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With more than 30 free zones operating in Dubai only, setting up a business in a free zone is relatively easy. Free zone authorities require minimum paperwork and duration. Apart from state-of- the-art infrastructure and business facilities, one of the most compelling reasons investors are choosing Dubai’s free zones is the fact that it does not require a local sponsorship, providing 100% ownership.
Here are the key steps to set up a business in a free zone:
Free zone business setup advantages:
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Free Zone, located in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) – Made for Trade, DMCC has everything to set up, grow and build your business. Four times crowned ‘Global Free Zone of the Year’ by the Financial Times fDi magazine, it is home to a vibrant community, innovative infrastructure, world-class services and a stunning choice of properties, all minutes from excellent air, sea and road links to the world. Today, DMCC is the dedicated global centre for more than 15,000 businesses from a wide range of industries and sectors, as diverse as agro, energy and financial services to diamonds, gold and base metals. As a DMCC member, you can access all the advantages of unparalleled trade connections direct to Dubai, the UAE and world’s key commodities markets.
Valued at $ 27.6 bn., UAE has the largest market for design, outlining not just a business district, but an authentic innovative community with a soul. D3’s vision is fully aligned with Dubai Strategy 2021 to create a “Cohesive Inclusive Community of Creatives’”. Designed by Foster and Partners, the phase 2 of D3 is due for completion in 2019 and it is specifically designed to forge an active community customized to fit contemporary business needs – from established names and global brands, to start-ups – D3 brings together the whole creative league under one roof and one principle: with creative energy, passion meets purpose. D3 is set to become the “playground” for more than 180,000 creative individuals and home for one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment unique concepts, providing its visitors with a distinctive experience. Launched in 2013 by the UAE’s Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum, to encourage growth and investment in markets like digital media, arts, design, and fashion Dubai Design District (D3) is the latest of Free Zone business parks by TECOM Investments.
Identified as the emirate’s flagship urban project, Dubai South is centered on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. According to Dubai South officials, the royal vision is reflected in the themes of Dubai Plan 2021, which apply to Dubai South as follows:
To become a city of happy, creative and empowered people.
To become the preferred place to live, work and invest.
To create an inclusive and cohesive society.
To build a smart and sustainable city.
To become a pivotal hub in the global economy.
Dubai South Free Zone is a development currently under construction, which will serve as an economic zone to support a number of activities including logistics, aviation, commercial, exhibition, humanitarian, residential and other related businesses around Al Maktoum International Airport. Dubai South has a planned annual capacity of 12 million tons of cargo and 160 million passengers. The construction area is 145 square kilometers, almost two times the size of Hong Kong Island. Dubai South –The City of You – is an emerging 145 sq. km. master-planned city based on happiness of the individual.
DAFZA is one of the most prestigious and advanced Free Zones in Dubai. It provides an ideal base to do business in the Middle East by providing a business-friendly environment, world class infrastructure, tax exemptions, full repatriation of earning, total ownership and exceptional facilities. Strategically located next to the Dubai International Airport it boasts rapid clearance and fast processing of paperwork to maximize business activity and efficiency.
Located within DAFZA are all relevant government departments and private organizations that you need to access on a day to day basis to run your business smoothly. The one-stop shop concept brings together the dedicated Government Service Center and private organizations such as Banks and Telecommunications companies to allow you to enjoy the ease of access and seamless processes.
Jafza is a leading Free Zone in the region that lies at the centre of trade and is part of a unique ecosystem that offers end to end solutions and growth opportunities to businesses that operate locally and globally. In over 3 decades, Jafza grew from 19 companies in 1985 to more than 500 in 1995, and over 8,600 today, which includes nearly 100 Global Fortune 500 enterprises. Most of these companies have set up their regional headquarters in Jafza to serve the wider Middle East region comprising West Asia, the CIS, Africa and Indian Subcontinent. Today, Jafza proudly stands as a dynamic base for thousands of businesses from over 100 countries, sustains more than 135,000 jobs and attracts 23.9% of Dubai’s foreign direct investment.
Dubai Outsource City (DOC) was launched in 2007 to cater to the market demand for outsourcing companies. DOC supports Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), HR Outsourcing, IT Outsourcing, back office and call centre operations. DOC provides comprehensive, purpose-built infrastructure for companies who want to establish themselves within an UAE free zone. DOC offers state-of-the-art office space, robust telecom infrastructure, facilities management services and a 24-hour security service.
Some of the free zone benefits extended to DOC Business Partners include 100% business ownership and tax-free income, as well as value-added services such as networking opportunities, venue management, industry awareness programs and government services.
Dubai Silicon Oasis is a globally recognized free zone and an integrated technology park that allows people to live, work, and play. Hosting modern technology-based industries and an urban master-planned community in an iconic location, DSO offers state-of-the-art infrastructure and in-house business services
DSO 2021 STRATEGY
Dubai Academic City or Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is the world’s first Free Zone devoted to higher education. Set up in 2007 as a part of TECOM Investments, DIAC intends to build up the locale’s talent pool and set up the UAE as knowledge-based economy. DIAC is the head destination for Higher Education in the region, situated on a completely delegated 18 million sq ft. ground with state-of-the-art modern facilities. DIAC as of now has 21 of the UAE’s 37 International Branch Campuses (IBC), from 11 unique nationalities, a record worldwide. DIAC is host to an extensive student community from 137 nationalities who have access to more than 400 Higher Education programs.
