How to Create a Trust in Dubai, UAE: Step by Step Guide

While trusts offer a time-tested method for asset protection and privacy, navigating their legal intricacies in the UAE requires expertise. Smart Zones® UAE, with its extensive experience, can guide you through every stage of trust formation, administration, and management in the UAE.

  • Asset Protection
  • Enhanced Confidentiality
  • Modern Legal Framework
  • Tailored Flexibility
Start your Trust in Dubai, UAE - Smart Zones UAE

The trust, a time-honored wealth preservation tool for affluent families, originated in the United Kingdom and subsequently found global adoption. While Sharia Law in the UAE traditionally does not recognize trusts, Dubai, through its robust legal framework, has embraced this concept and enacted the Trust Law in 2005. Subsequently, the law has undergone amendments in 2007 and 2010. Notably, trust establishment is exclusively permitted within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a highly regarded free zone within the Emirate.

Why you should setup a trust in Dubai, UAE ?

Establishing a trust in Dubai offers several advantages for foreign residents of the Emirates. By clearly outlining the terms of their wealth distribution, individuals can ensure their wishes are met upon their passing. Additionally, incorporating trusts into investment strategies can be beneficial, particularly for those considering establishing businesses within the Emirates.

Our Consultants at Smart Zones® UAE are well-equipped to guide foreign investors through the trust creation process. We offer comprehensive guidance and legal support to ensure a smooth and successful experience.

Advantages of Establishing a Trust in Dubai - Smart Zones UAE

Benefits of Starting a Trust in Dubai, UAE

  • Asset Protection: Trusts create a legal separation between your personal assets and those held within the trust, offering robust protection against future creditors, legal judgments, and unforeseen liabilities. This ensures the designated beneficiaries receive the intended assets as planned.
  • Efficient Estate Management: Streamline the transfer of wealth to future generations through UAE trusts. By bypassing probate, a potentially lengthy and costly process, you can ensure a smooth transition according to your specified terms and maintain control over asset distribution even after your passing.
  • Tax-Friendly Environment: The UAE offers a significant advantage in the form of zero income or capital gains taxes on trusts. Depending on your home country's tax regulations, this can translate to substantial tax savings.
  • Enhanced Confidentiality: UAE trusts provide a high degree of privacy. The details of the trust structure and its beneficiaries typically remain confidential, ensuring discretion and safeguarding sensitive information.
  • Tailored Flexibility: Cater to your individual needs with customizable UAE trusts. Whether you require a revocable, irrevocable, discretionary, or any other type of trust structure, the UAE legal framework allows for flexibility to cater to your specific circumstances.
  • Modern Legal Framework: Jurisdictions like the ADGM and DIFC provide a robust and modern legal framework for trusts, drawing upon established English common law principles. This robust legal framework enhances the security and reliability of establishing a trust in the UAE.

Types of Trust Structures in Dubai, UAE

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority, the governing body for recognizing and registering trusts in Dubai, has adopted a streamlined approach, welcoming both local and international individuals to establish trusts within the DIFC Free Zone. This simplifies the process for those seeking asset protection and estate planning tools. The DIFC framework allows for the creation of various trust structures, including:

  • Charitable Trusts: Designed to benefit designated charitable causes.
  • Non-Charitable Trusts: Established for private wealth management and asset distribution purposes.
  • Express Trusts: Clearly defined trusts with explicitly stated terms and conditions.
  • Protective Trusts: Employed to safeguard assets for the benefit of designated beneficiaries.

For detailed information on the various trust types and their specific characteristics, please consult with our qualified legal advisors.

Essential Components of a UAE Trust Deed

To ensure the validity and functionality of a trust in the UAE, the trust deed must incorporate the following key elements:

Declaration of Trust

A clear and unequivocal statement by the trust settlor (founder) expressing their intention to establish the trust.

Beneficiary Identification

Explicit identification of the beneficiary or beneficiaries intended to receive benefits from the trust, or a mechanism outlining their future identification process.

Asset Description

A detailed description of the assets being transferred to the trust, allowing for their unambiguous determination.

Trust Duration

Specification of the trust's duration, whether for a predetermined timeframe or perpetual existence. In the absence of a specific timeframe, the trust will be considered lifelong, unless exceptional circumstances necessitate otherwise, as determined by the competent court.

Trust Name

Designation of a unique and recognizable name for the trust.

Trustee Appointment

Designation of the individual or entity entrusted with managing the trust assets and fulfilling their responsibilities, or a mechanism outlining their future appointment.

