Start-up Capital

When starting a business, it is a difficult decision whether to fund the business yourself or to use an investor to help with the start-up capital. Whilst having 100% of the business is compelling, it is important to understand the costs when initiating a new business. It is equally important to understand the costs when initiating a new business. It is equally important that with the investor model, all bases are covered in your financial model.

Common costs of starting a business in Dubai are:

Often businesses overlook costs that may seem small at first but can mount up. For instance:

  • Marketing budget – How much are you going to invest in brand awareness and lead generation? Who or what is going to deliver the results you want?
  • Staff secondary costs – Visas, medical expenses, cars, parking, etc. all add up. Ensure you understand the full costs of each staff member. Also, ensure you speak to the right company to ensure your visa allowances and commitments are clear.
  • Information Technology (IT) – Whilst quantifying the IT hardware cost is relatively simple, the software required can seem a hidden factor. The small charges can add up to a much larger fee and can leave you overwhelmed if you are not prepared. Think about the different required software, who needs them, and for whom are they a ‘nice to have’ rather than a necessity.
  • Office rental secondary charges – Firstly, think of the rental solution you require. Would a rented office space suffice, or is your team going to be starting in a way that requires your own office? Remember that any space that is taken and designed requires approvals from Government bodies before action can be taken.
  • Communication / Utilities – From the mobile phones of your staff to the office phones on the desk, the associated bills need to be accounted for. With respect to utilities, enquire about average electricity and water charges from neighbors to allow you to get an idea about the cost; with rented office space, these are often accounted for and again provide a viable option.
  • Consumables – Water, coffee, tea, sugar, printing cartridges…these all add up. Make sure to keep them as part of your costs.

4. Corporate Governance

When starting a business in Dubai, it is vital that you have the correct agreements and processes in place. From the start, you must ensure that, as a bare minimum, you have the SOPs (standard operating procedures) documented. These are the rules which allow you to define the rules and policies, and functions required to operate your business.

If you enter the business world as a partner/co-founder, you must ensure that shareholder agreements are created correctly. Not only must the business display its shareholder shares, but the functions that are delegated to them to earn that share, from investors to shareholders performing a set of key functions that dictate their worth.

Also, the contracts that stand between you and your customers, are they required, and to what depth must they be created?

Whilst, at the start, all parties are excited about the business, things can change that can change the relationships between parties. Ensure that all bases are covered and that clear policies and guidelines are drafted to handle even the worst-case scenarios.

Corporate Governance should be of paramount importance when setting up a business in Dubai. It is advisable, again, to seek the advice of a trusted business advisor when forming the company. You may not know of the potential hurdles you may face down the road.

5. Accounting

Accounting is one of the tasks that need to be satisfied early. For many start-ups, this can seem an overwhelming and confusing task.

Who will do it? What is important to record, and what tool shall be used?

The importance of accounting can have huge ramifications for a business throughout its lifetime. It is important to ensure the right steps are followed from the beginning so that you know financially where your business is throughout.

Effective accounting will define your budget throughout the year. However, a budget is often malleable, as businesses change based on many factors. An accounting role must be implemented regularly to track your performance against budget and the ramifications of different actions.

Accounting will also play a part in your cash flows. With cash flow being the vital killer of many businesses, it is important that it is implemented correctly.


With the many things to consider when setting up a business in Dubai, your choices of who will fulfill what roles, which can lead to success or failure, are very crucial. You are in the market to play out your business idea. Wherever you can use trusted resources to complete tasks that may not be in your skill set or time allowance.

The Trends changing the Business Landscape and the Role of the Board

I recently had an opportunity to attend a seminar by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) on how the business landscape is changing and the vital role of the Board in ensuring that their respective organizations are ready to embrace such change.I was pleasantly surprised to observe that the discussion on the “Role of the Board” went beyond its traditional boundaries. Whether it is the new “Technological Revolution”, Cyber Risks or even a matter of “Trust”, the disruption to businesses is forcing the role of the Board (and for a good reason) to go beyond the usual realm, such as, providing continuity and direction for the organization, selecting c-level executives, governing organization based on broad agreed objectives and policies and fiduciary duties.The fast changing and uncertain business climate, in my opinion, have pushed the Board members, to evaluate their role and forced them to make some radical changes to have a Board Composition which necessarily does not reflect the traditional Board cohort. The challenges of “today” faced by organizations have resulted in the Board to have diversity in their “functions”, “thoughts”, “experience”, “gender” and “culture”.The role of the Board is evolving and is more proactive than reactive. The burden, of risks to organization’s reputation, of commitment to their stakeholders, and to the larger society is vital in shaping the new role of the Board. The extended role shouldn’t just take into consideration what’s disrupting the business today but also how businesses and larger industry sector will be in 5, 10 or even 20 years. The role needs to include more strategic responsibilities, focusing on future transformations and not just current changing trends.The Board needs to be hands on and be involved throughout the strategy formation process and hence the responsibilities of the Board need to go beyond the board meetings and should be more collaborative in nature with the management of their organizations. This will help the Board to be more responsive to current threats to the organizations from various factors such as Cyber Risks and data thefts.Furthermore, uncertainty in the businesses caused due to increase in continuously changing global regulatory and compliance requirements and keeping up with the demands of investors is forcing the Boards to come out of their protective shell, be more accountable, and to embrace the shift in their role from just awareness to governance.


Business Setup with International Free Zone Authority (IFZA), Fujairah
I have been pondering over this question for many years and now believe that more and more companies are beginning to recognize the importance of strong corporate culture based on shared vision and values of all stakeholders (more importantly of their own employees) in achieving the bottom line.Even though the idea of vision and values has been explored extensively by numerous academicians and business leaders, and the impact or consequences of developing effective values and vision are well documented, I am surprised to observe that many organisations fail to develop a vision and values that are lived and are resonated with everyone within an organisation.Furthermore, in recent years, the question about increased investments in people processes has become topical and it is argued that building intellectual capital of employees based on the shared vision and value is connected to a better degree of employee’s alignment with their organisation, and hence is crucial to any organisation’s success story.Most organizations, in response to the needs of the global competitive environment, require their managers and executives to deliver products and services that are in line with external or environmental requirements, stakeholder expectation and to be profitable while all the time working to appease a diverse community of consumers worldwide.Many argue that the enhanced organisation’s performance can become a reality once the leader becomes a visionary leader and cultivates the strategic intent of the organizations. And for many businesses, leadership with vision as a core component is the answer or at least the most important piece of the Jigsaw puzzle.However, in my opinion, for a vision and corporate values to have an impact on the organisation’s performance, having a visionary leader is just a starting point. The real impact should come once the corporate vision and values are fully integrated and shared among all employees of an organisation, which forms the basis of the organisation’s culture.Similar to a shared vision, building a values-driven culture where employees find an alignment between their personal values and the organization’s values is the key to organizational success. In my opinion, employees should be included in the development process of core corporate vision and values. This will lead to improved internal communication, building a performance-enhancing corporate culture that facilitates leadership and employee’s alignment with the strategic goals of the organization and in the end the organisation’s bottom line.
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