Dubai Free Zones

Free zones offer favorable concessions and multiple investment incentives that include full ownership and no taxation, Dubai Free Zone was the first to innovate this concept. Currently, there are about 22 functional free zones that are customised to meet the requirements of various sectors like media, finance, ICT, healthcare, jewelry and Gold. The largest free zone is Jebel Ali Free Zone which offers full ownership and exemption from corporate tax and customs duty on equipment and raw material imports.

Michael R. Scotch

1) Jebel Ali Free Zone

Benefits are:


  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • 100 percent repatriation of capital and profits
  • Accounted for:
    • 12 percent of all air freight at Dubai International Airport
    • 25 percent of all container throughputs via the Jebel Ali Port
    • Over 50 percent of Dubai’s total exports
  • As one of the fastest growing free zones in the world,
  • Attracted 20 percent of all FDI inflows into the UAE
  • Company can own real estate property on Palm Islands or any properties owned by Nakheel Company LLC or real estate properties approved by the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority.
  • Doing business in Jebel Ali Free Zone offers the following benefits:
  • Grown its customer base by over 60 percent
  • Increased contributions to Dubai’s GDP by 25 percent year-on-year and revenue at an average of 34 percent year-on-year


Jebel Ali Free Zone achievements:


  • No corporate taxes for 50 years
  • No currency restrictions
  • No custom duty
  • No personal income tax
  • Streamlined, quick company set-up procedure
  • Sustained more than 160,000 jobs in the UAE

2) Dubai Airport Free Zone

Established in 1996, this premium free zone destination has multiple international blue-chip companies. The industries include FMCG, ICT, Telecom, Fashion, Aviation and Automotive.


This free zone offers an impeccable location and multiple world class facilities like proximity to the airport and high connectivity within the areas. They offer a 24 hours custom service and rapid cargo clearance through a dedicated logistics centre.


Other benefits include:


  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • 100 percent repatriation of capital and profits
  • No corporate taxes for 50 years
  • No currency restrictions
  • No custom duty
  • No personal income tax
  • Streamlined, quick company set-up procedure


3) Dubai Internet City

Sustaining its position as the largest ICT infrastructure in the Middle Est, located inside the Free Zone, Dubai Internet City helps in the development of ICT companies. It provides a strategic platform for companies that seek high growth markets in regions spanning from Africa to CIS countries and Middle East to Indian Subcontinents. The leaders of technology and communications work out of the DIC including Canon, Logica, Cisco, Dell, HP and many more.


 DIC offers:


  • 100 percent
    • exemption from corporate taxes for 50 years
    • exemption from personal income tax for 50 years
    • foreign ownership
    • repatriation of profits
  • Communications infrastructure based on next-generation technologies
  • Digital voice and high-speed data services offered at competitive rates
  • Dynamic international community
  • Opportunities for business interaction and networking
  • Opportunities for channel and market development

4) Dubai Silicon Oasis

This Government established ‘world- class’ techno park provides a dynamic platform for business growth. Spanning over an area of over 75 million sq. Feet, this community offers an infrastructure with R&D, offices, residential areas, schools and many other facilities. They have the latest Fibre-optic network and is facilitated with a hi-tech infrastructure and a comprehensive telecom plan.


Dubai Silicon Oasis offers:

  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • Arab technologies
  • Business support services
  • Data centre
  • DSO offers the following incentives for its members:
  • Entrepreneurs Business License
  • Full repatriation of capital
  • Internet
  • Mobile technologies
  • No corporation tax, import/export tax and personal income tax
  • Preferential leasing rates
  • Semiconductors
  • Software/SAAS
  • Strong IP protection
  • Subsidised staff accommodation

5) Dubai Healthcare City

This Fee Zone is built with robust design with facilities including clinical and wellness service, research, medical education and quality healthcare. The first one to conceptualize this idea, Dubai Healthcare City has two phases.


Phase 1: A functional 4 million sq. feet project accommodating outpatient clinics, day care, rehabilitation centres, diagnostic centres, transplant centres, pharmaceutical and hospital equipment providers.

Housing over 80 reputed facilities, this zone operates to top international standards. Some healthcare companies include:

City Hospital, American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital, Drs. Nicolas and ASP, Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Centre, London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, Dubai Gynaecology and Fertility Centre, Mughrabi Eye Centre and the German Heart Centre.


Some pharmaceutical companies include:  Wyeth, Sanofi Aventis, Novartis, AstraZeneca, and Novo Nordisk.


Phase 2:  Wellness centres, nutrition centres, resorts, spas, and sports medicine facilities.


DHCC offers:

  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • 100 percent tax free
  • Access to network of regional healthcare professionals
  • Clinic lease/purchase option
  • Competitive pricing
  • Easy company registration, company laws and legal framework
  • Flexible real estate designed to suit the industry (laboratories, pharmacies etc.)
  • Integrated healthcare community providing specialised first-class medical care
  • Low operating costs
  • No corporate tax or income tax
  • No customs duty
  • No restrictions on capital, trade barriers or quotas
  • One-stop shop for government services (visa service, permits etc.)
  • Quick access to knowledge workers due to fast track immigration process
  • State-of-the-art facilities


6) Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park

Established in 2005, this life sciences tech park provides a platform for life sciences companies to reach out to the fastest growing emerging markets.


Some of its services include:


  • Partner development
  • Registration
  • Licensing
  • Government services
  • Regulatory affairs management


Those operating from DuBiotech include Pfizer, Genzyme, Merck-Serono, Amgen, Maquet, National Reference Lab and Firmenich.


DuBiotech offers:


  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • 100 percent repatriation of capital
  • 100 percent tax exemption
  • Government Services Division (including registration, fast track immigration and customs procedures)
  • Guaranteed 30-50 years exemption from personal, income and corporate taxes
  • Long term land leases
  • Streamlined, quick company set-up procedure
  • Tax free salaries for all employees

7) Dubai International Financial Centre

This is an ideal financial Free Zone destination. It aids in bridging the gap that financial centres face due to time zones between Hong Kong and London. It is a strategic platform for regional capital and investments and provides access to some of the largest financial emerging markets. It houses over 750 companies that include reputed financial services companies.


DIFC offers:


  • (the only Common Law jurisdiction in the Middle East)
  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • Fully transparent operating environment, complying with global best practices
  • modern transport, communications and internet infrastructure
  • Skilled professionals residing in Dubai and the wider region
  • A responsive one-stop shop service for visas, work permits and other related requirements
  • A variety of legal vehicles that may be established with capital structuring flexibility
  • World-class, independent, regulatory agency working
  • Access to the UAE’s wide network of double taxation treaties
  • alongside other agencies located in major global jurisdictions
  • An international stock exchange with primary and secondary listings of debt and equity instruments
  • and internationally accepted laws and regulatory processes
  • Freedom to repatriate capital and profits without restrictions
  • International legal system based on Common Law of England and Wales
  • No tax on income and profits for a period of 50 years

8) Dubai Multi Commodities Centre

An established government authorised initiative, the Dubai Multi Commodities centre provides world class infrastructure and facilities for energy, gold and precious metals, gemstones, diamonds and other commodities. It has now expanded to representative offices of foreign establishments and service companies.


DMCC offers:


  • 100 percent business ownership
  • 100 percent exemption on personal and corporate tax
  • Ability to purchase property
  • No foreign exchange controls or barriers to entry
  • No restrictions on capital repatriation
  • Preferential freight rates
  • Purpose built infrastructure
  • Regulated environment
  • Single Window clearances
  • World-class security systems



Free Zones in UAE

Abu Dhabi




Umm Al Quwain

Ras Al Khaimah