fbpx
Flowers

Discover the Top 15 Free Zones for Entrepreneurs: Boost Your Startup’s Success

اكتشف أفضل 15 منطقة حرة لرواد الأعمال: عزز نجاح شركتك الناشئة

by Dr. Isma Amin
15-free-zones

Table of Contents

To be a successful entrepreneur, one should know the right path. This path cannot be discovered without proper guidance from experts. Especially when it comes to business startups in UAE, the startup ecosystem helps young aspiring entrepreneurs set up new venture startups in the UAE, and this is where Free Zones come into play and provide complete information regarding making investments. There are more than 40 free zones in the UAE, out of which we have listed below 15  cheapest free zones for entrepreneurs and businesses to tap the Mena region.

Free Zones in UAE

Here is a list of the top 15 Free Zones in UAE that will surely help you boost your business and real estate startup venture in UAE. We have compiled this list based on the cheapest free zone in UAE following cost,  annual renewal fee and tax benefits, real estate benefits.

1)    Masdar City Free Zone:

Masdar City Free Zone

Masdar City Free Zone is located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in a city named Masdar City. MCFZ offers different licensing facilities along with company setup options. It usually settles startups specializing in sustainable tech, renewable energy, HR development, healthcare, and community services.

Masdar-City

It is a Free Zone that is looking for the support of young investors. Masdar City offers affordable rental workspaces, business support, and information to industrial companies looking to start a business nationally and internationally.

Masdar City

What are the legal frames of Entities that can be established in the Masdar free zone

  • Limited Liability Company – Corporate Shareholder.
  • Limited Liability Company – Natural Shareholder.
  • A Branch of a Foreign or UAE company – Branch.

What are the benefits of setting up a business in Masdar City Free Zone

The following are the benefits of setting up a business in the Masdar City Free Zone:

  • 100% foreign ownership.
  • 100% tax free. No corporate and personal income taxes.
  • 0% import tariffs. No import duties.
  • Complete freedom of reparation.
  • It allows easy-to-set-up and runs one-stop shops.
  • Establishing businesses in this free zone is cost-effective
  • The location is very strategic, between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
  • R&B hub, which was made by partnering with Khalifa University.
  • A local partner is not needed to invest.
  • Any company can establish in this Free zone.
  • There is no restriction in how many businesses a person can be involved in.
  • All trading activities are allowed if they do not harm anyone involved.

What is the validity of the license in Masdar City

Licenses are valid for a period of one year and are renewable on an annual basis.

Cost of Company Registration:

Masdar Free Zone requires a minimum of AED 50,000 to set up a business.

Free Zones

2)    Dubai Maritime City:

Dubai Maritime

Dubai Maritime City is a Free Zone on the Dubai coast on an artificial peninsula. This Free Zone offers cost-efficient plans, logistics (specifically shipment loading), and workspace to companies eager to work in marine operations.

Dubai-Maritime-City

Moreover, it allows entrepreneurs to invest in a wide range of fruitful ideas regarding profit. All these features are offered to enhance the marine-based business community.

What are the benefits of setting up a business in this free zone

The following are the benefits of setting up a business in this free zone:

  • Completely owned by a foreign entity
  • Tariff exemption for imported goods
  • Profits and investments can be brought home in full.
  • 50-year corporate tax holiday
  • Affordability of electricity costs
  • Availability of a Skilled and Qualified Labor Force

What are the types of licenses provided in this free zone

Following are all the licenses provided in this free zone:

  • Maritime services license,
  • Management license,
  • Education and research license,
  • Yacht manufacture and repair license.

Cost of Company Registration:

The investors have to pay a minimum capital of 500,000 AED to start a company in Dubai Maritime City.

3)    Hamriyah Free Zone:

Hamriyah

Hamriyah Free Zone is located in Sharjah and was founded in 1995. It is situated in an ideal location where an entrepreneur can set up a business. Sharjah is the center of business, and due to its location, Hamriyah Free Zone is accessible globally. Facilities offered by Hamriyah Free Zone include providing executive and workspaces, factories, warehouses, and lands.

Hamriya Free Zone

This Free Zone supports all investors and encourages local and international trade and commerce.

