Planning on setting up your own business in the UAE? Here's a list of free-trade zones in Dubai to help you find the most suitable one for your start-up
30 October 2019| Last updated on 30 October 2019
A complete list of free-trade zones located in Dubai
During your research into operating a business in the UAE, you'll find that you need to opt for a license and a location. Free-zones makes it easier for expats to manage the start-up processes, labour procedure, and have 100% ownership of the company.
There are 45 free-trade zones in Dubai, each with its own authority and rules.
What is a free-trade zone in Dubai
Free-trade zones (FTZs) in Dubai are special economic areas that offer prospective expat business owners tax concessions and customs duty benefits. Each free-zone authority offer a wide range of trading, services, and industrial licenses to expat investors looking to set up their business in Dubai.
Each free-trade zone authority has its own unique framework of rules and regulations, each designed around one or more industries and only offers licenses to businesses/companies of those categories.
For example, the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority in Dubai is responsible for operating, supervising, and managing the Jebel Ali Free Zone, which is one of the biggest sea port free zones in the emirate. It has a subsidized rate of 32 percent on the UAE's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
List of free-trade zones in Dubai
Under Dubai Creative Clusters Authority
- Dubai Internet City
- Dubai Media City
- Dubai Production City
- Dubai Studio City
- Dubai Outsource City
- Dubai Knowledge Park
- Dubai International Academic City
- Dubai Science Park
- Dubai Design District
Under Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority
- Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
- Jumeirah Lakes Towers (it is now part of DMCC)
- Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority)
- Dubai Airport Free Zone (Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority)
- Dubai Silicon Oasis - (Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority)
- Dubai HealthCare City - (Dubai Healthcare City Authority)
- International Humanitarian City
- Dubai Maritime City - (Dubai Maritime City Authority)
- Gold and Diamond Park
- Dubai South
- Dubai International Financial Centre
- National Industries Park (TechnoPark)
Advantages of a free-trade zone for your business
- Gives expats 100% ownership of the business, requiring no Emirati sponsor or local service agent.
- Waiver of corporate taxes.
- The business owner and company are exempted from personal taxes, and import and export taxes.
- 100% repatriation of revenue and profits.
- Less documentation for foreign business owners and investors.
- Expat investors can benefit from long-term leasing options (up to 25 years).
- The recruitment and immigration procedures are faster, simplified, and costs less.
- Convenient availability of legal, housing, immigration, labour, and other facilities.
- 100% free transfer of funds.