UAE Free Zones offer ample opportunities for businesses to get a foothold in the country and take advantage of the many benefits on offer. By listing your company in a UAE Free Zone, you can enjoy 100% foreign ownership, 0% corporate tax, and a wide range of other perks.
There are many Free Zones to choose from in the UAE, each with its unique benefits. So how do you decide which one is right for your business?
The first step is to consider your business activities and what kind of company you want to set up. For example, are you looking to manufacture products? Or are you planning to provide services?
Once you know what kind of business you want to set up, it will be easier to identify which Free Zone best suits your needs.
For investors wishing to establish a firm, Abu Dhabi Free Zones—or any other, for that matter—offers a variety of amenities and advantages. In addition, every free zone in Abu Dhabi has the option of a flexible business environment, which makes opening a firm there far less expensive than in other places. However, the cost of starting a firm varies from one free zone to the next. For example, the capital required in the Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone is AED 5,000 or AED 7,500 for filing costs, and license fees range from AED 15,000 to AED 50,000.
- Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)
- Abu Dhabi Global Market
- Khalifa Industrial Zone
- Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
- Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones / ZonesCorp
- Masdar City Free Zone
- 12th internationally and first for ease of doing business in the Middle East
- Simple access to national and international markets
- No cost registration
- Foreign ownership at 100% for new companies
Free Zones in Dubai
The Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) is the largest free zone in the UAE and one of the world’s leading trade and logistics hubs. JAFZA offers many business benefits, including a strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and a business-friendly environment.
The Dubai free zone offers a wide range of benefits for businesses in the financial services sector. The DIFC provides a stable and well-regulated environment that promotes the growth of the financial services sector in Dubai.
- International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)
- Dubai Airport Free Zone
- Dubai Auto ZZone
- Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park (DuBiotech)
- Dubai Car and Automotive City Free Zone (DUCAMZ)
- Dubai Design District
- Dubai Flower Center
- Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
- Dubai Healthcare City
- Dubai Industrial City (DIC)
- Dubai International Academic City
- Dubai International Financial Centre
- Dubai Internet City (DIC)
- Dubai Knowledge Village
- Dubai Logistics City
- Dubai Media City
- Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
- Dubai Outsource Zone
- Dubai Silicon Oasis
- Dubai Science Park
- Dubai Techno Park
- Dubai Textile Village
- Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone
- International Media Production Zone
- International Humanitarian City
- Jebel Ali Free Zone
- Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone
- Dubai South or DWC
- Dubai Production City
- Exemption from Import and export duties
- Easy setup
- Easy solutions
- More than 600 Business activities
Free Zones in Sharjah
The only emirate with territory on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman is Sharjah, the third-largest in the United Arab Emirates. This 2,600 sq. km. constitutional monarchy welcomes more than 5 million investors and tourists annually. Sharjah, strategically situated between Europe, Africa, and Asia, is known for having a low crime rate and an impartial judicial system. It is regarded as the nation’s shipping industry and has helped the United Arab Emirates establish an industrial backbone.
- Hamriyah Free Zone
- Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
- U.S.A. Regional Trade Center (USARTC) Free Zone
- Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone
- Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams)
- Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone)
- 100% repatriation of capital and profits
- No currency restrictions
Ajman Free Zone is well positioned to service the eastern and western trade markets thanks to its strategic location at the entrance of the Arabian Gulf. A growing free zone in the UAE is the Ajman Free Zone. Currently, the Ajman Free Zone contains over 256 industrial companies, placing it third among all the Emirates and accounting for 20% of the UAE’s total industrial units. More than 65 countries import goods from Ajman.
- Ajman Free Zone
- Ajman Media City Free Zone
- Strategic and central location
- Competitive handling charges
- Ready/easy availability of raw material
Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ), founded in 2000, is a quickly expanding and highly affordable free trade zone in the United Arab Emirates. Today, it is home to more than 12,000 businesses from more than 100 nations, representing at least 50 economic sectors. It’s a terrific area to live and do business in Ras Al Khaimah. Compared to free zones in other emirates, RAK Free Zone offers various incentives at lower prices. In addition, Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone investors can take advantage of specialized support services.
- Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)
- RAK Maritime City Free Zone Authority (RMCFZA)
- Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority
- Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone
- Ras Al Khaimah Media Free Zone
- Simplified set-up processes
- Entity formation options for free and non-free zones
- Plots of industrial land for substantial industrial developments
The only emirate in the United Arab Emirates with a coastline that is entirely on the Gulf of Oman is Fujairah, the fifth-largest of the country’s seven emirates. The Fujairah Creative City and the Fujairah Free Zone are the two main Free Zones in Fujairah.
Both are significantly less expensive than the Free Zones in Dubai and provide a wide range of license kinds. They are thus a desirable choice, especially for startups and independent contractors who don’t necessarily need actual offices.
- Fujairah Free Zone
- Fujairah Creative City
- Highly cost-effective
- For start-ups and freelancers
The Umm Al Quwain FTZ is an investor-friendly, forward-thinking free zone created primarily to help SMEs and micro businesses, which will profit from low startup costs, 100% ownership of the company, and no currency restrictions. Dubai International Airport can be reached easily in 45 minutes from Umm Al Quwain Free Zone.
With UAQ FTZ’s proximity to the UAE’s main seaports and its close proximity to both Dubai International Airport and Sharjah International Airport, connectivity to the rest of the world is made simple.
- Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ)
- Proximity to Dubai and Sharjah International Airports
- Affordable set-up costs
- Flexible space options
The UAE has several Free Zones which offer investors a variety of benefits. These include 100% ownership, no currency restrictions, and low set-up costs. In addition, the’s Free Zones are strategically located across the country and are well-connected to the rest of the world. When choosing a Free Zone, you must consider the type of business you wish to set up and the location that best suits your needs.