Offshore Dubai and Onshore Dubai - what's the difference?

Offshore Dubai and Onshore Dubai - what's the difference?

You can open Dubai offshore. But this jurisdiction has a certain feature which can be perceived as duplicity. If you want to have an office in the UAE and conduct international business from there, onshore Dubai is your way.

The procedure for registering an offshore company in Dubai is very different from the procedure for registering an onshore company.

Due to large tax remissions, the number of people willing to register a business in the free zone in Dubai has increased markedly. Any companies that seek to use these tax breaks in their own interests may wonder what business model will be the most profitable for them: to choose onshore or offshore business operations?

The following is a guide:

Cost comparison

Unlike onshore corporations, the costs for offshore corporations in Dubai are much lower due to the presence of some of the advantages offered by the offshore corporations.

Tax treaties

Offshore companies in Dubai and onshore are not required to pay tax to the UAE government. Only onshore companies in Dubai can take advantage of tax agreements that the government has concluded with other countries.

Corporate operations in the UAE

It is forbidden to conduct any operations in the offshore business in the UAE zone. On the contrary, an onshore company is allowed to conduct business operations after obtaining an official license.


Due to the fact that there is no opportunity for offshore corporations to perform corporate operations in the UAE zone, there are no necessity to get permission. On the contrary, an onshore corporation in Dubai must obtain a license that clearly defines the activities of a company that has the right to act in the territory of jurisdiction.

Physical building / offices

In an offshore business, there is no need to have a physical office, while an onshore business in Dubai must have a physical office - it can be a small office with a desk or even a large building with various departments.

Visa requirements

Offshore companies in Dubai are not issued resident visas, as they do not have a physical presence in the territory of jurisdiction. On the other hand, the UAE government issues visas for onshore corporations under certain conditions. The visa authority will take into account office space and business size before making a decision.

Offshore Dubai

Requirements for financial control

Last but not least, there is no obligation for the offshore business to disclose its financial statements. On the contrary, onshore enterprises in Dubai are subject to financial checks and are required to offer their financial reports to the authorities.

If you want to register Dubai offshore or onshore, then registration requires careful research. These are professionals. Therefore, in order not to encounter pitfalls, we highly recommend to contact us for help!

To improve your experience on our website, we would like to use cookies. This means that we collect some information about your activity while you are on the website.