Free zones are nothing but extremely special economic zones that have been set up that offer tax free and various custom duty benefits to attract investors. Starting a free zone company in Dubai has to be done on the basis of the certain rules and regulations that are applicable to free zones. All free zones in Dubai are operated and managed by the free zone authority. A free zone authority is responsible for offering licenses to various foreign owned businesses. Each and every free zone that is set up in Dubai is designed as per various business categories. This means that certain business categories would be able to get licenses only in certain free zones. These free zone categories are called Free Zone Enterprises. The various business categories that comprise most of the free zone in Dubai include service, trading, national industrial, industrial and branch licenses.
Why Free Zone?
There are many benefits of setting up a free zone company in Dubai. These benefits are:
- Offering 100% ownership. No sponsorship required.
- Exemption from tax.
- Businesses are allowed to own properties for a period of 25 years on various lease options.
- Lower renewal fees applicable.
- Business confidentiality is maintained
- Foreign businesses are allowed to open a local bank account.
- Business can wind up as per discretion of the owner. No special permission required.
Free Zones In Dubai
There are over 20 free zones that are currently in operation in Dubai. Some of them are:
Dubai Airport Free Zone
The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) deals with import and export of trades and services. The DAFZA was established by the Dubai government in 1996.
DUBAI CARS AND AUTOMOTIVE ZONE
Dubai cars and automotive zone which is also known as the Dubai Auto Zone was set up with the primary intention of focusing on industries that serviced automobile services and products. The Dubai Auto Zone was set up in April 2000.
DUBAI HEALTHCARE CITY
The Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) is a health related free zone. Any business that deals with healthcare related products and services can set up business in this free zone. The DHCC was set up in 2000 and was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC CITY
Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) was established in May 2006 to help with the growth of colleges, schools and universities within Dubai.
DUBAI INTERNET CITY
Dubai Internet City (DIC) was set up as an Information Technology related free zone. This was founded by the government of Dubai in 1999.
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) started its operations in 2004 and was established with the purpose of helping financial institutions in Dubai grow.
DUBAI KNOWLEDGE VILLAGE
Dubai Knowledge Village was set up as a professional training, educational and human resources management free trade zone.
DUBAI MEDIA CITY
The Dubai Media city was founded by the Dubai government to help accelerate the growth of media activities such as publishing, news agencies, advertising, online media, broadcasting and production.
DUBAI GOLD AND DIAMOND PARK
The Dubai Gold and Diamond Park was established in May 2001 and located the closest to the Dubai International Airport.
DUBAI MULTI COMMODITIES CENTRE
The DMCC is one of the most popular free zones that have been set up in Dubai. It was established in 2002 and as per the latest count in 2013; it had over 6,500 registered members.
DUBAI SILICON OASIS
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is owned completely by the government of Dubai. It was set up with the purpose of providing a working and living integrated community.
INTERNATIONAL MEDIA PRODUCTION ZONE
The International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) caters to the various media production companies. The entire free zone is spread across 43,000,000 square feet.
JEBEL ALI FREE ZONE
Jebel Ali Free Zone (JFZA) is located in the Jabaal Ali area. The JFZA was established with warehouses and office units to help businesses with ready facilities.
DUBAI WORLD CENTRAL
Dubai World Central is currently under construction in Dubai. It is meant to be an economic free zone and will support many activities such as aviation, logistics, exhibition, commercial, residential, humanitarian and any other businesses around the Al Maktoum International Airport.
Dubai is known for being one of the most business friendly places in the world. It is also known for the luxurious and safe culture. The government of Dubai has put in a lot of effort to bring in certain infrastructure developments. This has encouraged foreign investment and has helped Dubai grow as well. One of the key initiatives that have helped business bloom in Dubai is the set up of free trade zones. These free trade zones play a crucial part in attracting foreign investment. Each of the 20 free zones in Dubai has its own advantages and certain limitations as well. The biggest and the most famous free zone is the Multi Commodities Center that is also known as the DMCC.