What are the benefits of setting up business in Hamriyah free zone

The following are the benefits of setting up business in the Hamriyah free zone:

  • In every way Foreign ownership of companies is permitted.
  • In every way Complete exemption from taxes upon import and export Tax-free status for all business transactions
  • In every way Capital and earnings may be repatriated.
  • Leases are available for 25 years with an additional 25 year option.
  • There is no corporate tax and no individual income tax.
  • Positioned advantageously to tap into international markets
  • Market Entry into the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Investment incentives that are attractive
  • cheap and plentiful power
  • Developed infrastructure Land for lease for investor development
  • Modular buildings for use as offices, warehouses, or factories
  • A total of three ports and one airfield serve the area.
  • Cost-effective, hospitable living circumstances
  • low cost of labour
  • Organization of Hamryiah

What are the licenses provided in this free zone

Following are all the licenses provided in this free zone:

  • Industrial license
  • Commercial license
  • Service license

Cost of Company Registration:

The packages for setting up a company are given below:

Packages

Packages

Apart from these packages, the license fee of the company is 11,000 AED.

4)    Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone:

Kezad

Situated in Abu Dhabi, the Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone is a part of KIZAD’s world-class infrastructure. It is a business platform for transporting, manufacturing, and trading. KPFTZ offers business features warehouses, offices, retail, and commercial workspaces for industries that specialize in food processing, metals, polymer, and pharmaceuticals.

Big cargo boat docked to industrial port with several blue cranes

Big cargo boat docked to industrial port with several blue cranes

What are the benefits of setting up a business in this free zone

The following are the benefits of setting up a business in this free zone:

  • Utilities (such as electricity, gas, and water) in this free zone are abundant and reasonably priced relative to the rest of the United Arab Emirates.
  • The GCC free trade area accepts “MADE IN UAE” products duty-free. There is no corporation or income tax in the UAE.
  • Rental Space in a Premier Location Available at Low Prices
  • It allows fast and easy access to the market because of its location.
  • It has two major ports, five international airports, highways that are multi-lane, and future rain connecting it to the rest of UAE.
  • It has a very simplified and flexible plan for company formation, which is hassle-free
  • There is the presence of supporting material as well, such as raw material
  • There are numerous neighbourhoods, communities, and recreational centres within a 10-minute drive.
  • Multiple on-site housing options for employees
  • Client-friendly, space-saving zoning with shared facilities for optimal development
  • Locations set aside specifically for small and medium-sized businesses, logistics, and business parks
  • lease terms and structures that can be adjusted as needed.
  • Supportive infrastructure for businesses of all sizes, from startups to multinational conglomerates
  • Construction geared toward the future, with room for growth and incorporation of additional initiatives

What is the type of licenses available in KPFTZ

Following are the types of licenses available:

  • Industrial License
  • General Trading License
  • Service License

Cost of Company Registration:

The license cost of setting up a business at Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone is 15,000 AED.

5)    Creative City Free Zone:

Creative City Free Zone was established in 2007 in Fujairah. It offers a variety of business solutions to young entrepreneurs looking to set themselves in the business world. It is a media center that provides clients with a perfect working environment for companies in different sectors, such as marketing, consulting, entertainment, communications, music, design, etc.

What are the benefits of business in a Creative City free zone

The following are the benefits of a creative city-free zone:

  • It has a strategic location
  • It allows the complete ownership of the company
  • There is no restriction on how much capital is needed for the company to set up the free zone
  • There is no complication of taxes, corporate or personal income taxes
  • 24/7 assistance is provided
  • This free zone offers flexible business packages that can be customized as per personal preference
  • No mandatory physical presence is required while the company incorporation is done.

What are the types of licenses provided under this free zone

Following are the licenses provided under this free zone:

  • Commercial license (FZE)
  • Commercial license (FZCO)
  • Freelancer License
  • Baby Business license

5)    Creative City Free Zone:

Creayive city free zone

Creative City Free Zone was established in 2007 in Fujairah. It offers a variety of business solutions to young entrepreneurs looking to set themselves in the business world. It is a media center that provides clients with a perfect working environment for companies in different sectors, such as marketing, consulting, entertainment, communications, music, design, etc.

