UAE has become a global trading center where people from around the world converge for the purpose of trading. The free zone company formation is a major factor that has contributed to its rapid economic growth. The flexibility of laws regulating the establishment and running of businesses in Dubai free zones has made it a sought-after market.

The UAE free zones are not regulated by the commercial laws established by the Ministry of Commerce to regulate the trading activities of mainland companies. The free zones offer foreign investors and entrepreneur’s 100% business ownership freedom in addition to a tax-free and free custom duty charges. This list of benefits free zone provides has made it an ideal destination for international companies to operate. To open a company in Dubai free zone, local partners or local service agents are not required.

What is Free Zone?

The Free zone meaning or Definition may differ according to the type of Free zone, but in general, it is a geographic area where goods may be landed, stored, handled, manufactured, or reconfigured, and re-exported under specific customs regulation and generally not subject to customs duty.

Free zones are separate entities and not governed by the UAE labor law, the companies under the free zone areas have their own set of rules and regulations, and similar to the offshore companies, no need for a local sponsor to open a free zone company and the company can be 100% owned by non-UAE or GCC nationalities.

Image by Omar Bakri

Free zones in UAE

UAE boasts of more than 40 free zones with more under construction. The Free Zone company formation in UAE might come as a tricky one as there are several options of free zones to pick from. With our knowledge and experience in business setup, we will assist you in narrowing down to the appropriate free zone suitable for your business and help you set up your free zone company in no time. The major free zones in UAE are:

Dubai Free Zones

Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)

Setting up your business at DAFZA means joining one of the fastest growing Free Zones in the UAE. Strategically located adjacent to the Dubai International Airport, businesses in DAFZA leverage unique benefits in market access, tax exemptions, and world-class facilities. Three simple steps are required to begin business activities in the free zone.

Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)

JAFZA, the trade catalyst, has evolved into a unique trade ecosystem that reduces cost, while enabling new opportunities for growth, Today, JAFZA is a dynamic base for thousands of businesses, from over 100 countries, sustaining over 135,000 jobs and attracting more than 20% of the UAE’s foreign direct investment; all the while exceeding 50% of Dubai’s total exports, with a phenomenal value for trade of $69 billion.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

Made for Trade, DMCC has firmly established Dubai as a leading center for trading international commodities and the world’s fastest-growing Free Zone. DMCC regulate, promote and facilitate trade across a range of goods from gold, diamonds and precious metals to tea, food, and industrial materials. Today, as home to major multinationals and start-ups, DMCC connect more than 15,000 businesses with the world-class services, leading infrastructure and a vibrant community they need to thrive and succeed.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

DIFC is a global financial center strategically located between the East and West, providing a stable and secure platform for businesses and financial institutions to tap into the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, The Centre’s internationally recognized and independent regulation, common law framework, tax-friendly regime, and enabling environment make the ideal hub to access the region’s rapidly growing demand for financial and business services.

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

The Dubai World Trade Centre has played a pivotal role in the growth of international trade for the Middle East, ever since the inauguration in 1979. Then, it was through the landmark 39-storey Sheikh Rashid Tower, Today DWTC is the region’s largest purpose-built complex for events and exhibitions, DWTC plays a major role within Dubai’s economy, attracting revenue for the city’s sights, restaurants, and hotels. Each year.

Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP)

Established in 2003 as part of TECOM Group, Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) aims to develop the region’s talent pool and establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy. DKP is a unique hub that offers the best selection of programs in Human Resource Management (HRM), Consultancy, Training, and Personal Development. Students receive diplomas and certificates of the highest caliber from DKP’s top-class Business Partners.

Dubai Knowledge Park provides flexible solutions with support from its innovative customer service team. With their assistance, DKP business partners have set up training centers, institutes, and HR agencies to sustain and secure their market share in this booming sector.

Dubai Internet City (DIC)

DIC is a creative collective engineered for innovation. DIC community of entrepreneurs, startups, 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. 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.

Dubai Media City (DMC)

DMC is a stimulating environment can inspire the next creative masterpiece. 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.

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSOA)

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), a 100% government-owned free zone, was established following Law no 16 of 2005 of the Government of Dubai, with the Mission to “facilitate and promote modern technology-based industries” thus supporting the region’s demand for business expansion. A full package of incentives and benefits are provided to companies operating within the free zone. Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is a technology park and provides both a living and working integrated community.

Dubai Healthcare City – Regulatory (DHCR)

Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory (DHCR) is an independent regulatory arm of Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA). The DHCA is the governing body of Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) – a health and wellness destination in the world’s largest healthcare free zone.

DHCR regulates the free zone and reports directly to the DHCA Board. It is responsible for ensuring compliance and enforcement of international quality standards for clinical and non-clinical facilities. It also oversees the licensing of all healthcare professionals, educators and operators, and the setting and maintenance of international best healthcare practices within DHCC.

Dubai South

Dubai South is an economic zone that supports several activities including logistics, aviation, commercial, exhibition, humanitarian, residential and other related businesses. The Business Centre at Dubai South is expertly designed to facilitate the growth of every business from start-ups to SMEs. Offering complete turnkey business services and cost-effective office solutions it is perfectly aligned to suit global business needs.

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