Dubai Free zone company set up

The Simple Guide to Dubai Free Zone for Company Setup UAE

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If searching for company setup Dubai services brought you here looking for Dubai Free Zones, then you’re at the right place. Let’s quickly explore the numerous opportunities that Dubai’s Free Zones offer, especially for South Asian entrepreneurs willing to establish their business footprint in the UAE. Hear it from company setup UAE experts at Horizon Biz Consultancy, Dubai.

Understanding Free Zones in Dubai

Free Zones are strategic economic areas in Dubai offering lucrative benefits like customs duty exemptions and tax concessions. 

Governed by a unique regulatory framework, these Free Zones encourage foreign investment by providing easy startup processes, simpler labor and immigration procedures, and several legal benefits. 

Presently, Dubai is home to 25 different Free Zones contributing significantly to the GDP with a stunning economic value of AED 167.2bn.

What Makes UAE Free Zones Stand Out?

Free Zones in the UAE, especially in Dubai, operate under separate legislation compared to the mainland businesses. 

Each Free Zone is supervised by its own authority, with around 45 such zones currently operational in the UAE. 

These zones offer numerous incentives for investors, making them lucrative for businesses in various sectors like healthcare, trading, tech, and more.

Why are Free Zones Important?

Free Zones play an essential role in the economic diversification of Dubai and the entire UAE. 

They contribute significantly to the non-oil trade growth, making Dubai an attractive business destination. The latest data from the Dubai Free Zones Council reveals that these zones were responsible for nearly 31.9% of Dubai’s GDP in the initial nine months of 2018. 

Despite the COVID pandemic, Dubai’s trade figures have remained robust, indicating its resilient economy.

The Perks of Setting Up Business in Free Zones

Setting up a business in the Free Zones of UAE comes with a plethora of benefits. The most prominent ones include:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • Exemption from income and corporate taxes
  • 100% exemption from import and export tax

In addition to these, some Free Zones like the DMCC offer a 50-year tax holiday on personal and income taxes. The cost of setting up a business in a Free Zone varies depending on the specific zone, with prices for Dubai-based Free Zones ranging from 11,500 Dirhams to 51,053 Dirhams.

At Horizon Biz Consultancy, we guide you through the entire process of Free Zone company formation. Our team of experts helps you understand the local legislations, customs, and the optimal way to use a Free Zone license, thereby ensuring an efficient tax burden.

Choosing the right Free Zone is crucial for the success of your business. Dubai has over 20 operating Free Zones catering to all types of companies from startups to multinational corporations. Each Free Zone is centered around specific sectors, offering licenses typically around trading, services, and industrial activities.

Overview of Dubai Free Zones

For a comprehensive look at Dubai’s Free Zones, refer to the table below:

Free ZoneCostComplianceIndustriesPolicies
Dubai CommerCity (DCC)VariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.E-commerce, Retail100% foreign ownership, no tax, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Internet CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.IT, Telecommunications100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Media CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Media, Marketing, Broadcasting100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Production CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Production, Manufacturing100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Studio CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Broadcasting, Production100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Outsource CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Business Process Outsourcing, IT Outsourcing100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Knowledge ParkVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Education, Training, Human Resource Management100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai International Academic CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Higher Education, Training100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Science ParkVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Science, Research and Development, Innovation100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Design DistrictVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Design, Fashion, Art100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)VariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Trade of commodities, Consultancies100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Jumeirah
Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)VariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Trade, Logistics, Manufacturing100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)VariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Aviation, Pharmaceuticals, Logistics100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)VariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Technology, IT, Telecommunications100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai HealthCare CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Healthcare, Medical services, Pharmaceuticals100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
International Humanitarian CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Non-profit, Humanitarian services100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai Maritime CityVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Maritime, Shipping, Logistics100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Gold and Diamond ParkVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Jewellery Trade, Precious Metals and Stones100% foreign ownership, no tax, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai SouthVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Logistics, Aviation, Commercial, Residential100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
Dubai International Financial CentreVariableStrict financial and legal compliances, annual license renewal.Financial services, Legal firms100% foreign ownership, no tax, separate legal system based on English common law.
Meydan Free ZoneVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Various sectors100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
National Industries ParkVariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewal.Industrial, Manufacturing100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) VariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewalVarious sectors including consulting, services, logistics100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits
Dubai World Trade Centre Free Zone (DWTC Freezone)VariableStandard procedures and audits, annual license renewalVarious sectors including trade, exhibitions, events100% foreign ownership, no tax, 100% repatriation of capital and profits

Dubai Free Zone for Company Setup UAE

Each Free Zone in Dubai offers a unique blend of benefits, tailored to the specific needs of the industry or sector it caters to. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully consider the nature of your business, the target market, and the benefits offered by each Free Zone to decide the best fit for your business needs.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these Free Zones

For instance, Dubai CommerCity (DCC) is an e-commerce dedicated free zone, a strategic venture between the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) and the Wasl Asset Management Group. It is the first free zone dedicated to e-commerce in the MENA region, and offers comprehensive solutions to all e-commerce related businesses. The cost structure is variable and it follows standard compliance procedures including annual audits and license renewal.

Similarly, the Dubai Internet City caters specifically to IT and Telecommunications industries. It offers a strategic location in the heart of Dubai and technologically advanced infrastructure, which makes it an ideal place for IT companies to set up their regional base. Like DCC, it follows standard procedures for compliance and offers similar fiscal benefits.

On the other hand, Dubai International Financial Centre is focused on financial services and legal firms. In addition to offering the standard fiscal benefits, it operates under a separate legal system based on English common law, ensuring a reliable and familiar legal framework for financial firms.

Considering Company Setup in Free Zone Dubai?

Whether you’re a startup looking for a cost-effective solution, a small to medium-sized enterprise planning to scale, or a multinational corporation seeking to establish a regional base, there is a Dubai Free Zone suited to your business needs.

Overall, with its dynamic and conducive business environment, Dubai offers numerous opportunities for businesses to grow and succeed. Setting up a business in one of its Free Zones could indeed be a strategic move for businesses looking to tap into the vast potential of the Middle Eastern, African and South Asian markets.

Are you ready to set up your business in one of Dubai’s thriving Free Zones? Let Horizon Biz Consultancy guide you through the process. With our expertise in Dubai company setup services, we navigate the complexities so you can focus on what matters – your business.

We offer bespoke solutions, from identifying the best-suited Free Zone for your unique business needs, to handling all administrative and legal aspects of the set-up process. Make your entrepreneurial journey a smooth one with Horizon Biz Consultancy. 

Don’t delay – contact us today for a free, 30-minute in-depth consultation. Take the first step towards your successful business venture in Dubai. It’s your horizon. Let us help you reach it. Call now on +971 50 104 2665.

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