Level 36, Burj Al Salam Tower, Trade Center First, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE.

Close this search box.

How much does it cost to set up a Holding Company in the DIFC?

Cost of Setting up a Holding Company in DIFC Dubai, UAE
Table of Contents

A UAE holding company enjoys asset protection, tax efficiency, and simplified control. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a well-known financial hub for many sectors. It has a strong legal system, favorable tax laws, and reach to global markets. This makes it the best option to set up a holding company DIFC.

Cost of Setting up a Holding Company in the DIFC Dubai

DIFC, as your holding company’s location, can optimize your asset management strategies. Moreover, you can enjoy the UAE’s safe and friendly business environment. This blog breaks down the key details about the cost to set up a holding company in DIFC. Let’s get started!

What Is a Holding Company?

More and more businesses are preferring holding companies when expanding their activities globally. The main activity of these firms is to have a controlling stake in other companies’ securities. They help lower liability if their subsidiaries face problems. Thus, business owners or shareholders set up holding firms.

Usually, holding companies do not create their own goods or services. But they offer support services. These include cross-charging costs incurred on their subsidiaries’ behalf. 

Some companies also issue visas and work permits. But their subsidiaries employ the workers. 

Why Set up a Holding Company in the DIFC?

DIFC is one of the most hi-tech financial centers in the world. It is the principal economic hub for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA). DIFC holding companies can hold assets in the UAE, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and worldwide. These assets could be real estate and stock in other firms in the UAE and worldwide. 

What Are the Benefits of Setting a Holding Company in DIFC?

A DIFC holding company offers a range of benefits. From tax breaks to global networks, it’s a strategic move for international firms. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Foreign Ownership and Capital Repatriation

DIFC holding company regulations support global businesses. It also permits 100% foreign ownership. You can repatriate the capital without limitations. Plus, there are no limits on hiring a foreign workforce.

2. World-Class Infrastructure

DIFC has highly advanced facilities and services. World-class office spaces, the latest technology, and top-tier facilities are part of its great infrastructure. So, having a DIFC holding firm can lead to a conducive environment for business operations.

3. Tax Breaks

A DIFC holding company can enjoy tax perks. The 50-year period of no tax on profits, capital gains, or assets is a major tax benefit for these firms. Also, personal income is exempt from taxes. These benefits create a great environment for business expansion and asset management.

4. Global Network

DIFC has a thriving business community. It has multinational firms, financial institutions, and industry leaders. Your holding company can access a great international network. Thus, you can collaborate, expand, and make global connections. This network can take your firm to the global stage.

5. Regulatory Confidence

In DIFC, an independent, English-speaking common-law judicial system and a highly recognized independent regulator are in place. The center uses a risk-based regulation approach. It is distinct from the UAE’s civil courts.

6. Corporate Ecosystem

The DIFC is home to many international financial firms. It is also a key player in business negotiations in the region. It gives top-notch professional services and is the UAE’s leading financial jurisdiction.

7. Strategic Location

DIFC has a beneficial and strategic position in global trade between Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. So, a holding company can benefit from the potential of emerging markets. But more specifically, these firms can be located closer to the assets they own or manage.

Cost of DIFC Holding Company Setup

The cost to set up a holding company in DIFC Dubai comprises many factors. These include the DIFC license cost, name reservation, company incorporation, data protection, and office space expenses. This section gives you a complete understanding of these primary costs to help you plan your finances strategically:

Registrar of Companies (DIFC ROC)

The DIFC holding company’s legal framework is set up with assistance from the ROC. The firm would typically be a Private Company Limited by Shares. Individuals or corporations can be the shareholders. The costs for setting up such a firm, including the DIFC holding company license cost, are as follows:

  • Name reservation application (2 working days): $800
  • Private Company Limited by Shares Incorporation Application (5 working days): $8,000
  • Commercial License on Incorporation (5 working days): $12,000 (annual fee)

Office Spaces

Every DIFC firm must rent a physical office space. The Gate and its adjacent buildings, as well as many others located inside the DIFC, such as Central Park, Park Avenue, Burj Daman, and Currency House, are your office space options. The rent varies based on your chosen building. Here is an estimation of current prices:

  • DIFC Business Centre: Starting from a one-desk office at $27,000
  • DIFC Fitted Offices: Starting from $55/square foot
  • Other buildings: Starting from $32,000/annum

Data Protection

The procedure for DIFC business setup also includes the data protection notification. The costs are as follows:

  • Registration: $500
  • Annual renewal: $250


The nature of your firm and the area of the leased office space decide the number of visas you can apply for. The visa fees are as follows:

  • Establishment Card Application: $630
  • PSA Deposit: $682
  • Visas (per visa): Starting from $1,500

Given all the primary aspects, the total cost to set up a holding company in DIFC is anywhere above $25,000. It varies with your chosen building (including the office type and area) and the number of visas you apply for. Our experts can help you with the exact DIFC holding company setup cost.

Start your Holding Company in DIFC with Avyanco

Avyanco makes your DIFC holding company setup simpler, consult us and start your holding company in the UAE. Benefit from our expertise in navigating UAE holding company regulations, securing tax breaks, and optimizing asset protection. Schedule a consultation for a smooth and strategic holding company setup!


About the Author


Jashvantkumar Prajapati

(Founder and CEO of Avyanco Group of Companies; Business Setup Consultancy, Avyanco Tax and Accounting LLC, and Avyanco Auditing LLC.)

He keeps a varied portfolio with core expertise in investment management, corporate structuring, commercial law, business consultancy, lead management, business planning and market research. Aspire to help potential entrepreneurs and investors to come ahead and form their companies in highly emerging economies like UAE.