UAE Free Zones: Choose the right Free Zone for your business

26 May 2017


UAE Free Zones

If you are interested to invest in one of the most advantageous jurisdictions and you would like to maintain your 100% ownership and repatriation of capital and profits, then UAE Free Zone is the ideal form for your business.

As generally known, UAE is a tax-free jurisdiction and offers three different types of companies as per their legal structure and ownership: Limited Liability Company (LLC), Free Zone Entity (FZE) and Offshore Company which is also mentioned as International Business Company (IBC).

For foreign investors who would like to keep the 100% of their ownership and conduct their businesses in both inside and outside the UAE, then the choice of doing business in Free Zones is the most suitable form.


What is a Free Zone Entity?

Free Zones are special economic zones designed to boost international business through providing tax free benefits and 100% ownership to expatriate investors.

There are currently 45 Free Zones in the United Arab Emirates with different incentives. Each Free Zone is managed and operated by a Free Zone authority.


Advantages of Free Zones:

  1. 100% foreign national ownership
  2. 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  3. No minimum capital required
  4. No corporate or personal tax
  5. No need of local sponsor or local service agent
  6. Fast incorporation procedure
  7. Free transfer of funds


List of UAE Free Zones per Emirate:

Dubai – total of 27 Free Zones:

  1. Dubai Airport Free Zone
  2. Dubai Auto Zone
  3. Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone
  4. Dubai Design District
  5. Dubai Flower Centre
  6. Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
  7. Dubai Healthcare City
  8. Dubai Industrial City
  9. Dubai International Academic City
  10. Dubai International Financial Centre
  11. Dubai Internet City
  12. Dubai Knowledge Park
  13. Dubai Logistics City
  14. Dubai Maritime City Authority
  15. Dubai Media City
  16. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
  17. Dubai Outsource Zone
  18. Dubai Science Park
  19. Dubai Silicon Oasis
  20. Dubai Studio City
  21. Dubai Techno Park (changed to National Industries Complex)
  22. Dubai Textile City
  23. Energy and Environment Park
  24. International Humanitarian City
  25. Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority
  26. Dubai Production City
  27. Dubai World Central (changed to Dubai South)


Abu Dhabi – total of 7 Free Zones:

  1. Abu Dhabi Airport Business City
  2. Abu Dhabi Global Market
  3. Abu Dhabi Ports Company
  4. Higher corporation for specialized economic zones/Zones Corporation
  5. Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
  6. Masdar City
  7. TwoFour54


Sharjah – total of 3 Free Zones:

  1. Hamriya Free Zone Authority
  2. Sharjah Airport Free Zone Authority
  3. USA Regional Trade Center Free Zone


Fujairah – total of 2 Free Zones:

  1. Creative City Fujairah
  2. Fujairah Free Zone Authority


Ras Al Khaimah – total of 4 Free Zones:

  1. RAK Investment Authority Free Zone
  2. RAK Maritime City
  3. RAK Free Trade Zone
  4. RAK Media Free Zone


Ajman – one Free Zone only:

  1. Ajman Free Zone Authority


Umm Al Quwain – one Free Zone only:

  1. Umm Al Quwain Free Zone Authority


How to choose the right Free Zone for your business:

Free Zones differ based on the activities of the Company.

An allocation of the most popular UAE Free Zones for the some of the major business activities is as follows:


Industrial & Logistics Media ICT Financial 
Dubai Airport Free Zone Dubai Media City Dubai Internet City Dubai International Financial Centre
Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai Production City Dubai Outsource City Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
Dubai World Central Dubai Studio City Dubai Silicon Oasis Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Abu Dhabi Global Market
Abu Dhabi Airport Business City Aviation Education RAK Investment Authority Free Zone
Sharjah Airport Free Zone Dubai World Central Dubai International Academic City
RAK Free Trade Zone Dubai Airport Free Zone Dubai Knowledge Park


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