How to Setup a Family Office in Dubai?

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Dubai has emerged as a global financial hub, attracting investors from around the world. The diverse financial landscape of Dubai has Family Offices as one of the attractive choices. Family Offices in Dubai offer customized services to the high net worth individuals.

They handle all the unique needs and tailor the services accordingly to the interests of the family office. This article highlights the scope of a family office. Also, it covers the steps in setting up a family office in Dubai. Family offices in Dubai will help business owners to manage their wealth in a more specific way.

What is a Family Office?

Family Offices are private firms that manage the wealth of High Net Worth (HNW) Individuals and Ultra-High Net Worth (UHNW) Individuals from around the world. Family Offices in the UAE a separate Companies or an entity. The Free Zones or Offshore jurisdictions in UAE provide the business support to set up a Family Office.

Family Office in Dubai

Dubai is a major investment destination for global businessmen. The City is a primary choice for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals to start their family offices to effectively manage their wealth. There are numerous advantages in setting up a Family Office in Dubai.

Why Choose Dubai for Setting up a Family Office?

Affluent families or individuals have their family offices in Dubai to manage their wealth efficiently. These family offices provide comprehensive services including investment management, financial planning, real estate planning, philanthropy, administration, and more.

The administrative and business support services of the Family Office will be to fulfil the business requirements and wealth management needs of large families or high net-worth individuals.

Steps to Setup a Family Office – Things to Consider

There are a few things to consider before setting up a Family Office in Dubai. The business investor or the family must be well aware of the types of family offices, how to structure the entity, rules and regulations to follow, future plans, and more.

So, the business owner and other stakeholders in the Family Office must conduct a meeting and understand the key steps involved in setting up a Family Office in Dubai. Following are a few of the key things to consider before setting up the Family Office in Dubai.

1. Assessing the Family’s Needs

The family’s financial requirements, goals, risk tolerance, succession planning, etc., are important aspects to consider. Having an effective wealth management strategy will help in achieving success for a family office.

Setup a Family Office in Dubai

Additionally, a clear understanding of the financial resources, operational expenses, other hidden costs, etc., is a requirement. The Family Office must ensure they have enough funds and resources in hand to sustain the office over the long run.

2. Structuring the Entity

There are two ways to set up a Family Office in Dubai. First is setting up a single-family office (SFO), which caters exclusively to one family, or a multi-family office (MFO), which serves multiple families.

The decision depends on factors such as the size of the family’s wealth, the complexity of financial affairs, and the desire for privacy.

The owner can register the Family Office as a normal Company (FZE or FZC) in any of the Free Zones in UAE. The steps in setting up a Family Office is similar to that of any other normal company.

Setting up a Family Office in UAE Free Zones

Register the Company in any of the Free Zone in UAE by getting a Trade Name (Family Name) approval, and deciding on the shareholder pattern (Single Owner or Multiple Owners).

Also, provide the supporting documents (passport copy and photo of shareholders) to the Free Zone authority, choose the family office as business activity (for managing the wealth of the family business), and make the payment.

Setup a Family Office in UAE

The Free Zone authority will verify the documents, and the Family Office Business License will be issued by the respective Free Zone Authority.

There are various aspects in a Family Business such as financial transactions, the scale of the wealth accumulation, family members, diversity in the business, etc., that determine the company structure. Also, a single family may have multiple sub-family businesses.

In such cases, the business owner can choose a Multi-Family Office for managing more than one family’s asset.

3. Legal and Regulatory Compliance:

The Family Office in Dubai must adhere to the Free Zone regulations and also the Central Bank of UAE compliance for wealth management. They must ensure that licensing requirements, tax planning, and other compliance with regulatory frameworks are in place.

Similarly, the Family Office must conduct frequent training and educational sessions for its members on the changing regulatory rules and tax laws. Thereby enhancing operational efficiency and remaining educated on the changing industry trends and best practices.

4. Building a Team

A skilled team is the success of a family office. Talents in specific fields of investment, tax planning, legal services, administration, real estate, trust management, etc., support the Family Office. The team will work to fulfil the business goals of the family office.

5. Implementing Technology

Having robust technology and systems to report financial activities, risk management and perform portfolio management is essential in a Family Office. To achieve operational efficiency, the team must leverage technology.

It also helps in performance tracking and enables family offices to make informed decisions and adapt to changing market conditions.

6. Establishing Governance Structures:

The Family Office must prepare a robust Governance System to manage its diverse portfolio. Having a clear Governance Structure helps in maintaining family harmony. Also, it will help in effective decision-making and establish policies, procedures, etc., for enhancing transparency.

Also, having a Governance System will help in promoting transparency and accountability in the family. It helps in the long-term success of the family office.

Also, establishing a family office is a significant undertaking that requires a long-term perspective. Families should have a clear vision for the future and a commitment to preserving and growing their wealth over multiple generations.

Types of Family Offices in Dubai

In Dubai, family offices vary in structure and scope, catering to the diverse needs of affluent families. Some common types of family offices include:

1. Single-Family Offices (SFOs)

SFOs are dedicated to serving the needs of a single family, offering personalized wealth management solutions tailored to their specific requirements. These offices provide maximum privacy and customization, allowing families to maintain full control over their assets and investment decisions.

2. Multi-Family Offices (MFOs):

MFOs serve multiple families, pooling their resources to access a broader range of investment opportunities and shared services. These offices offer cost-effective solutions and economies of scale, making them an attractive option for smaller families or those seeking to diversify their investments.

3. Virtual Family Offices:

Virtual family offices provide remote wealth management services, leveraging technology to connect with clients worldwide. These offices offer flexibility and convenience, allowing families to access comprehensive wealth management solutions from anywhere in the world.

Where to set up a single-family office in UAE?

There are few Free Zones in UAE where a Single Family Office in UAE can be set up. The DIFC Free Zone, DMCC, and Dubai World Trade Center, ADGM, are a few Free Zones that offer the License for a Family office in the UAE.

Free Zones in the UAE offer the business infrastructure to set up Family Offices. It can be registered as a Free Zone Establishment or Company. The Single Family Office can also be set up as an Offshore entity.

To know more about setting up a family office in Dubai, connect with our expert Business Consultants right away!


A Marketing Consultant working @Aurion Business Consultants specialized in writing about Business Setup in UAE tips, License Packages, Free Zones, LLC Company Formation, Startups, etc in the UAE.


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