Creative-City-Free-Zone-Authority

What are the benefits of business in a Creative City free zone

The following are the benefits of a creative city-free zone:

  • It has a strategic location
  • It allows the complete ownership of the company
  • There is no restriction on how much capital is needed for the company to set up the free zone
  • There is no complication of taxes, corporate or personal income taxes
  • 24/7 assistance is provided
  • This free zone offers flexible business packages that can be customized as per personal preference
  • No mandatory physical presence is required while the company incorporation is done.

What are the types of licenses provided under this free zone

Following are the licenses provided under this free zone:

  • Commercial license (FZE)
  • Commercial license (FZCO)
  • Freelancer License
  • Baby Business license

Cost of Company Registration:

The license packages for setting up a business at Creative City Free Zone are:

Creative City Free Zone Package

Creative City Free Zone Package

6)    Ajman Free Zone

Ajman Free Zone

Ajman Free Zone was founded in 1988. Ajman Free Zone has an advantage due to its location near Ajman airport. This benefits the companies’ performance by enhancing the process of exporting and importing shipments. It also offers banking, government facilities, workspaces, offices, warehouses, and labor quarters for living.

Ajman-Free Zone

It currently offers workspaces for the food, health, automotive, agriculture, education, and beverages manufacturing industries, and these companies meet the demands of the industrial business. It has provided services to over 9000 companies from approximately 165 countries since 2021.

What are the benefits of running a business in this free zone

Following are the wide variety of benefits offered to businesses under this free zone:

  • Complete and total control over a business or organisation.
  • Completely owned by a foreign entity.
  • Capital and earnings are easily transferred.
  • Avoidance of individual income tax.
  • Duty-free entry and departure.
  • Tax relief from other jurisdictions.
  • Access to the facilities at reasonable rates.
  • Power and electricity at affordable rates.
  • Low-priced leases are available.
  • Simple access to cheap workers.
  • Excellent facilities and services.
  • a centralized location for all financial dealings
  • In just 24 hours, you can have your license after going through a streamlined and efficient licensing process.

What are the types of licenses available in this free zone

Following are the types of licenses available under this free zone:

  • Commercial license
  • Service license
  • Industrial license
  • E-Commerce license
  • Freelancer license
  • Pioneer license
  • Offshore license

What are the company formation types available in this free zone

Following are the types of company formation available in this free zone:

  • FZE (Free Zone Establishment)
  • FZC (Free Zone Company)
  • Branch of a local or foreign company

Cost of Company Registration:

The license cost for different types of businesses varies from 5,000 AED to 6,000 AED.

7)    Fujairah Free Zone:

Fujairah-Free-Zone

Fujairah Free Zone has an advantage due to its location on the eastern coast of the UAE. It has become a prominent facilitator of importing and exporting shipments across the Indian Ocean. It offers cost-efficient packages, including offices, warehouses, workspaces, etc.

It also provides easy procedures for settling your startups and exporting your product to other countries. Investor-oriented policies are made to facilitate customers to the fullest.

What are the benefits of setting up a business in this free zone

The following are the benefits of setting up a business in this free zone:

  • Easy access to the neighboring and international markets, which allows for a chance for the companies to grow further.
  • An abundance of investment options
  • Cost-effective alternatives to start your business.
  • Beneficial policies for investors.
  • Investors have capital security.

What are the legal entities under the Fujairah Free Zone

The following are the legal entities available under Fujairah Free Zone:

  • Branch of a foreign company, including an offshore company.
  • Branch of a UAE company.
  • Free zone establishment.
  • Free zone company.

 What are the types of licenses available to businesses in this free zone

Following are the licenses available under this free zone:

  • Trading (normal) license.
  • General trading.
  • Professional/service license.
  • Industrial license.
  • National industrial license.

