What Are The Relevant Activities For ESR In UAE? 

June 20, 2023

The UAE has applied ESR to confirm that units working within its authority are involved in considerable economic activities.

These regulations’ goal to encounter international standards for fair taxation.

To fulfill ESR, businesses must classify and understand the relevant activities that fall under its zone. In this article, we will see the various range of relevant activities defined by the UAE’s ESR context. By gaining clearness on these relevant activities, businesses can direct the ESR landscape and ensure obedience while developing a robust and viable economic environment in the UAE.

What are the Economic Substance Criteria?

When a UAE-listed business conducts a Relevant Activity define whether the business unit is a Licensee and falls within the range of the ESR. A Licensee is obligated to demonstrate the following under ESR;

  • The relevant business activity which the Licensee conducting is being focused on and accomplished within the UAE.
  • The CIGAs (Core Income Generating Activities) are being agreed to within the limits of the UAE.
  • Licensee has suitable grounds, employees, and outlay in the UAE.

Furthermore, to validate economic substance, a Licensee is obligated to file an economic substance return for those financial years in which it got any gross income from a Relevant Activity.

Relevant Activities for ESR in UAE

Here are some relevant activities and their central-income-generating activities in detail below;

1) Banking business

The Guidelines of ESR in UAE state the Banking Business is a relevant activity. As, the businesses that admit cash deposits, which can be withdrawn on request. Such businesses use credits for providing loans, early payments, overdrafts, assurances, or making investments. The Core Income Generating Activities (CIGA) under the banking business contain;

  • Providing loans, credit, or other financial services
  • Raising funds, and managing risks such as credit, currency, and interest risk
  • Taking evading positions
  • Handling capital and preparing reports to stakeholders or government authority

It is also significant to note that the financial intermediaries that are involved in the sale and purchase of domestic and foreign stocks and bonds or the UAE financial institutions that are involved in currency exchanges and remittance of money, exchanges, and supplies are not considered banking business as a relevant activity under the ESR in UAE.

2) Headquarters

A Licensee is measured as conducting Headquarters Business only if it delivers services to other foreign group units and as a result has done the following;

  • Taken duty for the group’s general achievement
  • Become liable for the major facets behind the group’s general performance.

For a listed UAE business to be seen and measured as having taken on the responsibility for a foreign group’s general success or performance, the services delivered by the UAE entity should have included;

  • The provision of top-tier management
  • Providing practical advice with regards to statement or control of such substantial risks.
  • The statement or control of substantial risk on behalf of the group for its activities.

3) Insurance business

As per the ESR guidelines, an insurance business takes risks by undertaking insurance agreements both in life and non-life classes. This comprises contracts of provision and captive insurance preparations. The CIGA under insurance business contains;

  • Expecting and calculating risk
  • Assuring or re-assuring against risk
  • Providing Insurance Business services to clients
  • Guaranteeing insurance and reinsurance

4) Investment Fund Management Business

The units that offer optional investment management services for example investment, disinvestment, and risk are called investment fund management businesses under the ESR relevant activity. The activities under the investment fund management business are;

  • Taking verdicts on currency or interest variations and evading positions
  • Taking verdicts on the holding and selling of investments
  • Computing risk and reserves
  • Organizing reports to stakeholders or any government authority

5) Lease Finance Business

The UAE companies that offer credit or leasing is considered lease-finance business as per the ESR relevant activity. Such businesses offer loans and enter into finance leases concerning assets other than property. The CIGA under lease finance business includes;

  • Setting the relations and tenure of any leasing
  • Approving funding terms
  • Handling risks
  • Classifying and acquiring assets to be leased
  • Checking and revising any agreements

6) Holding company business

As per the ESR classification of relevant activity, a holding company business holds stocks or fair interests in other companies and does not carry out any other profitable activity.

The holding company business that accomplishes the thin definition of the activity and does not carry out any other profitable activity only needs to validate condensed economic substance. Though, if the unit carries out other profitable activities and owns investments or assets. It needs to validate augmented economic substance requirements in the UAE. The CIGA of the holding company business is associated with holding shares in other companies.


Being familiar with the relevant activities for ESR obedience in the UAE is fundamental for businesses to flourish within the jurisdiction. By thoroughly adhering to the regulations and filling the economic substance requirements, companies can navigate clear of consequences and contribute to a clear and equitable tax landscape. Businesses can get guidance from leading firms such as economic substance regulations have emerged as trusted partners. They offer inclusive help to navigate the intricacies of ESR. Their broad proficiency proves invaluable in creating a robust presence in the vibrant business environment of the UAE.

This content is part of the HWM Partnership.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Harlem World Magazine, 2521 1/2 west 42nd street, Los Angeles, CA, 90008, https://www.harlemworldmagazine.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
We're your source for local coverage, we count on your support. SPONSOR US!
Your support is crucial in maintaining a healthy democracy and quality journalism. With your contribution, we can continue to provide engaging news and free access to all.
accepted credit cards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles