Free economic zones in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the world's most favorable jurisdictions for establishing a profitable business. Capital accumulation is facilitated particularly through the licensing of business activities in Free Economic Zones (FEZ). Let's take a closer look at what FEZs are and how many free zones in Dubai. They emerged in 1980 and represent specific areas within a city with defined geographic boundaries where foreign nationals can legally own and operate commercial entities. There are over 50 free zones in UAE, each with its own distinct features and benefits. One of the undeniable advantages is the simplified process of setting up a company. For instance, establishing a business does not require the involvement of local agents or partnerships with Emirati nationals. However, a potential drawback for some might be the territorial limitation on operations, meaning business activities cannot be conducted outside the chosen zone.
Free economic zones in the UAE
Our advantages
Work experience
For more than 8 years, Dynasty Business Adviser has been successfully introducing new players to the UAE business market. Our employees' qualifications in international law and practical experience in solving the most complex problems allow our team to develop effective schemes for clients to start activities in the Emirates successfully.
From the moment of acquaintance until the end of cooperation, all tasks set by the client are solved quickly. We are available 24/7 and promptly attend meetings. Time is money, so our team acts professionally and harmoniously, achieving the desired result quickly.
We plan and organize future activities considering the specifics of local legislation. We also handle all the formalities: company registration, legalizing documents, obtaining tax certificates and licenses, opening bank accounts, and accounting support. Your UAE business will work like a Swiss watch.
No intermediaries
Having its own office in Dubai allows Dynasty Business Adviser to work directly with clients. We do not transfer cases into the hands of intermediaries but independently represent your interests in government and commercial structures so we can guarantee the efficiency of our work and the achievement of our goals.
Complete anonymity is one of the guarantees for the safe start and operation of the client’s business. That is why we pay attention to non-disclosing confidential information to third parties. Our goal is successful cooperation and an invaluable contribution to the impeccable Dynasty Business Adviser reputation.
VIP service
Our activity's main priority is finding ways to achieve clients’ goals. Our professionals will solve any assigned tasks, even if the situation requires a non-standard approach, and will complete the work they have started. With Dynasty Business Adviser, your business has every chance of success in the UAE.
Free economic zones in the UAE, image 1

Key features of doing business in UAE Free Economic Zones include:

  1. 100% foreign ownership of the business by founders/shareholders.
  2. In some free zones, no initial capital requirement is mandated, or the amount is not fixed by the FEZ authority.
  3. No customs duties on the import and export of any group of goods.
  4. No restrictions on capital and profit repatriation.
  5. High level of confidentiality.
  6. Ability to open a bank account in the UAE.

The basics of legislation regulating Free Economic Zones

From a commercial perspective, the emirates offer unique opportunities for both novice entrepreneurs and experienced businesspeople looking to invest in the development of their ventures outside their home country. The legislative framework of the emirates is very flexible in this regard.

The main distinctive features of UAE legislation that ensure a regular influx of foreign investors include:

  • minimal corporate taxes compared to systems of taxation in Europe and the United States;
  • export-import incentives;
  • simplified customs clearance;
  • active support for startups.

Economic success and prosperity of the country are top priorities for the government. A significant portion of the UAE’s GDP growth is driven by the FEZ.

How to choose a FEZ?

At first glance, choosing the best free zone in UAE among the numerous options available can be challenging, as each free zone has its own advantages and disadvantages for different types of businesses.

Key rules and steps for selecting a free zone in Dubai and other emirates:

