Audit Requirements for Holding Company in Dubai, UAE

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), audit requirements for holding companies are comprehensively outlined in the Federal Law. According to the Commercial Companies Federal Law, No. 32 of 2021, all mainland companies in the UAE are required to undergo financial account auditing. In this article, we will discuss all the requirements and relevant details for conducting an audit for a holding company in the United Arab Emirates.

Here Are the Audit Requirements for Holding Company in the UAE

Holding companies operating within the UAE are subject to strict audit requirements instructed by Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021.

These requirements are very important to fulfill such as:

Mandatory Financial Audits

Under the requirements of Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021, a holding company is mandated to conduct annual financial audits. These audits are key in;

  • Evaluating the Company’s Financial Health
  • Validating the Financial Statements
  • Ensuring Compliance with Accounting Standards and Legal Regulations

Appointment of External Auditors

Holding companies are obligated to involve external auditors licensed by the applicable regulatory authorities in UAE such as Farahat & Co.…. These auditors conduct independent and neutral valuations of the company’s financial records. They ensure impartial verification and validation of financial records.

Statutory Reporting and Timelines

Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 mentions explicit timelines for the submission of audited financial statements. Holding companies must obey these deadlines to evade penalties and ensure transparency in financial reporting to shareholders, such as regulatory bodies, and potential investors.

Internal Controls and Audit Procedures

Establishing strong internal controls is fundamental for holding companies. These controls are inspected during audits to guarantee precision, consistency, and integrity in financial processes. The audit procedures include;

  • Systematic Review of Financial Records
  • Transactions
  • Processes To Identify Any Anomalies or Inconsistencies.

Risk-Based Auditing

Audits for holding companies in the UAE often utilize a risk-based method. This includes evaluating and ordering risks inherent in the company’s processes. Thereby, it allows auditors to emphasize areas with a higher potential for mistakes or fraud.

Disclosure Requirements

The Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 also mandates holding companies to deliver complete disclosures in their financial records. This comprises clear reporting of financial performance, risks, associated-party dealings, and other substantial information important for shareholders to make informed decisions.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to follow the audit requirements mentioned in Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 can result in consequences, fines, or legal impacts. Holding companies must prioritize obedience to evade contrary penalties.

Also Read: Audit Requirements For LLC And Joint Stock Company

Types of Audits for Holding Companies in Dubai, UAE

Holding companies are subject to many types of audits such as:

Financial Audit

At the fundamental of audit requirements for holding companies in Dubai lies the financial audit. It is an all-inclusive inspection of the financial statements and records. This audit governed by Federal Decree Law No. 32 of 2021 ensures precision and consistency in financial reporting.

Internal Audit

Internal audits are involved in augmenting corporate governance within holding companies. This type of audit emphasizes assessing internal controls, risk management procedures, and working competence. Compliance with Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 obligates holding companies to launch strong internal audit mechanisms.

External Audit

External audits are conducted by autonomous third-party audit firms in Dubai, detached from the holding company’s internal structure. These audits aim to offer an impartial evaluation of financial statements. It ensures compliance with related rules, regulations, and accounting standards, particularly those mentioned in Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021.

Compliance Audit

Compliance audits are necessary for holding companies in the regulatory landscape of Dubai. These audits evaluate obedience to explicit rules, regulations, and industry standards. With Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 providing the legal basis, compliance audits guarantee that holding companies run within the boundaries of the laws.

Specialized Audit

Some industries within the holding company domain may require specialized audits. Whether it is healthcare, real estate, or industrial, specialized audits align with division-explicit regulations and requirements. These audits offer a custom-made approach and ensure that holding companies meet industry criteria while obeying the predominant Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021. 

Documents Required for Audit of Holding Company in Dubai, UAE

Conducting an audit in a holding company within the UAE requires a complete collection of important documents such as;

Document                                           Description
Financial StatementsIt comprises Income Statements, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Statements, and records of Changes in Equity.
General LedgersIt comprises full records of all financial transactions, such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, and expenses.
Bank StatementsIt includes statements from all bank accounts held by the holding company that provide a record of dealings and balances.
Invoices and ReceiptsIt comprises secondary documentation for transactions that helps as evidence for the validity and authenticity of financial records.
Tax ReturnsIt comprises records of filed tax returns that guarantee obedience to tax rules and provide an understanding of financial activities.
Contracts and AgreementsIt comprises duplicates of agreements, contracts, and commitments impacting the company’s financial position or responsibilities.
Inventory RecordsIt comprises details of record levels, assessment methods, and stock movements that verify the precision of reported inventory.
Minutes of MeetingsIt comprises records from board meetings that summarize main decisions and negotiations affecting financial operations and approaches.
Payroll and Employee RecordsIt comprises details of employee salaries, benefits, and associated expenses that ensure compliance with labor protocols.
Asset RegistersIt comprises registers detailing all assets owned by the company such as property, equipment, and investments.
Legal and Compliance DocumentsIt comprises licenses, permits, and governing compliance certificates important for the company’s actions.


