Monday, 25 June 2012

Free Zones in the UAE/Company Formation

The Free Trade Zones (FTZs) of the UAE are a veritable opportunity for the country to
showcase its development and special area approach. The UAE in the last decade has
witnessed a quantum increase in industrial development and one of the most significant
and remarkable achievements is the success of Free Zones. Free Trade Zones are
established under a special Decree passed by the Ruler of the Emirate in which the Free
Zone is created.
To date the Free Zones have been successful in attracting a large number of foreign
companies and foreign direct investment. The share of the Free Zones in non-oil
exports has increased considerably along with the net exports from the Free Zones. The
incentives offered by various Free Zones of the UAE are generally similar and include:
An independent Free Zone Authority (FZA) governs each Free Zone, and is the
agency responsible for issuing FTZ operating licenses and assisting companies with
establishing their business in the FTZ.
Investors can either register a new company in the form of a Free Zone Establishment
(FZE)/Free Zone Company (FZCO) or simply establish a branch or representative office
of their existing or parent company based within the UAE or abroad. An FZE is a limited
liability establishment, incorporated in a Free Zone, owned by one natural or judicial
person, whereas an FZCO is a limited liability company incorporated in a Free Zone by
more than one shareholder, generally up to five. FZE/FZCO are governed by the rules
and the regulations of the Free Zone in which they are established. There is a minimum
capital requirement ranging from AED 50,000 to AED 1,000,000 depending upon the
selected Free Zone.
Once a legal presence has been established in the Free Zone, the business will need to
lease premises or land and acquire a license from the FZA. Different types of licenses
are issued in different Free Zones, however companies with valid licenses only can
conduct business within the Free Zone or abroad. To sell their products in the UAE, a
UAE registered official agent is required. Services and products can be obtained from
and within the UAE without an agent.
The licenses issued by the FZA can be renewed annually as long as a lease agreement is
in force with the FTZ.

Given hereunder are the various Free Zones established in the Emirate of Dubai:

·         Jebel Ali Free Zone                                                Dubai Multi Commodities Center
·         Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone                         Jumeirah Lake Towers
·         Gold and Diamond Park                                         Dubai Flower City
·         Techno Park                                                           Dubai Airport Free Zone
·         Dubai Internet City - Tecom                                  Dubai Healthcare City
·         Dubai Media City - Tecom                                    Dubai Silicon Oasis
·         Dubai Studio City - Tecom                                    Dubai International Financial Center
·         Int’l Media Production Zone - Tecom                    International Humanitarian City
·         Knowledge Village - Tecom                                  Dubai Logistics City
·         Dubai International Academic City - Tecom         Dubai Maritime City
·         Dubai Outsource Zone – Tecom                            Dubai Textile City
·         Energy & Environment Park - Tecom                  Heavy Equipment & Trucks City
·         13. Dubai Biotechnology                                      Dubai Auto Parts City

Given hereunder are the various Free Zones established in the Emirate of Sharjah and the
Northern Emirates:-
·         Sharjah Airport Free Zone               Fujairah Media Zone / Creative City
·         Hamriyah Free Zone                        Ahmed Bin Rashid Free Zone (UAQ)
·         Ajman Free Zone                             Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone
·         Fujairah Free Zone                          Rak Media City (RAKIA)
Given hereunder are the various Free Zones established in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi:-
·         Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone
·         Free Trade and Logistics Zone (Taweelah)
·         Two Four 54
The UAE Free Zones have been among the strong pillars of the country’s economic performance attracting much foreign investments, creating thousands of jobs, and
facilitating the needed transfer of technology into the country. Together, the Free Zones
 account for more than half of the country’s non-oil exports and underpin the UAE’s ranking as the third most important re-export centre in the world.

Winston Wambua

For more information please contact me on

Mobile +971553350517


Skype: Winston.wambua


  1. I can understand the whole of this scenario. I am also running a quite smooth business at UAE Freezones in consultancy with Dubai Offshore Company.

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