Cost of Company Registration:

The registration cost for different business setups varies in the Fujairah Free Zone. These amounts are written below:

  • Virtual Businesses: Total Expenses will be 26,500 AED.
  • Shared Offices: Total Expenses will be 36,920 AED.
  • Branch Offices: Total Expenses will be 49,110 AED.
  • Warehouses: Total Expenses will be 230 AED per sq meter + 32,610 AED.
  • Open Land: Total Expenses will be 20 AED per sq meter + 27,840 AED.
  • Custom Built Units: Expenses will be 230 AED per sq meter + 30,170 AED.

8)    Dubai World Trade Centre:

Dubai World Trade Center

Dubai World Trade Centre is located in the center of Dubai. This benefits the business community because the companies that exist in DWTC have access to the global markets. DWTC offers entrepreneurs a perfect business environment that provides opportunities for innovation and production.

https://www.dwtc.com/en/press/dwtc-to-become-comprehensive-zone-and-regulator-for-virtual-assets-and-crypto-2021/

DWTC has comprehensively become a Free Zone that offers digital trading in the shape of crypto and virtual assets, products, services, and exchanges.

What are the benefits of running a business in this free zone

Following are some of the benefits of running a business in this free zone:

  • Completely owned by a foreign entity.
  • All money and earnings can be sent home in full.
  • As long as they follow the rules, the corporate tax rate is 0%.
  • No income tax at all.
  • No duty on exports.
  • New buildings and systems.
  • Ecosystem that functions properly.
  • High-quality flexible office space.
  • Ideally situated in Dubai’s prestigious financial area.
  • There are no currency or remittance restrictions.
  • There are no limitations on bringing in foreign workers.
  • Possibility of establishing a business in a number of different legal structures.
  • Clear and consistent regulations from the higher ups.
  • Close proximity to major business conferences

What are the types of companies that can be formed at the DWT Free Zone:

Types of companies that can be formed at DWTC Free Zone:

  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE)
  • Free Zone Company (FZCO)
  • A Branch of an L.L.C. (covers all Limited Liability Companies in the UAE)
  • A Branch of a Foreign Company

What are the types of licenses that are provided in this free zone

Following are the types of licenses provided in this free zone:

  • Commercial license
  • General trading license
  • Professional license
  • Event management license
  • Business operating permits

Cost of Company Registration:

The cost of setting up a company is given below:

DWT Packages

9)    Dubai Expo City:

Expo City Dubai

Dubai Expo City is a platform that promotes creativity on a whole new level. Dubai Expo City is considered to be a model that projects the image of the cities in the future. It offers a variety of offices, restaurants, entertainment centers, diverse pavilions, shopping centers, and sports facilities. Moreover, licenses and visas are also offered at Dubai Expo City.

Dubai Expo

Recently, the Dubai Expo hosted an exhibition in 2020, which proved to be a success in terms of business as it portrayed the cultural diversification of different countries and became a center of attention.

What are the benefits of running a business in Expo City free zone

Following are the benefits of running businesses in an expo city:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • There are no restrictions and rules about hiring foreign workers.
  • Freedom to initiate multiple options for legal operating structure
  • Complete repatriation of all capital and profits.
  • Currency and repatriation of funds have no restrictions either.
  • Expo City Dubai is a non-gated zone (VAT and Duty in adherence to UAE rules and regulations)
  • Flexibility offered in the issuance of 1, 2, and 5-year employment visas

What are the types of licenses offered in this free zone

Following are the licenses offered in this free zone:

  • Commercial license
  • E-commerce license
  • Freelance permit
  • General trading license
  • Holding license
  • Industrial license
  • Logistic license
  • Service license

10)     Umm Al-Quwain Free Zone:

Um Al Quwain

Umm, Al-Quwain Free Zone is situated in a perfect strategic location near the UAE’s seaport and is easy to approach by Dubai Airport and Sharjah Airport. Umm, Al-Quwain Free Zone offers investment opportunities for large industries and firms with adaptable packages that are easy to process.

UAQ-FREE-ZONE

This Free Zone always meets each investor’s demands individually with different office spaces, transport facilities, and leasing options at affordable rates.

