Dubai is the second wealthiest emirate in the UAE. It is an international IT hub that serves service industries such as Finance and IT and due to the city's location it provides a connection to all local Gulf States, as well as to East Africa and South Asia. The Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) was established in 2017 and is now one of the largest economic zones in the area and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is home to major multinationals and start-ups with the world-class services, leading infrastructure and provides a vibrant community to live and succeed. Dubai offers high quality office space and warehousing faculties in addition to a stable and safe economic environment. The United Arab Emirates Government does not impose income taxes to companies and individuals living in the country. It permits full repatriation of capital and profits.

In many jurisdictions around the world, there are in place succession laws, which dictate to whom and in what proportions a person may leave their assets upon death. Such provisions are commonly referred to as ‘forced heirship’. The most common jurisdictions with forced heirship are civil law and countries where Sharia Law is in place. Wilton has the ability to plan and structure your affairs aimed at optimising your personal wealth, whilst ensuring that it is administered in accordance to your wishes.

Individuals concerned that forced heirship laws may require them to act contrary to their own testamentary, have traditionally used offshore trusts as an efficient mechanism to preserve their wishes. Offshore trust law provides suitable flexibility to design trust structures that are either fully or partially compliant with Sharia Law

The basis of Sharia complaint trusts arises from there being no restriction under Sharia Law in relation to lifetime gifts and transfers, or to the lifetime transfer principle upon death. This allows ample scope under Sharia to permit a Muslim to transfer assets to an offshore trust during their lifetime.

Wilton has the resources to deal with any aspect of planning, structuring and managing and administrating your offshore assets. Our teams of professionals include: Taxation and International Structuring, Specialist Business services including: Corporate and Legal, Accountancy, Company Management and Administration experts. Depending on your circumstances, we can assist you in maximising your assets.

In Dubai, Sharia-friendly discretionary trusts can offer a solution for those anxious to manage their affairs in compliance with the Laws of Islam. They offer a robust and flexible means of managing family wealth, whilst avoiding the potential for fragmentation of estates, familial wrangling, delay and costs that can arise under direct ownership within Sharia’s forced heirship provisions. Matters which can be effectively dealt with in compliance with Sharia Law include:

  • Investment and other financial matters
  • Compliant provision for beneficiaries and succession planning
  • Provision for zakat
  • Formal or informal advice and guidance from Scholars

Wilton has developed a facility whereby clients can identify those principles most important to them, and construct a settlement which addresses these concerns, and preserves the integrity of an estate for the ongoing benefit of selected beneficiaries. The benefits of a Sharia compliant-trust can include the following:

  • It is entirely possible to draft the operational aspects of a trust so as to meet the requirements of the Sharia Law. Assets can be protected from creditors, divorce or seizure by a politically unstable regime, since they are held under the governing law of the trust domicile.
  • Holding a family business or estate in trust can enable a settlor’s entire family to benefit — and protects against the fragmentation that can result from forced heirship.
  • Probate delays and costs can be avoided.
  • Taxes may be deferred or reduced.
  • As trusts are not registered with any regulatory authority, confidentiality is maintained.
  • Trusts are highly flexible solutions which allow for a planned response to changes in family and other circumstances.

Wilton can advise on, establish and administer, trusts in various jurisdictions. We are happy to discuss which one might best suit your intended planning outcomes. Many clients opt for trusts established under the laws of the Isle of Man, since for most purposes this provides an optimal mix of:

  • flexibility of trust law to accommodate a client’s beliefs and values
  • a favourable tax regime
  • a stable, internationally-respected and robustly regulated environment
  • robust confidentiality

Wilton provides the complete range of services aimed at supporting inward investors in the United Arab Emirates. The range of services offered is designed to provide a comprehensive coverage of every related aspect associated with investing in the UAE.

Wilton can assist investors in their visa requirements, possessing the ability to manage this complex process to completion, relieving our clients from the administrative burden and uncertainty.

Our team of experienced property managers oversee a diverse range of property portfolios, and are capable of managing every aspect of your real estate needs. Property ownership in the UAE is characterised by restrictions placed on foreign nationals. Wilton is able to develop appropriate ownership structures and establish fully compliant companies and trusts.

Our services also extend to finding tenants and collecting rental payments to providing reports and accounts, along with arranging maintenance, refurbishment and repairs. We are able to provide staff and stock your property prior to arrival into the UAE.

We recognise that each investment opportunity is unique, and Wilton has the ability to adapt and provide the investor with a bespoke service. Offering an established service, which fully caters for investor’s individual needs and preferences, Wilton has the ability to ensure the success of any planned investment into the region.

Wilton provides services designed to optimise your corporate and personal wealth. We can plan and structure your affairs to take advantage of the many benefits of being offshore. We have specialist teams ideally located in major offshore jurisdictions around the world who have the experience necessary to implement offshore structures.

Wilton is ideally positioned to take advantage of the increasing prominence of the offshore locations Ras Al Khaimah and Jebel Ali in Dubai. Ras Al Khaimah is becoming one of the world’s foremost offshore locations and, along with Jebal Ali, offer complete confidentiality with only the company’s name and date of incorporation being a matter of public record.

With added benefits of incorporating offshore in these locations including the ability to; hold UAE property, hold a UAE bank account and gain access to the full complement of UAE taxation regimes, Ras Al Khaimah and Jebel Ali provide attractive alternatives to traditional locations for business formations.

Drawing from extensive experience, gained from operating in the traditional offshore locations, Wilton has the resources to deal with any aspect of planning, structuring and managing and administering your offshore assets.

Strategically located at the crossroads of trade and commerce between Europe, the US and the Far East, Dubai is increasingly being recognised as a regional hub providing access to the Middle East, North and East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Understandably, it is an extremely desirable location for business to establish a presence.

Wilton has the ability to assist businesses in establishing a presence in the region, independent of their size or business activity. Located within Dubai alone, there are 21 free trade and industrial zones, which cater to a wide range of business sectors and activities. This can present a serious challenge for businesses wishing to relocate. With a range of different methods and ways to locate in the region, companies wishing to do so need the support of an experienced advisor.

Wilton can provide complete assistance to clients in their decision of which location would best suit their business. As well as this, Wilton has the ability to manage the process from conception through to completion, encompassing all aspects related to licensing, obtaining premises through to accessing the local labour market. Through a clear understanding of the individual locations and knowledge of legislation governing each license application, Wilton is able to offer the complete service to support companies in their relocation to the region.

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