When setting up a local company as per the UAE Companies Law and UAE Civil Law, the expatriate shareholders are required to nominate a Local Service Agent or a Local Partner (Sponsor), who must hold the majority share of 51%, when establishing a company.
Types of Sponsorship
Corporate sponsorship: This is the preferred choice of local sponsorship within the UAE. A UAE national company (Local Sponsor) holds a 51% share and obligations of an organisation and the remaining 49% is owned by an individual or group of foreign investors. In this type of sponsorship, the business is sponsored by a company, rather than an individual.
Individual Sponsorship: Individual sponsorship is a more common type of local sponsorship in Dubai. A UAE national (Local Sponsor) in his/her individual capacity becomes your sponsor and holds a 51% share and liability of the company. Whilst the Emirati sponsor is the main shareholder of the company, he/she can hand over the Power of Attorney (POA) to the foreign partner in return for a fixed annual fee.