We are your partner for growth in the Middle East

Dezan Shira & Associates has been providing companies from around the world with corporate, professional, and technological services for the past three decades.

Our Middle East Desk provides support and guidance to companies looking to grow and operate in the Middle East.

Put our decades of experience, expertise, and full-service suite to work - as your partner for growth in the Middle East.

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How We Support Companies Across the Middle East

About Dezan Shira & Associates in the Middle East

Dezan Shira & Associates, a leading foreign investment (FDI) advisory firm, initially established itself in Asia and has since expanded its operations to include the Middle East.

We help businesses set up, grow, and operate in Asia and support international companies looking to expand and operate in the Middle East.

Our multi-disciplinary professionals have provided a range of services that facilitate business success for over 30 years.

Clients can obtain comprehensive, integrated business solutions from our combined capabilities as a CPA, law firm, IT service provider, and business intelligence supplier, among others. These blended and tailored services assist clients throughout their investment process, from site selection and corporate establishment to post-establishment operational and administrative support.

Further, through our publishing subsidiary, Asia Briefing and its briefing sites – China Briefing, Vietnam Briefing, India Briefing, and ASEAN Briefing - thousands of readers gain insights into Asia's business environments.

For the businesses looking to invest in the Middle East, we have a dedicated briefing site - Middle East Briefing, that provides business updates on the Middle East business environment.

The UAE and Asia’s Market Potential for Businesses

Asia is home to some of the world's largest and fastest-growing consumer markets, including China, India, and Southeast Asian countries. By entering the Asian market, businesses can tap into this vast consumer base and target consumers with diverse needs and preferences.

Expanding into the Middle Eastern market also allows businesses to diversify their revenue streams and reduce reliance on domestic or regional markets. This diversification can help mitigate risks associated with economic fluctuations or geopolitical tensions.

Overall, entering the Middle Eastern market presents businesses with significant opportunities for growth, expansion, and diversification. By leveraging the Middle East’s dynamic economies, strategic location, technological advancements, and cultural diversity, businesses can strengthen their competitive position and achieve sustainable success in the global marketplace.

Core Value: One-Stop Support for Businesses Expanding into Asia and the United Arab Emirates

Our value-added services go beyond just average customer support. Our blended service solutions were designed to unify the local expertise of each Asian jurisdiction with an understanding of reporting standards that allow our clients to stay in control and afford transparency to their Asian operations.

We have a team of qualified lawyers, accountants, and HR specialists in each office providing on-the-ground support to ensure the compliance of your operations.

Our Middle East team is locally based in Dubai, UAE and regularly meets clients and partners to guide them through recent regulatory changes in Asia’s business environment – allowing them to optimize and strengthen their business operations.

Our team also supports businesses who are looking to expand and begin operating in the United Arab Emirates.

Notable Free Trade Agreements and Market Access

As the Middle East connects the world due to its geographical location, the trade agreements between the Middle East and Asia are quite significant. Several notable Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and market access arrangements exist between the Middle East and Asia, fostering economic cooperation and trade relations.

Here are some examples:

GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

The GCC has established FTAs with various countries and economic blocs, including:

GCC-EFTA Free Trade Agreement: Agreement between the GCC and the European Free

Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland).

GCC-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement: Facilitates trade and economic cooperation between the GCC countries and Japan by reducing tariffs and trade barriers.

Bilateral Free Trade Agreements

UAE-Singapore Free Trade Agreement: Enhances bilateral trade and investment between the UAE and Singapore by reducing tariffs and facilitating market access for goods and services.

UAE-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: While not a formal FTA, this partnership aims to deepen economic ties between the UAE and China, particularly under initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs)

Many Middle Eastern countries, including the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, have signed BITs with various Asian countries to promote and protect investments. These treaties provide legal protections and frameworks for investment flows between the Middle East and Asia.

The India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

The UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is a bilateral trade agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India. It aims to enhance economic cooperation by facilitating trade and investment between the two countries. The agreement covers various areas such as trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, and economic cooperation. Its goal is to promote economic growth, create employment opportunities, and strengthen ties between the UAE and India.

The CEPA between the United Arab Emirates and India will eliminate 80% of tariffs on goods from both countries and will eliminate all tariffs within 10 years. It came into effect on May 1, 2024

The UAE-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

The UAE-Indonesian Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is a bilateral trade agreement aimed at enhancing economic cooperation between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia. It covers various aspects such as trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, and economic cooperation. The agreement seeks to promote trade and investment flows between the two countries by reducing tariffs, eliminating trade barriers, and facilitating business activities.

The UAE-Indonesia CEPA was signed on 1 July 2022 and entered into force 1 September 2023, providing better market access for UAE products to the Indonesian market covering more than 90% of tariff lines and 94% value of trade with Indonesia. This agreement is expected to increase annual bilateral trade to $10 billion within the next five years.

The UAE – Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) Under Discussion

The Malaysia-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) under discussion is aimed at fostering stronger economic ties between Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Once finalized, the agreement is expected to enhance bilateral trade and investment flows, create opportunities for businesses in both countries, and deepen economic integration between Malaysia and the UAE.