What are the benefits of running a business in this free zone

  • 0% corporate and personal tax
  • Complete capital and profit repatriation
  • Complete ownership of the company
  • There are no restrictions related to the currency
  • Complete exemption on import and export tax within the Free Zone and outside GCC countries.
  • Progressive and investor-friendly rules and regulations
  • Simple and fast registration process with excellent customer support
  • No restrictions on hiring foreign employees
  • Special concessions at UAQ’s sea port
  • Quick, easy, and remote setup
  • Futue-focused infrastructure
  • Strategic location, Access to Global Markets
  • The Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ) is suited to both emerging and established businesses
  • It has progressive policies and a fast-developing infrastructure that feeds a diverse business ecosystem.
  • It offers dual license
  • The Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone has a strict but transparent regulatory framework

What are the types of entities that can be established under this free zone

Following are the different types of entities that can be established under this free zone:

  • A Free Zone Establishment (FZE), which is suitable for a single shareholder
  • A Free Zone Company (FZC), which is for two and up to 50 shareholders
  • A branch of an existing company.

Cost for Company Registration:

The cost of registering a company, including license and rental rates, starts from 35,000 AED.

11)    Meydan Free Zone:

Meydan

Meydan Free Zone is a digital free zone located close to the important landmarks in UAE, providing investors with strategic advantages. It provides workspaces and executive offices for all types of businesses related to commercial, consulting, or administrative firms.

Meydan-Freezone

Moreover, Meydan Free Zone provides golf courses, premium five-star hotels, and restaurants, which entertain investors.

What are the benefits of running businesses in the Meydan Free zone

The following are the benefits of running a business in the Meydan Free Zone:

  • In the Meydan free zone, starting a company is simple.
  • The use of a Flexi desk for investor business is permitted.
  • It’s in a prime area, perfect for setting up shop.
  • All investment funds and profits made will be returned in full.
  • Individuals and corporations alike will be assured full ownership of the company.
  • It makes it possible to run a business in the strictest of safety.
  • Dubai’s Best Spot for Your New Company
  • The process of getting licensed and registered is simple and quick.
  • It allows a very secure regulated environment.
  • Proficient system for obtaining licenses and registering vehicles.

What is the type of licenses offered by Meydan Free Zone

Following are the types of licenses offered by Meydan Free Zone:

  • Consulting Licenses
  • Commercial licenses
  • Media License

Cost for Company Registration:

Meydan Free Zone offers license costs ranging from 12,500 AED to 18,050 to start up a company.

12)     Abu Dhabi Global Market:

abu dhabi g

Abu Dhabi Global Market is located at the center of Abu Dhabi, providing a professional and efficient environment. It is at the ideal location, which lies 15 min away from the Zayed Port and 30 min away from Abu Dhabi Airport. This Free Zone offers a dual licensing system. This licensing system helps registered businesses to expand their activities related to business.

Abu-Dhabi-Global-Market

What are the benefits of running a business in the Abu Dhabi global market

The following are the benefits of running a business in the Abu Dhabi global market:

The judicial system is based on British Common Law and is independent.

  • The seamless digital experience for the delivery of judicial services in ADGM E-Courts.
  • It allows complete foreign ownership of the company
  • It has Zero tax rates with the ability to repatriate profits and capital.
  • It has an attractive tax regime and an easy access to UAE’s excellent double tax treaties.

Cost for Company Registration:

The breakdown of registration fees for setting up a business in ABGM is given below:

ABGM Packages

13)     Sharjah Airport International Free Zone:

Saif Zone

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone is a platform that allows entrepreneurs to invest in a commercial place to maximize their profits. It offers a tax-friendly system for entrepreneurs. SAIFZ offers an easy and accessible procedure to invest.

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone provides investors with cost-efficient business models to pursue their plans. SAIFZ provides several facilities to thousands of national and international companies. Due to its location, SAIFZ is a beneficial platform for investors as it is close to the airport and seaport.

Where is it located

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone is located in Sharjah.

What are the benefits

The following are the benefits of running a business in the Sharjah Airport international free zone:

  • State-of-the-art, custom-built facilities with round-the-clock support and a dedicated hotline for emergencies
  • roadways, ports, and airports all linked together in a seamless system
  • The first airport free zone in the world to be certified to ISO 9001; the only green industrial zone in the United Arab Emirates; on-site customs for speedy clearance of goods
  • It offers a variety of services, including telecommunications, information technology, healthcare facilities, and pharmaceuticals.

