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Why is it Beneficial to Start a Business in the Dubai Free Zone?


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Dubai is a geographically strategic location as the confluence of the East and West and enhances business growth beyond all borders. It is the gateway to the rich oil economies and an obvious choice for international investors and entrepreneurs.

Dubai Government has embarked upon its relentless effort to transform the city into an enviable global logistics hub supported by solid aviation and supply chain networks. Dubai also implements an agile and business-friendly regulatory environment.

The city is supported by a solid and stable economy and forward-looking policies, planned development and infrastructure initiatives. A metropolitan city and home to more than 3 million expats from many countries across the globe, Dubai promotes technology and innovation in all spheres of life consistently outperforming many other international cities in global indicators e.g. prosperity, happiness and living standard.

The city enjoys world-class infrastructure facilities and transportation networks including high-quality communication systems. It is very well connected with all leading economies in the world through air and sea.

Business set up in Dubai Free Zone is ideal for start-ups because of a host of factors such as e-governance and other support services, and easy fundraising potential.

What are Free Zones?

Free Zones are special economic zones that offer customs duty benefits and tax concessions to investors and they are each governed by a special framework of rules and regulations. They are designed to encourage foreign investment with 100% ownership for all nationalities along with easier start-up processes, labour and immigration procedures, and other legal services.

How many Free Zones are there in Dubai?

There are more than 30 Free Zones operating in Dubai out of which 19 are participating Free Zones and most of them cater to specific sectors, providing industry-specific licenses trading, industrial activities and different types of services.

The city is surrounded by these Free Zones that accommodate all businesses, from startups to SMEs to large multinationals.  All businesses activities are benefitted from  well developed logistics and supply-chain networks.

The major Dubai Free Zones are

  • Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • Dubai Airport Free Zone
  • Dubai Design District
  • Dubai Healthcare City
  • Dubai International Academic City
  • Dubai Internet City
  • Dubai International Financial Centre
  • Dubai Knowledge Village
  • Dubai Media City
  • Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
  • Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
  • International Media Production Zone
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone
  • Dubai Production City
  • Dubai World Central (Dubai South)
  • Dubai Studio City
  • Dubai World Trade Centre Free Zone
  • Dubai CommerCity

There are some Free Zones that are less costly and more economical for business operations and include

  • Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) DSO is the mecca of cutting-edge technology and development in Dubai
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)
  • Dubai Media City (DMC)
  • Dubai Healthcare City (DHC)
  • Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)

Are all the Free Zones suitable for all types of businesses?

Before you go for a Free Zone, you need to carefully ascertain what advantages are offered in that Free Zone for your business. While Jebel Ali Free Zone gives you easy access to air and sea routes most appropriate for shopping business, a DMCC company formation needs to be considered mostly for trading businesses and JAFZA company formation would be best for logistics businesses.

As a regional hub for many sectors including aviation, financial services, logistics, trade, media, tourism, information and communication technology, and healthcare, Dubai offers a host of benefits and cluster effects to companies in those sectors that choose Dubai as a base.

Which free zones suit your business most can be found from this link.

Why should I incorporate my business in Dubai Free Zones?

Dubai is widely known as the Future City and heaven for startups because of its thriving technology and innovation ecosystem and supportive government policies. It is untrue that Dubai is expensive, rather it is one of the most cost-effective choices for setting up a business due to zero tax, no import-export duty including many more cost benefits. With the development of both physical and digital infrastructure including other business amenities, Dubai has started to attract more and more foreign businesses and become home to more than 70% of fortune 500 companies.

 There are multiple benefits of setting up your business in Dubai Free Zone and the most notable ones are enumerated as under.

  • 100% Foreign Ownership needing no local UAE citizen as a sponsor.
  • 100% Repatriation benefits on capital and profits
  • No Foreign Exchange regulation and simple and easy transactions
  • No Import/Export duty and free global trade
  • Straightforward Immigration process including Residence and Employment visas
  • Easy and convenient Company Incorporation with simple licensing procedures
  • Easy and simple Workforce engagement and conducive employment rules for foreign expats
  • Tax-free business environment both for corporates and individuals with 15 years tax exemption renewable for another 15 years
  • No mandatory initial capital requirements
  • Easy access to huge MENASA market
  • Availability of several incubators and accelerators such as DIFC FinTech Hive etc.
  • Easy access to funding with 19 Venture Capitalists (the highest in MENA region) as well as P2P and Islamic Funding
  • Economic Assistance by Dubai government through 20% Capital project cost allocation to startups and SMEs, 27 million USD through ‘Smartprenuer’ initiative

How can you Set Up a Company in Dubai Freezone?

Registering a foreign company in the Dubai Free Zone is easy but becomes easier when you outsource the services of a reputed and professional service provider based in Dubai to avoid some complexities and impediments experienced from time to time. It typically takes three weeks once you decide on the specific free zone to incorporate your business.

More details of the Dubai Free Zone company formation process can be found in this link.

How can IMC help you in a successful business set-up in the Dubai Free Zone?

We at IMC are a team of highly experienced and qualified professionals with a proven track record of providing high value-added PRO services backed by our global business insight and local knowledge.

We have been operating in Dubai and the UAE for more than a decade and also have our operational bases in many parts of the Middle East and other GCC nations.

We believe in continuous learning and keep ourselves updated and well informed about the rapidly changing business laws and regulations in the UAE and Dubai.

Once you hire us, we shall help you in business-related documentation including translation and attestation, all immigration and licensing formalities, banking and all other legal processes and also assist you in developing a strong and transparent relationship with the authorities for continued business growth and development.


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