Middle East

Middle East

The Middle East has been recognised by global banks as a long-term growth market.

The Middle East has been recognised by global banks as a long-term growth market.

In many countries in the Middle East region, tax enforcement and reform are emerging as key components in the drive to create vibrant and stable economies. The Middle East has been recognised by global banks as a long-term growth market with prosperity in the region driven by economic expansion and high oil prices. The resource driven wealth and economic growth has attracted investors from across the world to seek out new opportunities in the region. It has also allowed Middle Eastern based investors to expand their interests by growing their investments in the global market.

The region has been very active in attracting foreign investment. For example, many Middle Eastern countries are working on growing their networks of tax treaties to help domestic businesses expand internationally and to attract foreign investment to fuel their economic growth. Tax treaties entered across the region contain a variety of distinct features, some of which are unique to the region. KPMG Ireland are centrally involved in advising the Irish Government on the mutually beneficial aspects of these treaties for both Ireland and countries in the Middle East (e.g. the Double Tax Treaty agreed with Qatar in June 2012).

Given the scale of recent economic growth in Middle East, it has developed into a very important region for expanding Irish companies and multinational companies. There is considerable scope to use Ireland as a platform for investing into the Middle East.

The attractions of using Ireland include:

  • Competitive cost base – significant competitiveness improvement 
  • English speaking 
  • Young, dynamic and well educated workforce 
  • Common law legal system 
  • Various withholding tax exemptions for interest and dividend payments 
  • Incentives for employees working in Russia

Similarly, Ireland is an ideal location for establishing activities outside of the Middle East. In addition to the above, the attraction of using Ireland to expand activities outside of the Middle East include:

  • Gateway to Europe 
  • Member of the Eurozone 
  • Single Financial Services Regulatory Authority 
  • 12.5% corporation tax rate on trading profits 
  • Attractive investment management regime 
  • Extensive tax treaty network 
  • 37.5% relief for R&D activities 
  • Attractive intellectual property regime 
  • Relief for certain start-up companies 
  • Incentives for employees relocating to Ireland 


KPMG range of services

KPMG Ireland has a team focused on investment into and out of the Middle East. Together with our KPMG colleagues in the Middle East, we provide our clients with complete tax advice on the issues that arise. Our tax services include advising on:

  • Investing in Ireland and the Middle East 
  • Financing 
  • VAT and global indirect taxes 
  • Transfer pricing 
  • Personal and corporate tax compliance services 
  • Payroll taxes 
  • Islamic Finance 
  • KPMG Ireland has been to the forefront of developing Ireland as a European hub for Islamic Finance. Provisions included in recent Finance Acts are testament to our concerted efforts in this area. 
  • The Irish Financial Regulator has set up a dedicated team to deal with the establishment of Shari’a compliant investment funds. The Irish Revenue authorities have confirmed that Shari’a compliant funds, leases and insurance arrangements should be taxed under the same principles as those applicable to their respective conventional counterparts. 
  • Recognising the growth in this sector and the requirements of our clients and the wider market, KPMG Ireland has set up a cross-functional team of 25 professionals that can advise on all areas of Islamic finance. 

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