Dubai – UAE

Your Business Guide to the Freezones in UAE

Businessmen who are interested in having 100% ownership of their business in Dubai should acquire in-depth knowledge about the many free zones found in the UAE. To be honest, a majority of businesses shy away from establishing themselves in Dubai or other Emirates of the UAE only because of the requirement that they have to have a 51% partnership with someone who is a UAE national. What they don’t know is that ever since the establishment of the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai back in the year 1985, it has become much easier for foreigners to own 100% of their companies after registering them in a free zone. This particular principle holds true for all the free zones that have since been introduced.

For those who don’t know, free zones have particularly been introduced as a means of driving foreign investments to Dubai and other Emirates within the UAE. The best part about these free zones is that these have easier start-up processes, guaranteed 100% ownership for people of all nationalities and easier labor and immigration procedures together with other legal services. For reasons such as these, free zone companies have gained immense popularity in the past couple of years and more and more free zones have been established across the Emirates.

Free zones in Dubai

Five out of seven Emirates in the UAE have active free zones. As their numbers continue to increase, the establishment of free zones in UAE has definitely impacted their Emirates’ economy with these being home to more than 10,000 companies.

In the UAE, free zones are located in Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras al Khaimah. In Dubai, there’s a long list of free zones including Dubai Airport free zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Studio City, Jumeirah Lakes Towers free zone, Dubai Outsource Zone and Dubai Techno Park etc. On the whole, these tend to vary in terms of their focus, required paper work and set up costs.

Basic requirements

To begin with, it is necessary for a free zone company to have a trade license focused on its intended business. The company needs to have an office rented in the free zone on its own name. There must also be a legal representative of the company serving as its Manager along with one shareholder. Also, the company must refrain from trading outside the free zone as it is not allowed to do so without a local distributor.