Also read: Documents Required For Audit Of Other Company

Benefits of Compliance and Audit Readiness for Holding Company in UAE

Compliance and audit readiness are key sides of a holding company’s operations in the UAE. It ensures obedience to legal requirements and adopts numerous advantages that contribute to its continuing success and sustainability.

Here are some benefits of Compliance and Audit Readiness;

Enhanced Risk Management

Keeping compliance and being audit-equipped allows a holding company to classify, assess, and alleviate potential risks efficiently. Through periodic audits aligned with legal orders, companies can proactively address weaknesses. They can also enhance flexibility and minimize the probability of financial or status damage.

Greater Access to Capital

Compliance and audit readiness make easier access to capital markets and funding opportunities. Investors and financial institutes are more persuaded to capitalize on or lend to companies that validate a commitment to regulatory compliance and sound financial practices. So, it expands development prospects.

Boosted Corporate Governance

Compliance and audit readiness strengthen strong corporate governance within a holding company. Aligning with Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 guarantees obedience to established protocols. It promotes transparency, accountability, and principled business practices.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency

A compliant and audit-ready holding company runs with efficient and well-organized processes. Compliance frameworks require distinct internal controls that lead to enhanced operations, reduced errors, and improved resource utilization. Ultimately it boosts efficiency and performance.

Legal and Regulatory Alignment

Obeying compliance regulations guarantees that the holding company runs within the legal framework of the UAE. It mitigates legal risks and avoids potential fines, consequences, or legal penalties. It safeguards the company’s stability.

Strengthened Investor Confidence

Transparent financial reporting and obedience to regulatory requirements enhance confidence among investors, shareholders, and potential partners. Signifying compliance with Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 through audit readiness guarantees stakeholders the company’s assurance of ethical conduct and consistent financial reporting.

Timelines of Audits for Holding Companies in UAE

Here are some timelines that will help you to accomplish audits in holding companies effectively;

Audits                                                 Timeline
Annual Financial AuditIt is typically conducted within 3 to 6 months after the end of the financial year. It safeguards completion before statutory deadlines.
Submission of Audit ReportsAudited financial statements must be submitted to governing authorities within 4 months days after the financial year-end, as per Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021.
Interim AuditsIt is conducted at regular intervals throughout the year. It focuses on explicit financial periods or working aspects, depending on business requirements.
Special Purpose AuditsTimelines for it differ based on the nature and scope of the audit. It often schedules as per explicit needs or events requiring the audit.
Follow-Up ActionsIt is a post-audit event. Any remedial actions or responses to audit findings should be addressed sharply.


It is essential for the success and compliance of holding companies in the UAE to follow the strict audit requirements outlined by Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021. Associating with trustworthy audit firms in Dubai, such as Farahat & Co., becomes important for complete and reliable audit services. They enable companies to fulfill complex regulations while keeping financial integrity and operational brilliance.


What Is the Holding Company Law in UAE?

The law permits your mainland holding company to conduct commercial and organizational actions through the secondary companies within the UAE and abroad without involving indirect trading or profitable activities.

How to Set Up a Holding Company in UAE?

To set up a holding company in Dubai or UAE, it includes some steps;

  • The first step to a holding company setup in UAE is to choose the location for your company. So, select the right location.
  • Next, you will have to get all the permitted documents and contracts together.
  • Last, Choose the right business advisor in UAE such as Farahat & Co.

What Are the Rules of a Holding Company?

The rules of a holding company are;

  1. Control, own, or have elective power over at least 25% of an economic institution.
  1. Control the voting of a majority of directors on the firm’s board.
  2. Own a controlling influence over the administration’s policies.

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Holding Company in Dubai?

Registration of a holding company in Dubai includes some expenses such as;

  • Obtaining your license
  • Registering the company name
  • Potentially handling visa requirements

These steps may cost to be around AED 12,500 to AED 14,500.

Can You Own 100% of a Company in Dubai?

Yes, the decrees do permit for 100% foreign ownership in UAE, and Dubai in certain authorities like Free Zones and through the (Department of Economic Development) DED license framework.