  • First, determine all the types of activities permissible under a single license within a specific free zone. Keep in mind that increasing the number of activities proportionally increases the cost of the license.
  • To legalize your business in the UAE, having an office is mandatory. Therefore, when selecting premises, consider the cost of rent/purchase, and choose the type of building that meets the needs of your business operations. The business space should also align with the number of resident visas required for your company’s staff in various cities across the UAE.
  • Plan your logistics in advance (especially relevant for trading companies). For instance, to reduce transportation costs, placing a warehouse near an airport or seaport is an optimal choice.
  • Most free zones require the deposit of share capital in the form of a deposit into the account of the chosen freezone authority Dubai or the company’s account upon its establishment.
  • Ensure there are no restrictions on attracting shareholders. In some free zones, there are bans on the activities of citizens from certain countries.
  • Confirm the availability of incentives for regular submission of financial reports and whether an annual audit report is required.
  • Familiarize yourself with the nuances of opening a bank account, as the reputation of the free zone plays a significant role in registering a bank account.
  • Properly handle the No Objection Certificate (NOC) if applicable. This refers to written confirmation from your current employer stating that they do not object to you starting a new business in a specific free zone.
  • The main cost components are the license fee, company registration fee, and rental costs.

Map of free zones in the UAE

Free economic zones in the UAE, image 10

Below, we will examine the features of popular free zones depending on their type, geography, and zone administration requirements to gain a deeper understanding of what a free economic zone means in terms of individual territorial units.

What are the free zones in Dubai?

Freezone areas in Dubai have created an extremely favorable climate for foreign business ownership. A significant advantage of this best free zone in Dubai is the ability to attract shareholders from countries marked as “high-risk”. However, an audit is required in each of the zones described below.

In the table below, we will structure information of Dubai’s free zone locations and the current requirements for setting up a company in this emirate. The cheapest freezone in Dubai offers an attractive option for businesses looking to establish a presence in this dynamic market.

Free Zone NameMinimum Share Capital Requirement (in AED)Time to Set Up a Company in the Free Zone, daysPermitted ActivitiesKey Features
DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre)5000020-25Trading, ServicesThe most prestigious and fastest-growing free zone
DWC (Dubai South Free Zone)30000015-20Services, Manufacturing, TradingNo need to deposit share capital in a bank account
JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone)No minimum amount15-25Services, Trading, ManufacturingFounders determine the capital amount to be deposited as mandatory
DAFZA (Dubai Airport Free Zone)100010-20Trading, Manufacturing, Professional ActivitiesVersatile free zone
MFZ (Meydan Free Zone)1000002-5Manufacturing, Trading, Professional ActivitiesNo requirement to deposit capital in a bank account
DIC (Dubai Internet City)5000020-25IT Services100% focus on information technology
DTEC (Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus)1000020-25ServicesAllows for a virtual office with a maximum of 2 resident visas
DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)18500028-42Financial SectorThe only economic zone in Dubai currently operating in this sector
DMC (Dubai Media City)5000020-25MediaAlso suitable for freelancers
DKP (Dubai Knowledge Park)5000020-25Education, HR ManagementAlso suitable for business consulting in the education sector
DHCC (Dubai HealthCare City)5000020-35Medical ServicesWhen purchasing a clinic license, the capital requirement increases to AED 300,000
DAZ (Dubai Auto Zone)5000030-40Vehicle Trading (Import-Export), Auto InsuranceRegulated by Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)
DSO (Dubai Silicon Oasis)10000015-20Manufacturing, Trading, ServicesSilicon Valley offers favorable conditions to new market participants in exchange for a share of the created company’s profit
DPC (Dubai Production City)1000015-20Various Manufacturing Sectors, Trading Companies, Industrial ServicesPart of Tecom Group
DWTC (Dubai World Trade Center)30000021-30Trading, Exhibition and Event ManagementFEZ of the Dubai World Trade Centre
DOC (Dubai Outsource City)30000021-30Accounting and Financial Services, Sales and Data Centers, including Call CentersLike DPC, part of Tecom Group
DGDP (Dubai Gold and Diamond Park)30000021-30Trading, ManufacturingLease agreements for retail space, warehouses, and office spaces are concluded with EMAAR
Dubai Scienсe Park (DSP)30000021-30International TradePart of the Meydan free zone. No physical real estate leasing (only virtual offices). Corporate and personal tax holidays up to 50 years
DIAC (Dubai International Academic City)30000021-30Educational InstitutionsDubai Academic City also offers hot desk rentals for freelancers
D3 (Dubai Design District)5000021-30Manufacturing (Cosmetics, Clothing), Modeling, Event Management, Business ConsultingOffice space can be rented without a license for freezone companies in Dubai
DIHC (Dubai International Humanitarian City)5000030-90Any activity related to providing humanitarian aidProof of humanitarian activities is required. Limited license duration (up to 2 years)