These agreements and arrangements play a crucial role in facilitating trade, investment, and economic cooperation between the Middle East and Asia. They provide frameworks for reducing trade barriers, increasing market access, and fostering closer ties between the two regions, ultimately contributing to economic growth and development.


Keep Up to Date about Doing Business in Asia

Dezan Shira & Associates’ experts are on-the-ground thought leaders in Asia. The firm hosts events, workshops, and regularly publishes business intelligence articles, industry spotlights, economic analyses, and regulatory updates to keep businesses up-to-date and knowledgeable of the fast-paced business environments in Asia.

Our publications include Dezan Shira & Associates, Asia Briefing and its 5 sub-brands China Briefing, Vietnam Briefing, ASEAN Briefing, India Briefing, and Middle East Briefing, which publish daily regional articles and quarterly publications:

Why Work with Dezan Shira & Associates

Dezan Shira & Associates is a pan-Asia, multi-disciplinary professional services firm, providing market entry, legal, accounting, tax, HR, technology, and operational advisory to international investors.

Dedicated advisors knowledgeable about Asia’s business environments, opportunities and risks, seamlessly support companies with offices in multiple jurisdictions.

A full suite of services that can be integrated to provide practical and effective solutions for various business needs.

Strong partner network including governmental and business organizations across Asia to provide value-added services, advice, and contacts.

Asia’s markets made accessible through business-related news and analysis on Asia Briefing and its sister publications.

How We Can Assist You in the United Arab Emirates

We are a multi-disciplinary professional services firm in Asia, and we have now launched our Middle East desk in the UAE provides market entry, legal, accounting, tax, HR, and operational advisory services tailored to help businesses and investors who want to expand to the Middle East.

Pre-Entry Intelligence and Advisory

Business intelligence is a critical component of the decision-making process when considering where and how an investment in Asia should be made. Our cross-regional Asia team can help your business with its strategic direction.

Tax and Accounting

Tax laws and regulations throughout Asia are continuously being updated and refined while international accounting standards vary greatly in practice. Our team of professionals is accustomed to navigating this fast-paced environment and providing local expertise.

Corporate Establishment and Legal Advisory

The incorporation and structure of your investment define the early stages of your Asia expansion and impact your future success. A well-planned legal structure can help to make the difference.

HR, Payroll and Global Staffing / PEO

Managing personnel in Asia requires a robust approach to local regulations and customs. Our services are designed to help foreign-invested companies with compliance and best practices.

Contact Our Experts

Since its establishment in 1992, Dezan Shira & Associates has become one of the most versatile consultancies with more than 600 lawyers, accountants, auditors, HR professionals, business intelligence and technology experts, delivering fully integrated services from more than 29 global offices. Our Middle East desk leadership team:

Regional Director, Middle East

Trusted by Global Businesses

Our clients are headquartered across the world and range in size from start-ups to mid-cap, and large enterprises. Here is what our clients have to share about us:

Dezan Shira & Associates’ excellent integrated corporate service solutions and strategic advice, have played a crucial role for us in implementing our Singapore expansion ...plans.
It has been pleasure working with the team. The Dezan Shira and Associates India team is very professional, always there to support clients, and are very ...accommodating.
Mastip has found Dezan Shira team to be very helpful and always readily available to provide assistance on any occasion. For us, employing staff without a registered office was not possible. However, Dezan Shira and Associates made this possible and have helped to add considerable value to our company by allowing us to recruit the right caliber of people. The team has always helped in a timely ...manner, and we find their services professional and efficient.
We find Dezan Shira and Associates’ India team to be very flexible, responsive, and supportive. They have been very efficient and have met our deadline. Their services are also efficient and ...professional.
We’ve been using Dezan Shira as our service provider for corporate compliance, including company setup, amendment, and de-registration, legal advisory concerning localized policy and regulations, labor issues, visa services, tax and accounting, payroll and HR services, and more. We chose them because they consistently deliver services with high efficiency, professionalism, and comprehensive ...solutions. Their attention to detail and considerate approach have earned our full trust.
Dezan Shira and Associates India team have supported our business both prior to and after the establishment of our subsidiary in 2019. They helped significantly during COVID personal involvement was less possible, assisted on legal and trademarking issues, conducting business in India, and ongoing guidance when issues inevitably arise. We appreciate their support and highly recommend Dezan ...Shira.

Enquire for more information about our services, and how we can help solve challenges for your organization

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Asia Insights for the Middle East

Businesses are increasingly looking to expand and adjust their supply chains and go-to-market strategies across Asia. These businesses have also been attracted to the United Arab Emirates. Watch and read what our experts have to say on the deeper issues in this regard:

Upcoming Events

News by Middle East Briefing

UAE Firms Report Increase in New Orders Even as June PMI Dips Slightly

The S&P’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for UAE in June revealed a score of 54.6, slightly down from May's 55.3, but still indicative of robust business activity within the UAE economy.

July 03, 2024

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