Differences between Rak and Jabel Ali offshore

Offshore companies are often established in tax havens like UAE either for security of assets or to simply enjoy the tax benefits of this country. There can be other reasons as well, like taking advantage of UAE’ favorable jurisdiction and foreign friendly laws. In UAE there are several offshore options. Ras Al Khaima and Jabel Ali free zones would be two of the wisest choices one can make while setting up an offshore business. Both of these free trade zones allows one to set up either an offshore or an onshore business, depending on his/ her interest. Especially in UAE each of the free zone has its own area of expertise like Dubai Knowledge Village is for educational institutes and IMPZ is for media production.

The Ras Al Khaima offshore operates under the control of RAK Offshore Authority, whereas the Dubai offshore operates under the governance of the Jabel Ali Free zone. Out of the forty free zones in UAE, more than twenty are present in Dubai which is clearly more than 50%. All these free zones are controlled by an authority.

JAFZA (Jabel Ali free zone authority) was formed in the 1985 and it was controlling one of the first free trade zones of Dubai- TheJabel Ali Freezone.  Later in the year 2003 Dubai offshore company was validated under the Jabel Ali Authority- JAFZA. This gave many a chance for reliable and secure offshore set up in Dubai.

Where are RAK offshore was only established in the year 2006 under the wings of RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA). So, it is clearly new when compared to Dubai offshore, nevertheless age is just a number.

You can receive similar advantages via both these offshores, they more or less provide the same benefits listed below:

  • Provides high security and confidentiality
  • With minimal capital requirements
  • No tax corporate or other taxes
  • No reporting requirements
  • Public registrar is not involved
  • Zero Political/ regional interference


The difference between JAFZA and RAKIA managed offshore set ups are negligible in terms of advantages, but they do exist. Their setup procedures are also slightly different.


  • First and foremost, difference in set up would be, in RAK the for setting up the business the director can sign the documents from where ever he is. But in Dubai Offshore it would require the director to be present in Dubai.
  • Second, RAK just requires one director while Dubai Offshore demands two. Other regulatory process in RAK is very less.
  • Third, RAKIA is less expensive when Compared to an offshore in JAFZA. Although, it is not better than JAFZA, it is still preferred by many due to this single reason.
  • Fourth, JAFZA is better structured and well reputed. It is easy to go about setting up a business in JAFZA than RAKIA offshore.
  • Fifth, there are fewer consultancies offering to set up a JAFZA business but there are many for a RAK offshore, as RAKIA is more in demand.

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