Free Zones Abu Dhabi

Free Zone NameMinimum Share Capital Requirement (in AED)Time to Set Up a Company in the Free Zone, daysPermitted ActivitiesKey Features
ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market)1850005Insurance, Banking, Finance, Asset ManagementOptimal for obtaining blockchain and cryptocurrency licenses. Possibility to lease actual or virtual office space
MCFZ (Masdar City Free Zone)5000014-20Eco-technology, Alternative Energy SystemsPossibility to lease both physical and virtual offices
TwoFour54 Media and Entertainment HubNo fixed minimum10-15Media and Service Activities, FreelanceConvenient location (logistics-wise). Virtual space rental available for selected activities
KIZAD (Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi)15000021-28Industry, TradingFinancial industrial free zone with E11 highway frontage for KIZAD free zone companies

Free Zones in Sharjah

The main advantage of doing business in the Emirate of Sharjah is its access to two major ports (a node on the Indian Ocean coast and a hub in the Persian Gulf).

Free Zone NameMinimum Share Capital Requirement (in AED)Time to Set Up a Company in the Free Zone, daysPermitted ActivitiesKey Features
SPFZ (Sharjah Publishing Free Zone)500002-5Media business and creative activities (publishing), printingRenting an office (furnished or unfurnished) allows for up to five visa quotas
SAIF (Sharjah Airport Free Zone)1500006-7Services sector, heavy/light industry, trading companiesIn addition to offices, it is possible to rent land plots and warehouses for most types of activities
HAFZA (Hamriyah Free Zone)1500007-10Shipping industry, gas, metallurgy, oil and petrochemical industries, construction and timber, perfume productionIn addition to commercial property and land, accommodation for hired personnel can be rented

Free Zones in Ras Al Khaimah

Free Zone NameMinimum Share Capital Requirement (in AED)Time to Set Up a Company in the Free Zone, daysPermitted ActivitiesKey Features
RAKEZ (Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone)1000002-4Trading, industry, services (more than 50 sectors)The free zone offers customizable solutions tailored to both offshore and onshore companies
RAKIA (RAK Investment Authority)1000007-10Services, various industrial sectors, trading enterprisesStrategic location with two major industrial parks (Al Ghail, Al Hamra)
RAK FTZ (RAK Free Trade Zone)No fixed minimum amount10Education (academic zone), industry and trade (technology, industrial, and business parks)Flexible business operation conditions

Ajman Free Zones

Free Zone NameMinimum Share Capital Requirement (in AED)Time to Set Up a Company in the Free Zone, daysPermitted ActivitiesKey Features
AFZA (Ajman Free Zone)18500010-12E-commerce, industry, services, retailLicense fees can be divided into installments based on the payment plan (monthly, semi-annually, quarterly, annually)
AMC (Ajman Media City)1000005-7Specific types of services and trade activities, media businessFlexibility to combine different types of activities under one license

Fujairah Free Zones

Free Zone NameMinimum Share Capital Requirement (in AED)Time to Set Up a Company in the Free Zone, daysPermitted ActivitiesKey Features
IFZA (International Free Zone Authority)1500002-3Provision of services including consultancy, tradingNo need for founders to be present (with UAE entry stamp)
FFZ (Fujairah Free Zone)1500006-7Re-export/export, import of goodsThe zone has a container terminal. The cost of setting up a company is lower compared to similar procedures in Dubai free zones
FCC (Fujаirah Creative City)1500006-7Services onlyLow registration fees and no requirement for annual audit reports. It is the only free zone where no written employer consent is needed to start a business

Can a company be registered in a free zone but operate in another?

Registering a company in a UAE free zone means that your business activities are restricted to the specific economic space of the chosen free zone. The scope of your business operations is strictly defined by the license you obtain.

Providing services, engaging in trade, or manufacturing outside the chosen free zone is prohibited.

