Transfer Pricing
Country Summary
United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) lacks specific local transfer pricing rules. Instead, it follows BEPS standards, focusing on Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) and Economic Substance Reporting (ESR) responsibilities. The UAE adopted key BEPS actions in 2018. While there are no formal transfer pricing rules, the UAE cooperates with tax authorities in other jurisdictions through CbCR legislation. The UAE joined the BEPS Inclusive Framework in 2021 to address taxation issues stemming from digital economy challenges.


The UAE currently doesn’t have specific local transfer pricing rules. It has adopted some BEPS standards, focusing on Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) and Economic Substance Reporting (ESR) responsibilities.

Laws & Regulations

The UAE doesn’t have distinct transfer pricing rules, but it collaborates with other tax authorities through CbCR legislation, allowing for assessing high-level transfer pricing risks and addressing base erosion and profit shifting concerns.

Definition of Related Party

Introduced in 2015, the UAE imposed restrictions on related party transactions, initially causing controversy.

Nature of Transfer Pricing Documentation

The UAE introduced the Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) and CbCR rules, in line with OECD Model Legislation. These require disclosure and substantiation of actual profits and the submission of CbC Reports.

Tax Havens & Blacklists

The UAE has become a corporate tax haven attracting substantial foreign investments, and it was listed on the Corporate Tax Haven Index 2021.

Advance Pricing Agreement (APA)

The UAE doesn’t offer APAs or dispute resolution guidance.

Audit Practice

Audit practices are not applicable.

Transfer Pricing Documentation

The UAE has specific CbCR regulations for multinational companies with revenues over AED 3.15 billion. It follows the standard OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for CbC reporting.

Industry Analysis

Identifying value drivers in specific industries gives an indication of common industry profitability levels.

Company Analysis

The local entity’s management structure, organization chart, business strategy, and involvement in business restructurings or intangibles transfers are considered.

Functional Analysis

Assessment of activities, responsibilities, assets, and risks undertaken in intercompany transactions follows OECD Guidelines.

Choice of Transfer Pricing Method

The UAE has no formal transfer pricing guidelines, but it is expected to align with OECD recommendations.

Economic Analysis – Benchmark Study

No explicit economic analysis guidance is implemented, but the UAE is expected to accept OECD recommendations.

Inter-company (IC) Legal Agreement

IC legal agreements formalize relationships but hold a lower rank compared to the “conduct of parties.”

Production Process for TP Relevant Returns, Documents, Forms and Financials Filing requirements, formats, deadlines, thresholds, and mandatory languages are detailed for various documentation types.

Notification Requirement

Ultimate parent entities tax-resident in the UAE must notify authorities, providing information on their entity and the MNE group.

Penalties and Interest Charges

Penalties include fines for not sending notifications and failing to maintain documentation or disclose requested information to tax authorities.

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