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9 reasons why Indian HNWI are setting up family offices in the UAE

9 reasons why Indian HNWI are setting up family offices in the UAE

06 June, 2024

The UAE has established itself as a global magnet for businesses, entrepreneurs and investors, attracting individuals and families from all corners of the world. For Indian family businesses, the strategic positioning of the UAE offers a unique combination of benefits that can pave the path for growth, expansion and enduring success.

Many wealthy Indian families have settled in the UAE for over three decades, but now more than ever before, Indian HNWI’s are seeking to relocate and structure their finances in the region.

In this article, Nina Auchoybur – Managing Director for UAE, delves into the 9 key reasons behind the surge of Indian family offices in the UAE.

 

1. Advantages tax regime  

The UAE boasts a zero-income tax for individuals, no capital gains tax, and no inheritance tax. The introduction of corporate tax has further enhanced the robustness of the jurisdiction. The tax regime significantly reduces the burden on wealth transfer and future generations and makes it highly attractive for Indian HNWI’s seeking tax-efficient wealth management strategies.

Case study

Landmark Group

The Landmark Group is a UAE-based multinational conglomerate headquartered in Dubai. It was founded by Micky Jagtiani, an Indian businessman, who served as the founder and chairman of the company. With its popular brands like Centrepoint and Babyshop, Landmark Group, enjoys the tax benefits offered by many UAE free zones. This allows Landmark Group to retain profits for reinvestment, supporting continuous expansion and market diversification.

 

2. World-class infrastructure & quality of life

The UAE offers advanced infrastructure, luxurious living standards, world-class education systems and healthcare facilities topped up with a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it an appealing destination for raising families and enjoying their wealth.

Case study

Jashanmal Group

Operating across retail, fashion, and FMCG sectors, this family-owned business leverages the UAE's advanced infrastructure for efficient logistics and distribution. Jashanmal benefits from the region's modern air and sea connectivity, ensuring smooth movement of goods across multiple markets.

 

3. Strategic location & connectivity

Situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the UAE offers excellent air and sea connectivity, facilitating global business operations and investment diversification.

Case study

Lulu Group International

Founded by Yusuffali MA, Lulu Group, a retail giant headquartered in Abu Dhabi, capitalised on the UAE's strategic location to become a global brand with over 200 hypermarkets and supermarkets across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, and the US. Its proximity to trade routes and diverse markets fuelled its meteoric rise.

 

4. Vibrant Indian community

The large Indian community in the UAE creates a sense of familiarity and comfort for relocating families, easing the transition and cultural integration.

Case study

Choithrams Group

Established in 1974, this group, known for its restaurants and catering services, leverages the strong Indian community in the UAE. This vibrant network provides Choithrams with a ready customer base, cultural affinity, and valuable connections within the Indian business ecosystem.

 

5. Flexible business environment

The UAE boasts free zones with relaxed regulations and streamlined processes, making it easy for Indians to establish and operate businesses, further enhancing wealth creation opportunities.

Case study

Ghee Wallah Sweets & Snacks

Established in 1962, this Mumbai-based sweets chain chose Dubai to launch its international expansion due to the emirate's streamlined business setup process and investor-friendly policies. They now operate multiple outlets across the UAE, benefiting from efficient regulations and a supportive ecosystem.

 

6. Diverse & talented workforce

Out of the 10 million people that constitutes the population of UAE, 8 million are expats. The UAE has expatriate-friendly policies which allows people to work and live in the country. This has attracted a large pool of talented people from all over the world.

Case study

Ravi Pillai Group

Led by the visionary entrepreneur Ravi Pillai, this group operates in diverse sectors such as healthcare, education, and hospitality. The UAE's multicultural workforce provides the group access to skilled professionals, enabling them to cater to various market demands and maintain high-quality service standards.

 

7. Stable economy & currency

The UAE has implemented various strategies that contributes to its financial stability such as economic diversification so that it is not over reliant on oil, it also has strong financial reserves and business friendly policies. It is to be noted that the UAE Dirham has been pegged to the US Dollar since a very long time.

Case study

Sobha Group

Known for its iconic real estate projects, Sobha Group entered the UAE market in 2004, attracted by the region's robust economy and stable currency. This stability fostered the group's confident expansion, contributing significantly to the UAE's construction boom.

 

8. Strong trade partnerships

There have always been very strong trade ties between India and the UAE. The UAE is India’s third largest trading partner and second largest export destination.

Case study

Kalyan Jeweller

Founded in Thrissur, Kerala, this jewellery retail chain chose Dubai for its regional headquarters due to the strong trade ties between India and the UAE. This facilitated smooth import of raw materials and export of finished jewellery, contributing to Kalyan's regional expansion.

 

9. Government initiatives & support

The UAE Government offers several initiatives to attract Indian businesses, including long-term visas, financial support, the benefit of using Free zones that allow 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and streamlined business setup facilities.

Case study

Aster DM Healthcare:

Headquartered in Dubai, Aster DM is a leading healthcare provider that benefited from the UAE government's focus on healthcare infrastructure development. This support, coupled with access to funding and mentorship programs, fuelled the group's rapid growth and expansion across the MENA region. 

 

How can Ocorian help?

Our dedicated global family office teams are based in key jurisdictions including the Channel Islands, UK, the UAE, the Caribbean, Singapore, Hong Kong and Mauritius and have technical expertise and a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of family wealth.

Contact our family office team today to find out more.