Comparison of UAE’s Top 5 Free Zones

Dubai’s 5 most popular free zones have become business hotspots for start-ups and SMEs from all around the world. Free zones are designated areas defined by the govt. of UAE that allows exclusive benefits to businesses carrying their operations in these jurisdictions. Benefits include

• 100% foreign ownership

• 100% corporation tax exemption

• 100% repatriation of capital funds

• Communities anchored by leading industry names

• Business-friendly legal framework

Free zones have transformed the world economic markets, bringing positive influence and diverse business opportunities to entrepreneurs and investors around the globe. Aside from these fundamental advantages listed above, free zones in UAE also provide specialized incentives to particular business types in their jurisdictions.

1. Sharjah Shams Free Zone

Sharjah Media City AKA Shams is located in the emirate of Sharjah, a cultural capital of the UAE. It gives foreign investors a safe and progressive environment for company formation in UAE along with special benefits to creative businesses which include,

• Big list of available activities under Trading, Service and Industrial licenses

• No physical presence in the UAE is required to incorporate your company

• No paid up share capital

• Flexible visa solutions

• Allocation of up to 6 visas on a shared desk facility

2. Ajman Free Zone

Opened in 1996, Ajman Free Zone Authority or AFZA is an accelerating free zone in Ajman of the UAE. It is also the most affordable zone for startups to initiate their operations in the proximity of Dubai.

• Accessible from Dubai through the E311 highway

• Trading companies can store goods in Warehouses available for duty-free storage

• Sell goods in UAE through a local trader.

• Eligible to open a bank account in Dubai

3. RAK Free Zone

Ras Al Khaimah has emerged from its traditional economic base into a world-class hub of industrial activity. Industries from numerous sectors have acknowledged RAK as an advantageous investment destination with lower costs, business friendly atmosphere, and tax-free activity. Business can avail

• Ready-made walk-in facilities

• Fast company incorporation

• Huge market for material goods

• specialized free zone parks

4. Creative City Fujairah

Creative City was inaugurated in 2007 in the Emirate of Fujairah and has Since then become one of the most dynamic free zones for creative businesses. A broad spectrum of fields is available such as technology, media, arts, design, education, events management, communication, ecommerce and marketing, and entertainment.

• Trade license in 7–10 working

• Multiple visas without the need of buying or leasing a physical property

• Freelance and Single owner packages allow minimal cost company set up in UAE

• NOC Exempted from local Emirati for business owners

• Easy 4 step process to sponsor family and employees for residence visa

5. DMCC Free zone

Home to more than 13,000 companies, DMCC has transformed into a diversified platform with unparalleled access to world class infrastructure and business facilities. DMCC is one of the most vibrant free zones of the UAE always bustling with activity from various sectors of commerce.

• Located in the heart of Dubai, it has 100% accessibility

• Open to A-Z business activity

• Tourist attraction and diversity in employee recruitment

• Abundance of healthcare centers, café’s, restaurants and other amenities