Trustee Powers

Clear definition of the powers and authorities granted to the trustee for managing the trust assets and fulfilling their fiduciary duties.

Operating since 2013, Smart Zones® UAE provides on-going support to obtain Business Services License in Dubai, UAE including Businesses.

Looking for a seamless business setup experience? Trust Smart Zones® Dubai to pave the way.

Establishing a Trust in Dubai: A Streamlined Process

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) offers two primary methods for establishing a trust:

  • 1. Will: A trust can be established through a formally drafted will, outlining the terms and conditions for asset distribution upon the settlor's (the trust creator) passing.
  • 2. Deed of Trust: Alternatively, a trust can be established through a written document known as a deed of trust (codicil). This document explicitly details the trust's purpose, assets, beneficiaries (those receiving trust benefits), and the responsibilities of the trustee (the individual or organization managing the trust).

The Dubai legal framework allows for trusts to be established for a predetermined period (limited trust) or indefinitely (unlimited trust). However, the trust can also be terminated before the stipulated timeframe upon adhering to the conditions outlined in the deed of trust. To ensure adherence to regulatory requirements, all Dubai trusts must be registered with the DIFC Authority. In the event of any disputes, the DIFC Court of Law holds jurisdiction over trust-related matters.

For comprehensive guidance on establishing a trust in Dubai, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. Our local legal specialists are well-equipped to assist you throughout the process. It is important to note that this firm cannot assist with opening companies in Dubai; however, we can recommend reputable local resources for such services.

Submitting incorrect documents can lead to immediate rejection. Our consultants at Smart Zones® UAE ensure you have the right documents, avoiding any complications in the process.

Requirements for setting up a trust in Dubai, UAE

Under the strict regulatory framework of Dubai's Financial Services Authority, individuals can establish a variety of trust structures, including charitable, non-charitable, express, and protective trusts, regardless of their residency status. Notably, DIFC trusts do not require minimum capital for registration and allow full foreign ownership. Compared to registered wills, trusts in Dubai offer greater control, are exempt from taxation, and benefit from robust protection mechanisms, independent of Sharia Law inheritance rules. The establishment process can be initiated through a will or a formally drafted trust deed created by the settlor or administrator.

Submitting incorrect documents can lead to immediate rejection. Our consultants at Smart Zones® UAE ensure you have the right documents, avoiding any complications in the process.

Cost of Establishing a trust in Dubai, UAE

The cost of establishing both trusts and foundations varies depending on the jurisdiction and the required services. As a general estimate, expect an initial cost between Dh6,000 and Dh9,000, with a similar annual renewal fee.

For a precise quotation, reach out to Smart Zones® UAE to obtain an updated estimate tailored to your specific requirements. This ensures that you are securing the most competitive rate for the services essential to your trust.

Asked Questions (FAQs)

Setting up a trust in Dubai offers numerous advantages, including ensuring your wealth distribution adheres to your wishes upon passing. Trusts also prove beneficial for investment strategies, especially for those contemplating business ventures within the Emirates. Smart Zones® UAE consultants provide expert guidance and legal support to facilitate a smooth and successful trust creation process.

Starting a trust in Dubai provides asset protection, efficient estate management, tax advantages, enhanced confidentiality, and tailored flexibility. The modern legal framework in the UAE, particularly within free zones like the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), ensures security and reliability in establishing trusts.

Dubai offers various trust structures, including charitable trusts, non-charitable trusts, express trusts, and protective trusts. These structures cater to different wealth management and asset distribution needs. Smart Zones® UAE's legal advisors can provide detailed information and guidance on selecting the most suitable trust type.

A UAE trust deed must include a declaration of trust, beneficiary identification, asset description, trust duration, trust name, trustee appointment, and trustee powers. These elements ensure the validity and functionality of the trust within the UAE legal framework.

Trusts in Dubai can be established through a formally drafted will or a deed of trust. The process involves outlining the trust's terms, beneficiaries, assets, and trustee responsibilities. All trusts must be registered with the DIFC Authority, and any disputes are resolved through the DIFC Court of Law.

Under Dubai's regulatory framework, individuals can establish various trust structures, regardless of residency status. DIFC trusts offer greater control, tax exemption, and robust protection mechanisms. The establishment process involves submitting accurate documents, facilitated by Smart Zones® UAE consultants.

The cost of establishing trusts in Dubai varies but generally ranges between Dh6,000 and Dh9,000, with annual renewal fees. Smart Zones® UAE can provide precise quotations tailored to individual requirements, ensuring competitive rates for essential trust services.

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