Dubai Tax Rate for Companies: The History of Corporate Taxation in the UAE 

When speaking of the Dubai tax rate for companies, it is crucial that we delve into its origins. For an extended period, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) functioned as a low-tax jurisdiction, with citizens enjoying exemption from income tax and many companies spared from corporate taxation, embodying a unique tax system

Primary revenue sources for the state were derived from nationalized and private fossil fuel industries, subject to a 50% tax on revenues as a facet of the corporate tax law. Foreign banks faced a 20% corporate tax on operating profits, and certain taxes were imposed on hotels and restaurants in Dubai, reflecting the varied tax landscape. 

In recent times, the UAE, recognizing the need for economic diversification, especially given its reliance on natural resources, has strategically shifted towards a broader tax system. This shift has resulted in a growing number of businesses, including those in real estate, being exempt from taxation.  

Faced with reduced income from fossil fuels and a rapidly expanding economy, the government has strategically turned to taxing business revenues, marking a significant change in the form of direct tax. 

The introduction of a 5% VAT tax in 2018 marked the initial step in this tax evolution, applying to all consumer purchases and administered by the Ministry of Finance. Subsequently, in January 2022, the government announced a 9% corporate tax, effective June 2023, a move closely monitored by UAE businesses.  

This corporate income tax, levied on net taxable income, signifies a fundamental shift in the tax levied on businesses, aligning the UAE with international standards. The new corporate tax law aims to ensure that income earned, including capital gains, is duly reported in tax returns. 

This proactive approach also addresses concerns related to tax avoidance, particularly by foreign investors. Unlike most advanced economies, which typically impose around a 20% tax on business profits, the 9% corporate tax in the UAE remains notably lower, providing an attractive proposition for foreign investors.  

Furthermore, the corporate income tax will help disincentivize foreign businesses from utilizing the UAE as a base to avoid tax in their home countries. 

The introduction of withholding tax and considerations for free zones add further dimensions to the evolving tax landscape in the UAE. As the corporate tax law takes effect, businesses, both domestic and those involving foreign investors, are urged to assess their tax liabilities in line with the changing regulatory environment.  

This shift signals a new era for the UAE’s tax system, reinforcing its commitment to international norms, and is expected to contribute substantially to government revenues for investments in infrastructure, education, and healthcare. 

Dubai Tax Rate for Companies: Rate of Corporate Tax in the UAE 

Starting from the tax year commencing June 1st, 2023, the Dubai tax rate for companies stands at 9% corporate tax on the profits (calculated as revenue minus expenses) of businesses generating over 375,000 AED (approximately USD $100,000). Notably, businesses generating less than this specified amount will maintain a 0% tax rate.  

In addition to the corporate tax, the UAE has announced a 15% tax obligation for large multinational firms with profits exceeding EUR 750 million, aligning with the Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate agreement. 

The commencement date for the new UAE corporate tax is set for June 1st, 2023. Consequently, businesses are advised to allocate funds for tax payments from that date onward. It is important to note that companies with a tax year beginning in January will only be obligated to pay taxes on revenues generated after January 1st, 2024. 

Dubai Tax Rate for Companies: Entities Obligated to Corporate Tax in the UAE 

Legal entities with distinct legal structures, such as LLCs, PSCs, PJSCs, LLPs, and others, will face taxation.  

Additionally, foreign legal entities earning income in the UAE and qualifying as tax residents will incur charges. Free zones enjoy a 0% corporate tax rate when adhering to regulatory requirements, including free zone companies engaging in trade with the mainland. 

Both non-residents and residents in the UAE may be subject to corporate tax policies

Dubai Tax Rate for Companies: Entities Exempted from Corporate Tax in the UAE 

In the UAE, foreigners without a permanent establishment or earning income unrelated to it currently have a 0% withholding tax rate. The tax applies only to those with a permanent establishment. Individuals with solely state-sourced income face no taxation unless withholding tax applies. Future rate increases may introduce liabilities for non-residents.

Certain individuals are exempt from registration under corporate tax law, including government entities, government-controlled entities, persons engaged in extractive businesses, persons engaged in non-extractive natural resource businesses, and non-resident individuals deriving only state-sourced income without a PE in the UAE. 

How Premia TNC Fits Into the Scenario 

Premia TNC is your top choice for navigating the intricate Dubai tax rate for companies. Our tailored solutions, local insights, and global perspective ensure optimal tax planning

With expertise across industries, efficient processes, and a comprehensive service suite, we prioritize compliance excellence, client-centricity, confidentiality, and security.  

Our results-driven approach has helped numerous businesses achieve financial success. Choose Premia TNC to confidently navigate complexities and propel your business to a prosperous future in Dubai’s dynamic business landscape. 


Q: What is the corporate income tax rate in Dubai?


Q: What is the latest information regarding corporate income tax in Dubai, and how has it impacted businesses in the UAE?

The government announced a 9% corporate tax, effective June 2023, a move closely monitored by UAE businesses.

Q. Are there tax differences for free zone companies?

Free zone companies often enjoy a 0% tax rate, but implications may arise when conducting business with entities outside the free zone or on the mainland. Understand specific regulations and seek professional advice.

Q. Are there exemptions for corporate taxes in Dubai?

Yes, certain entities, especially in free zones, may qualify for a 0% corporate tax rate. Check eligibility and regulations, consult tax experts for accurate details.

Q. How does Dubai tax foreign companies?

Dubai generally does not tax foreign companies. However, understanding the tax implications for specific activities is essential. Seek professional advice for accurate guidance.