What are the types of facilities available

Following are the types of facilities available

  • Saif offices
  • Warehouses
  • Plot of land
  • Jewelry Park

What are the business licenses available in the SAIF zone

Following are the business licenses available in the SAIF Zone:

  • Commercial License/ Import-Export/Trading
  • General Trading License
  • Services License
  • Industrial license

Cost for Company Registration:

There are a variety of business opportunities at SAIFZ, and the cost of licenses varies accordingly. These costs are:

  • The trading and services license fee for setting up a business in SAIFZ is 10,800 AED.
  • General trading aviation or e-commerce has a license fee of 21,000 AED.

14)     Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zones:

Abu Dhabi Airport

Of 9 airports, 2 (Al Bateen Executive Airport and Al Ain International Airport) were declared Free Zones in 2011. Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zones prefer companies that have expertise in logistics, military, space, aviation, and light industries.

Abu-Dhabi-Airport-Freezone

Different operations, such as company registration, licensing, leasing, and visa applications, are offered to employees by ADAFZ. The facilities covered by these Free Zones include offices, warehouses, and a certain amount of land for working on different projects.

How can a business be registered in the Abu Dhabi Airport free zone

A legal business can be registered as one of the following entities:

  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company FZ-LLC (Corporate)
  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company FZ-LLC (Natural)
  • Branch of a local or foreign company

What are the benefits offered

The following are the benefits offered to people in this free zone:

  • Complete elimination of personal and corporate taxation
  • All earnings and investments are fully repatriated.
  • Facilities are protected and accessible at all times
  • Computer and phone systems maintained in-house
  • Separate rules and guidelines
  • Simple entry into nearby markets
  • Zero percent tariffs on re-exports and imports
  • Ownership made up entirely of non-natives

Cost of Company Registration:

The registration fee ranges from 5,000 AED to 7,500 AED, and the license fee ranges from 15,000 AED to 50,000 AED.

15)     Jebel Ali Free Zone:

Jebel

Jebel Ali Free Zone is considered to be one of the greatest free zones ever, as it has access to over 3.5 billion people around the globe. Thousands of industries and companies have access to the Jebel Ali Free Zone. JAFZA is now home to over 9500 businesses around the globe.

It is also a source of major links in the GTN (Global Trade Network) and connects around 150 ports all over the globe. JAFZA provides offices, showrooms, warehouses, land for projects, workspaces, and retail outlets as a platform.

Where is it located?

JAFZA has a prime location, which is near Jebel Ali Port, Al Maktoum Airport, and Dubai Airport.

What are the benefits of doing business in JAFZA

The following are the benefits of running an organization or a business in JAFZA:

  • It allows access to a large and expanding market.
  • It has a business-regulated environment.
  • It is a highly regulated free zone and focuses on attracting foreign investments.
  • It has close proximity to major markets in the Middle Eastern region, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
  • It has a wonderful infrastructure. It has a deep-water port, a road network, and an airport.
  • Supportive government policies promote the business environment.
  • It has a very well-experienced, enthusiastic, and English-speaking workforce.
  • It offers 100% foreign ownership.
  • It offers 100% reparation of profits.
  • There are 0% personal and corporate income taxes
  • There are no custom duties.

What types of straight licenses are available in JAFZA

The following are three types of trade licenses available in Jafza:

  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Service

Cost of Company Registration:

JAFZA offers different types of businesses, and the license cost varies accordingly. These costs are listed below:

JAFZA License Cost

Conclusion:

Entrepreneurs are always looking for opportunities to expand their businesses. As we know, the UAE is a hub of business opportunities, but to maximize the chances of success, one has to find different solutions. It would not be wrong to say that these Free Zones are a part of those solutions that enhance business outputs, as they provide several opportunities to investors. Hence, UAE is a perfect location for settling your business with the help of Free Zones usage.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Gulf’s #1 Tech Resource for Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders 

Subscribe

Follow Us

This site is owned and operated by 786 Outsource, a limited liability company headquartered in England, United Kingdom

Copyright © 2023 786 Outsource Ltd