List of free-trade zones in Dubai

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Free trade zones (FTZs) are special economic zones set up with the objective of offering tax free, and free customs duty benefits to expatriate investors. FTZs in Dubai and the UAE are governed pursuant to a special framework of rules and regulations applicable to concerned free zone. Free zones in Dubai are managed and operated by free zone authority. For instance, the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority in Dubai is responsible to manage, operate and supervise the functioning of the Jebel Ali Free Zone, one of the largest sea port free zones in Dubai that has a subsidized rate of 32 percent on the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). While to mention a few other Free Zones, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) that has 7,330 active registered companies (as per 2013), offers a retention rate of 94 percent, moreover estimates an application of over 200 companies every year,[1] the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is another jurisdiction demonstrating the growth of expansion in the freezone, the region contributes 12 percent on the GDP of Dubai and is estimated a growth rate of 27 percent (as per 2015),[2] also the authorities speculate that the region will be triple the size by 2024[3] while others include Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA) that has been promoting international relationships due to the proximity and connectivity; the Dubai internet City and the Dubai Media city creating technological and media development opportunities among various other freezone.[4]

A Free Zone Authority offers business licenses to foreign-owned businesses. Each Free Zone is designed around one or more business industry categories and only offers licenses (e.g. for a Free Zone Enterprise (FZE)), to companies within those categories. Most of the free zones in Dubai broadly offer trading, service, industrial, national industrial, and branch licenses to investors looking to set up their businesses.


A company set up in a Free Zone offers benefits to owners:

  • 100% ownership[5] (A single individual is required for setting up (no sponsor required))
  • Tax exemption
  • Owning properties is allowed (25 years lease options, warehouse facilities, availability of areas for production and assembling etc.)
  • Fair renewal fees
  • Confidentiality of your business is maintained
  • Allowed to open bank account in Dubai
  • No restriction for doing more than one activity
  • Can wind up at your discretion


There are more than 30 Free Zones operating in Dubai.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sambidge, Andy. "Dubai's DMCC becomes UAE's largest free zone". Arabian Business. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Deulgaonkar, Parag. "12% of Dubai GDP from DIFC". Emirates 247. 
  3. ^ "Dubai International Financial Centre Set to Triple in Size by 2024, as Part of Centre's Newly Announced 2024 Strategy". Dubai International Financial Centre. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Dubai Free Zone Development and Bids to Attract Foreign Investors". Shuraa Business Setup. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "UAE Free Zone Advantages". 

External links[edit]