As the center of economic development in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates has created numerous opportunities not only for local investors but also for foreigners as well. A visionary government, business-friendly policies, and the entrepreneurial zeal of the UAE residents are the major reasons behind the economic progress of the UAE. The tax-related and other financial benefits that the government provides to foreign investors are manifold.

Whether you’re looking to expand your business or start a new one, UAE offers an accelerated business environment. Apart from the attractive advantages the emirates offer, another reason why the UAE is becoming a global business hub is the ‘free zones’.

Setting up a company in a UAE-free zone offers numerous advantages. Most free zones permit full foreign ownership and full repatriation of both capital and profits. You’ll also enjoy some major tax benefits, such as exemption from corporate tax, plus plenty of support and networking opportunities. Free trade zone is an area designed to promote international business in the UAE by providing 100% foreign enterprise ownership.

Not sure which UAE-free zone is right for you? Let’s dive into some of them. This article explains the options we usually recommend after identifying a customer’s needs.

1. DMCC Authority Free Zone

Unlike any other Dubai Free Zone but has a lot of potential and opportunity for the retail and commerce sectors. The DMCC free zone is the gateway to global trade and the exclusive spot for retail exposure to your business. DMCC has been crowned ‘Global Free Zone of the Year’ by the Financial Times FDI magazine for four consecutive years. It’s not only one of the highest-regarded free zones, it’s the largest in the region too, and is the perfect choice for companies operating in either the financial or commodities sector. It’s also the only free zone that offers freehold options and has a convenient central location, right in the heart of Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers district.

2. Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAK EZ)

Ras Al Khaima Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) and RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA) were merged to Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAK EZ). RAK is one of the fastest emerging free zones in the UAE due to its trading activities. It is specifically suitable for companies that need warehousing facilities.  RAKEZ is one of the few Free Zones which always has customizable warehouses and plots of industrial land for development. The activity list of RAKEZ is one of the largest among all the UAE free zones. Activities are divided into a few categories as Commercial, Service, Industrial, Media, Educational, Individual / professional E-commerce.

3. DWC Free Zone

DWC Free Zone further assures Dubai’s leading position as a logistics and trade hub. It takes advantage of Jebel Ali Port and seamlessly connects it to Al Maktoum International Airport through the dedicated Dubai Logistics Corridor. This forms a single custom-bonded zone, reducing time on the ground and accelerating the flow of sea-to-air/ air-to-sea cargo. With direct access to the major trans-emirate road networks, DWC Free Zone is a truly multimodal logistics platform providing unprecedented levels of connectivity, speed, and efficiency.

4. JAFZA Free Zone

JAFZA’s focus is on long-term customer relationships, fostering alliances with global investors by providing them world-class infrastructure supported with quality-driven value-added services and incentives, enabling them to capitalize on huge business opportunities in the region. JAFZA boasts of being the first free zone in the world to win ISO certification in 1996. JAFZA is one of the fastest-growing Free Zones in the MEASA region, which gives direct access to a market of over 2 billion people.

5. Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA)

Dubai Airport Free Zone is home to more than 3100 companies from different industry sectors, including light industry, pharmaceutical items, trading, manufacturing, logistics, jewelry, IT, mobile phones accessories, and so on.

Situated strategically adjacent to the boundaries of Dubai International Airport, Dubai Airport Free Zone offers a variety of modern facilities with best-in-class infrastructure and has positioned itself as a gateway that connects markets in the Middle East and Africa with Europe and the rest of Asia.

Foreign companies are given office space and warehouse at complete ownership in a zero-tax environment by Dubai Airport Free Zone. It offers a great opportunity to organizations to set up their quality in Dubai within a facilitated procedure that enables them to begin activities within days.

6.KIZAD

KIZAD (KHALIFA INDUSTRIAL ZONE ABU DHABI) offers Licenses for Trading, Logistics, Industrial, and Service activities at cost-effective fees. The lowest operating costs coupled with ease of doing business and market accessibility make KIZAD the first choice of investors around the globe. KIZAD is linked to Khalifa Port, one of the most advanced deep-sea ports and the first semi-automated container ports in the region. This port is located between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to facilitate trade in the country.

Setting up a business in Dubai free zone can be a complex process and it is advisable to get local guidance and legal advice about the various incorporation and registration formalities.  At Hallmark, we provide consulting and advice in setting up a business in a Dubai-free zone to streamline the entire documentation and paperwork in a hassle-free and smooth manner, so that you can focus on developing your business in Dubai.