RAK ICC Foundations

RAK ICC (Ras al Khaimah International Corporate Centre) recently issued their Foundation Regulations, effective from 15 December 2019, making provision for Foundations to be registered at RAK ICC where they previously were only permitted in the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) and the ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market).

A Foundation is a legal entity, similar to a Trust, which acquires a distinct legal personality separate to the Founder who vests assets in the Foundation’s name. The property under a Foundation established in RAK ICC may consist of:

  • Personal chattels
  • Investment bonds
  • Real estate
  • RAK ICC companies
  • Bank account portfolios and other assets

A Founder establishes a Foundation through the appointment of a Foundation Council (made up of two members of which one must be a natural person) and registration of a Foundation Charter and By-Laws that dictate the purpose and terms of the Foundations’ holdings. The Council manages the assets, and the Founder may elect to appoint a Guardian to ensure the safekeeping and distribution of the property of the entity.

Foundations established in the RAK ICC are required to have a registered address anywhere in the UAE for the duration of their lifetime, which differs slightly from the requirements under DIFC/ADGM Foundation Regulations which require registered address to be located within the respective free zone. Registration in RAK ICC attracts a fee of USD 204, subject to annual renewal.

Making Foundations more widely available means enhanced succession planning and asset protection for both UAE nationals and expatriates as they provide a robust governance structure, guardian oversight, as well as a distinct legal personality. We are promoting UAE Foundations as a means in succession planning for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to ensure that family wealth may be protected, assets safeguarded and inter-generational legacy ensured.

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