Overview

United Arab Emirates is one of the most fast-growing economies in the world with many business and investment opportunities. It consists of seven Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Each Emirate has a number of free zones located at convenient locations for trading and commerce purposes. In turn, free zones were established by the governmental bodies of each Emirate in pursuit of attracting overseas investors and enforcing their position as a business and trading hub on a global scale.

UAE free zones provide a number of packages with advantageous factors for trading. Benefits of the UAE economic free zones include 100% tax exemption, low import/export duties, possibility of obtaining residency permit in UAE, complete ownership by a foreign investor and many other. In addition, each free zone provides licensing for specific types of activities.

Freezone Areas & Regions

Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)

The Government of Dubai established Dubai Airport Free Zone in 1996 to attract even more foreign investors to the region. Its convenient location, modern facilities and a number of corporate benefits make Dubai Airport Free Zone a one of a kind place for business.

Benefits:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • Cheap labour & easy recruitment procedures
  • Corporate tax, personal income tax and import & export tax exemptions

Licence:

DAFZA offers licensing for import, export, distribution, and storage of specific products.

RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA)

RAKIA is an economic free zone of Ras Al Khaimah Emirate that offers competitive costs and investment solutions. In addition, this Emirate’s cost of living and real estate prices are considerably lower than others’ providing another advantage in terms of the investment climate.

Benefits:

  • 100% Foreign Ownership
  • 100% Tax Free
  • 100% Profit Repatriation
  • Duty free within the Free Zone

Licence:

RAKIA offers licensing for general trading, services and industrial activities.

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)

JAFZA provides facilities to accommodate a wide range of investors, from residences to land plots. Being in close distance to Jebel Ali Port and Dubai International Airport JAFZA has the advantages of global connectivity. Moreover, there is a new project in place, Union Railway that is going to connect UAE to Saudi Arabia, on one end, and Oman, on the other.

Benefits:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 0% import or re-export duties
  • 0% personal income tax
  • No currency restrictions
  • No restriction on capital repatriation
  • No restriction on foreign talent or employees
  • Ability to mortgage your premises to a bank or financing company
  • Onsite Customs

Licence:

JAFZA offers a range of industrial, service and trading licences.

Dubai Media City Free Zone (DMC)

Dubai Media City launched in 2001 and focuses on local and international media companies. Having a long list of global publishing and broadcasting companies as clients, Dubai Media City has proven to be a major player on the business platform in regards its main target market.

Benefits:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Guaranteed 50-year exemption from personal, income and corporate taxes
  • Full repatriation of profits and capital
  • Exemption from customs duty for goods and services

Licence:

Commercial Licence or a Freelance Permit may be obtained through Dubai Creative Clusters Authority.

Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZ)

Hamriyah Free zone is located in the Emirate of Sharjah, the cultural capital of the Arab World. HFZ provides the following amenities to its investors: access to port and harbour, warehouses, residential property, offices, factories as well as well-developed infrastructure and telecommunication networks.

Benefits:

  • 100% tax free environment
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% exemption from all commercial levies
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits

Licence:

HFZ offers industrial, service and commercial types of licence.

Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

Dubai Maritime City free zone is a great compound for the global maritime companies. Customary to EUA, the complex facilitates hi-tech infrastructure and modern real estate. Businesses, from shipping to yacht development, may find this free zone beneficial in terms of its free regulations and the range of services for the implementation of commercial ideas. Also, the complex includes an onsite campus for education in this field.

Benefits:

  • Corporate tax, personal income tax and import & export tax exemptions
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Cheap labour & easy recruitment procedures
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits

Licence:

Dubai Maritime City offers industrial, service and commercial types of licence as well as licence for education and research.

Dubai Financial Centre Free Zone (DFC)

DFC is a unique free zone that has its own judicial system based on English Common Law. The courts here independently regulate and settle the matters in regards to businesses and companies registered in DFC. Furthermore, the free zone possesses all the other benefits in terms of tax-friendly environment, advantageous packages and prosperous investment opportunities.

Benefits:

  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • 0% tax rate on income and profits (guaranteed for a period of 50 years)
  • A wide network of double taxation treaties available to UAE incorporated entities
  • High standards of laws, rules and regulations
  • A responsive one-stop shop service for visas, work permits and other related requirements
  • An independent common law judicial system

Licence:

DFC offers licensing in the following fields: banking, professional services, insurance, wealth management and capital markets.

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