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Setting Up an IT Company in Dubai

Table of Contents

Dubai is fast emerging as a leading global tech and IT hub. Many international IT companies are basing their Middle East operations out of Dubai. If you want to expand your IT business to Dubai, this guide will walk you through the key steps.

Why Should You Set Up an IT Company in Dubai?

Dubai offers the ideal ecosystem for IT businesses due to its world-class infrastructure, strategic location and business-friendly policies:

  • Technology Infrastructure: State-of-the-art connectivity, high-speed internet, 5G networks, cloud services etc.
  • Global Access: Easy access to markets in Middle East, Africa and South Asia due to its connectivity by sea and air.
  • Government Support: Policies and incentives to attract IT companies and support digital transformation.
  • Skilled Workforce: Large pool of knowledgeable IT professionals available for hiring.
  • Security: Very low crime rates and political stability ensure operational security.
  • Lifestyle: Dubai offers high standard of living, amenities, culture and entertainment.

Choosing the Right License Type

The first step is deciding between a mainland or free zone license in Dubai based on your business activities:

Mainland License

Free Zone License

IT Consulting/Services: Free zone like DMCC, DWTC is recommended
Product Development/Manufacturing: DAFZA, Meydan free zone work better

Detailed Requirements and Procedures

Once you choose the license type, here are the key requirements:

It takes 4-6 weeks to set up the company through the following process:

  1. Choose free zone or mainland
  2. Find office space and get lease papers
  3. Apply for initial approval
  4. Reserve company name
  5. Submit documents and capital
  6. Obtain license
  7. Apply for visas
  8. Open bank account

Best Free Zones for IT Companies

Here are top free zone options for IT companies in Dubai:


  • Low cost license and office space
  • IT, consulting, e-commerce focused
  • Fast setup in 2 weeks


  • Part of massive Dubai World Trade Centre complex
  • IT consulting and services focused
  • Excellent connectivity


  • Ideal for product development/manufacturing
  • High-tech infrastructure and facilities

Meydan Free Zone

  • New free zone, attractive incentives
  • IT and tech companies can set up here
  • Match free zone benefits to your specific IT niche and activity.

Operating Costs and Considerations

Here are the key ongoing costs and factors for running your Dubai IT company:

  • License Renewal: Pay fee annually, ranges from AED 25,000 – 60,000.
  • Office Rent: Lease needs to be renewed yearly. Rent depends on location.
  • Salaries: Average IT salaries range from AED 8000 – 25,000 per month.
  • Visa Costs: AED 6,000 per employee on average for residency visa.
  • Taxes: No personal income or corporate tax (yet). Only 5% VAT.
  • Hiring: Strong pool of IT talent from India, Eastern Europe, Philippines etc.

Leveraging Dubai as a Strategic IT/Tech Hub

Dubai provides the following strategic advantages for IT companies:

  • Technology Infrastructure: World-class connectivity, data centers and cloud infrastructure.
  • Co-Working Spaces: Affordable co-working options for startups and SMEs.
  • Innovation Clusters: Spaces like Silicon Park Dubai offer synergies.
  • Market Access: Easy connectivity to markets like Saudi Arabia, Africa etc.
  • Skilled Workforce: Dubai attracts top tech talent from around the world.
  • Support for Innovation: Initiatives like Dubai Future Accelerators encourage innovation.


Dubai offers the ideal ecosystem, connectivity, and lifestyle to expand your IT business. Following the step-by-step guide outlined above will help you successfully set up your IT company in Dubai and leverage it as a strategic hub serving regional and global markets. The future is digital – are you ready to be a part of it in Dubai?


What type of visa can I get in Dubai for my IT business?

You can get an Investor visa if establishing a mainland company, or an Entrepreneur visa for free zone companies. Employees can be sponsored for residency visas.

How much capital do I need to start an IT company in Dubai?

The minimum share capital ranges from AED 50,000 to AED 300,000 depending on mainland or free zone license.

What taxes will my Dubai IT company need to pay?

No corporate income or personal taxes. Only 5% VAT on goods/services. No import/export duties in free zones.

What are the ongoing costs for my Dubai IT company?

Main costs are license renewal fees, office rent, salaries, visas for employees. Also costs like utilities, insurance etc.

What is the process for hiring employees for my Dubai IT company?

You need to get employer liability insurance first. Then you can apply for work visas and sponsor employees.

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Pranav Modi

Mr. Pranav Modi, CA is supported by 12+ years of Consulting, Auditing and Accounting practice across diverse sectors.

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