Launched in 2005, Dubai Studio City (DSC) is a global business community that provides cutting-edge facilities and services to companies across the broadcasting, film production, TV, music, and entertainment sectors. Dubai Studio City provides an all-in-one solution to facilitate an easy, efficient and innovative production process. DSC meets your creative needs by offering outstanding production services, the largest Sound Stages in the region, backlots, sets, water tanks, production offices, recording studios and offices.
Dubai Media City (DMC), was launched in January 2001 to establish Dubai as the region’s leading media hub. DMC encompasses a media community of over 20,000 people working in over 2,000 regional and international media companies that are pushing the limits of creativity every day.
DIC fosters entrepreneurs, empowers SMEs, and attracts global ICT leaders to Dubai. Here is where your business accesses a rich ecosystem of knowledge workers, nimble service providers, and expertise from the world over. DIC community of entrepreneurs, start-ups, facilitators and Fortune 500 companies is busy creating the future of regional ICT and disrupting the status quo. DIC is the MENA region’s largest ICT hub, with liberal regulations that facilitate business success.
Dubai Production City was launched in 2003 as the first dedicated community aiming to advance the development of the production industry in the region. DPC benefits from free zone privileges and regulations that facilitate the ease of business and operations, a unique and vibrant community supporting and fostering the growth of media production. Home to qualified business professionals from around the globe, Dubai Production City is a holistic community offering business, retail and residential lifestyle. Located along Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (E-311), DPC is home to 255 companies, 85 nationalities and 6022 workforce.
The Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) free zone, established in 2002, brings together core healthcare services, attracting the best in class global and regional names, as well as a network of businesses from hospitality to consultancies and retail outlets. DHCC has its own regulatory body, and facilitates end-to-end business set-up. As DHCC expands, residents and visitors will soon be able to experience a community that encourages healthy living and welcomes innovative concepts in healthcare and wellness from around the world.
Dubai Science Park (DSP) is the region’s first free zone community that serves the entire value chain of the science sector, dedicated to supporting scientific Entrepreneurs, SMEs and multinational enterprises. Designed specifically for the needs of businesses and professionals who work in life sciences, DSP fosters an environment that supports scientific research, creativity, innovation and passion. By providing ample office and laboratory space, a robust infrastructure and a vibrant community for residents, DSP ensures a supportive eco-system for businesses to flourish and bring about sustainable change and improvement to the world around us.
Situated in the heart of Ras Al Khaimah, RAKEZ is a powerhouse business and industrial hub in the UAE that uniquely offers customisable solutions to free zone and non-free zone businesses. From freelancers and startups to SMEs and industrialists, our multinational community is flourishing in over 50 industries. Blessed with a strategic location, RAKEZ connects investors to growing markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe as well as South and Central Asia. RAKEZ is a gateway to international trade where companies undertake activities in a safe and responsible manner, consistent with all applicable laws and international best practice.
Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone operates Airports' Free Zones, a Logistics Park, Business Parks, Business Centres and One Stop Shop Services. Its jurisdiction spreads across more than 10.6 Km2 around Abu Dhabi International Airport covering five commercial districts: Logistics Park, Business Park, Destination Village, Al Falah District and Airport City. Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone is a vital part of Abu Dhabi’s plans to establish itself as a dynamic business centre in support of the Abu Dhabi 2030 Economic Vision.
KIZAD delivers unique advantages – extensive size, world-class infrastructure, free zone and non-free zone solutions, dedicated investor support, tax-free environment with competitive operating costs and strategic location with access to regional and international markets. These contribute to making KIZAD one of the world’s foremost port-integrated industrial zones and a leading hub for manufacturing, logistics and trade across diverse sectors. Located near Khalifa Port – one of the world’s most advanced deep sea ports with world-class infrastructure – KIZAD enables multimodal connectivity via sea, air, road and rail networks.
Hamriyah Free Zone, UAE’s second largest industrial free zone is spread across approx. 26 million square metres. Established in November 12, 1995 by Emiri Decree No. 6 of 1995, it is home to over 6,500 businesses from 163 countries. In addition to world-class facilities including offices, warehouses, factories and executive office suites, Hamriyah Free Zone also has over 15 on-site key business services, like banking and auditing firms, currency exchanges, conference rooms, staff accommodation, and more.
Fujairah Free Zone is adjacent to the Port of Fujairah. Companies established here have easy access to all Arabian Gulf ports, the Red Sea, India and Pakistan on weekly feeder vessels. Mainline services arrive from Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Far East and North America on a weekly basis, and services leave twice weekly to the Far East and once a week to North America. Fujairah Free Zone is also close to Fujairah International Airport which is the only airport serving the UAE East Coast as well as northern Oman. A fortunate combination of geographic location, with access to world’s major shipping routes, a fine port & airport, and streamlined procedures, make the Free Zone of Fujairah an ideal place for business.
Established in 1988, Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) offers outstanding investment opportunities to both local and foreign businessmen and investors. AFZ strategic location enables an ultimate accessibility to seaports, airports and to an international road network that enables AFZ to serve and connect with its neighboring countries.