Encouraging Entrepreneurialism: Dubai Free Zones

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Do you want to settle in Dubai and start or relocate your business? You are on the right way! The free zones are one of the country's biggest economic success stories. The approach has allowed the country to significantly improve its business environment since the 1980s. Thousands of entrepreneurs from all over the world do their business in Dubai and are greatly encouraged by every opportunity and advantage the city provides. In this guide, we will cover the key information you need to know about these entities.

Dubai Free Zones

A free zone is a geographically delineated area of ​​the city where 100% foreign ownership of companies is allowed (no need to involve a local partner (UAE citizen)). Rules and regulations are set up for each free zone by its authorities. Companies are allowed to trade with other companies in their own free zones and internationally, but require some approvals to trade directly with clients in Dubai and the UAE mainland. In order to do that, a company must obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) by contacting their respective free zone for certain business activities that allows them to open an office anywhere on Dubai mainland. Some of the options may include: seeking out a mainland logistics partner to distribute goods for you in the UAE, working with a delivery partner who can deliver parcels for you, or setting up a branch office on the mainland. 

To date, there are more than 20 free zones in the emirate of Dubai. Here is a full list:

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

Advantages for your business

  • Keep more of your profits. Business owners can have 0% income tax rate and no customs taxes, excluding import products sold to the mainland. However, VAT is also applicable for business owners in a non-gated free zone.
  • It’s all yours. Unlike the case when 51% of the company shares must be owned by the local partner, free zones in Dubai permit complete foreign ownership – which makes it attractive for companies owned by foreigners.
  • Pick any currency. Enjoy no currency regulations of any kind in Dubai free zones and use any type of currency, including crypto. It makes the transaction process much easier for foreign businessmen.
  • Have best conditions. Dubai has a world-class infrastructure, an e-governance system, and ultramodern service sectors that provide opportunities for you to connect with a global business community. There are also several warehouses and sufficient office space that makes it a perfect choice for SMEs and start-ups.

Ready for registration in a free zone?

Let the Palladium Group pave the way for you! Our team of experts can take a comprehensive look at your business requirements and craft the most optimal solution by comparison of all available options.

If you’re ready to get started, we encourage you to contact us now.