If the business owner aims to collaborate with partners outside their free zone, they must use the services of a distributor or intermediary.

Free Zone tax legislation

Entities registered in an international free zone in the UAE are subject to the following taxes:

  • 9% corporate tax: A 9% corporate tax is levied on income exceeding AED 375,000. If the taxable income does not exceed this threshold, no tax is imposed, and the rate remains at 0%. Companies engaged in qualifying activities within designated free economic zones may be exempt from the 9% tax, provided certain conditions are met.
  • 5% VAT: It applies to most goods and services if the total revenue in the reporting period exceeds AED 375,000. Some activities may qualify for a 0% VAT rate.

To avoid financial risks associated with penalties for violating UAE tax laws, it is crucial to maintain accurate and consistent accounting records. Experts from Dynasty Business Adviser can manage this task, eliminating the need for an in-house accounting team.

*Designated Free Zones:

Abu Dhabi:

  • Free Trade Zone of Khalifa Port;
  • Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone;
  • Khalifa Industrial Zone;
  • Al Ain International Airport Free Zone;
  • Al Butain International Airport Free Zone.


  • Jebel Ali Free Zone (North-South);
  • Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone (DUCAMZ);
  • Dubai Textile City;
  • Free Zone Area in Al Quoz;
  • Free Zone Area in Al Qusais;
  • Dubai Aviation City;
  • Dubai Airport Free Zone;
  • International Humanitarian City Jebel Ali.


  • Hamriyah Free Zone;
  • Sharjah Airport International Free Zone.


  • Ajman Free Zone.

Umm Al Quwain:

  • Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone in Ahmed Bin Rashid Port;
  • Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone on Sheikh Monhammed Bin Zayed Road.

Ras Al Khaimah:

  • RAK Free Trade Zone;
  • RAK Maritime City Free Zone;
  • RAK Airport Free Zone.


  • Fujairah Free Zone;
  • Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ).

Where is the best freezone in UAE to start a business?

The optimal location for starting a business in the UAE largely depends on the industry and the budget the future business owner is willing to allocate.

If you are in the process of selecting a profitable business sector, we recommend exploring the top 7 business ideas in Dubai, Dubai is the largest emirate in the UAE and offers company registration in the highest number of free trade zones Dubai (currently over twenty). Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each free zone, aligning your choice with your individual needs and preferences for business setup Dubai free zones.

Partner with Us

By partnering with “Dynasty Business Adviser”, you will receive:

  • qualified and prompt assistance from experienced specialists on issues of activity in the free economic zones of the emirates;
  • a comprehensive range of services to help your new company enter the UAE market, from planning to achieving your first profit.
  • a tailored approach to solving problems and achieving client goals.
  • accounting support (if needed).

We work without intermediaries, ensuring complete confidentiality and anonymity for you.

Dynasty Business Adviser is a reliable partner for opening companies in FEZ, having many years of experience in business registration and support will help you to choose the most suitable FEZ based on the specifics of your business.

Who will you communicate with?
Customer Service
We will discuss your request and issue, find the optimal solution, and pass the project to the appropriate specialist. We will provide information about the company's services and introduce you to leading specialists within the company.
After consultation with the customer service manager, the legal consultant conducts a more in-depth analysis of your request and develops project strategy options and preliminary organization of all processes.
Lead Company
Will coordinate with you the strategy and stages of further work and conditions. Will be responsible for coordinating the work of the legal consultant, ensuring the correct implementation of the strategy, providing individual approach, and ensuring compliance of the team's activities with legal norms.
Manages your project within the company, coordinates team activities, and ensures that project goals are achieved on time. Responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring assigned tasks.
Public Relations
Manager (PRO)
Represents your interests in government agencies, including handling company registration and subsequent processes, obtaining additional permits, and accompanying you during visits to government agencies.
Accounting Department
Will communicate directly with you regarding accounting issues, transactions, and necessary documentation. Ensures the correctness and order of your financial flows functioning.
We use cookie files and similar technologies to ensure that users are as comfortable as possible.