All you need to know about free zones in Dubai, UAE

Almost everyone willing to start a business in Dubai prefer free zones so what it is actually! How it’s different from mainland business and what’re the corporate benefits. This post answer all the questions so don’t miss reading this post.

Free zone defined

The name “free zone” is referred to an isolated land, area or setting with specialised system of tax, trade and customs. These standards are entirely different as compared to the country that involves a rank of additional territory. The very idea of establishing free zones in the UAE was to assist the global business structure rather than just regional-specific. This is the reason companies here correspond to and serve worldwide operations and as a result enjoy easy trade and growth opportunities.


There’re innumerable benefits a free zone company enjoys. A few are listed below;

  • No capital gains or personal income tax
  • 100 percent international ownership
  • No corporate taxes, import and export duties
  • State-of-the-art infrastructure and technology
  • Leased property for investor development
  • Pre-built factories, warehouse and office accommodation units
  • Inexpensive and abundant energy sources so on

Business setup guidelines

Corporate laws for each free zone in the UAE are different however most businesses lie in the following broad category;

  • A subsidiary or branch of an international firm other than the UAE operating upon approval of the free zone authority
  • A free zone establishment/company that can be FZE/FZ LLC/FZC

Here, FZC or FZE are limited liability firms owned by a corporation or an individual.

Allowed activities

In Dubai, the Jebel Ali and Dubai Airport Free Zone business activities include import and export, export, manufacturing, assembly, processing, package, distribution, storage, consolidation and logistics.

Dubai Internet City caters network and web services such as IT support, software development. Dubai Healthcare City is an epicentre of healthcare and medical industry where Dubai Media City is a hub of broadcast, marketing and multimedia operations.

Choosing a free zone

There’re various factors to consider when determining the most appropriate free zone per your business needs. The aspects defined here are included but not entirely limited to. These are;

  • Location
  • Facilities and infrastructure
  • Licensing
  • Setup cost
  • Hidden charges and so on

If you’ve sufficient know-how about the region and the coherent business factors, choosing an appropriate free zone won’t be entirely difficult. All you need is to conduct a thorough research and be well informed of all the organisational aspects.

Whether new to the place or have been living there for years, seeking a professional consultancy service is highly recommended. Do remember that these standards and procedures are subjected to change by and over so always keep yourself updated of the latest market trends.

A professional consultant’s service can be expensive but spending some additional bucks guarantees a worthy outcome.

The economic viewpoint

As setup cost and procedure varies, economic factors during establishment depends on a great many things such as;

  • Size and nature of business
  • Manpower and visa requisites
  • Allocated budget
  • Rental cost of warehouse, industry or office space


You’re free to commence business operations in the UAE only through authorised local firms having mainland registration. Appoint an agent or a local dealer for ease of trade with other local organisations in the region only after dispensing the required custom duties.

Minimum investment or capital required

Minimum capital requisite for a free zone business setup also varies. The type of market you’ll serve, nature of operations and primary requirements all are taken into consideration. The average minimum investment to execute business in the UAE free zones is more or less AED 200,000.


The details provided above clearly delineate business setup and commencement in free zones of the UAE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.