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Dubai Offshore UAE Companies

Introduction of Free Zones

The UAE’s spectacular growth in real estate business has not only completely transformed the shape of the whole Emirates. It has also increased the number of individuals and companies wanting to set up base in the Middle East’s fastest growing und most advanced city – Dubai.

In the UAE 100% ownership is only guaranteed if a company sets up in a Free Zone – only in this case no local partner is required. The company retains full control over their businesses and assets. The UAE government has guaranteed that there will be no corporate taxes for companies operating in a Free Zone for up to 50 years. All profits can be transferred out of the country and there are no currency restrictions.

What is a Free Zone?

According to the World Federation of Free Zones (FEMOZA) a Free Zone is a portion of a clearly defined and isolated land or setting, with a special tax, customs and imports regime, usually involving a status of extra-territoriality. Free Zones are special investment models allowing the client to do business without obstacles. The Free Zones are governed by established laws from the government of the respective country.

The Free Zones are direct government authorities. Dubai prides itself on its achievements towards e-government basically eliminating any form of corruption. Business licences are usually issued within 5-6 working days after approval and submission of the requested legal documents. Along with the application form the investor is required to submit a business plan or detailed project proposal for review by the Free Zone before the registration process can be started.

Free Zone Selection

The selection of the right Free Zone depends on the type of activity the company wants to engage in (e.g. trading, e-commerce, internet and software development, automotive, heavy industry, broadcasting, publishing) as well as the infrastructure required (e.g. warehousing facilities, airport or seaport access). Dubai has by far the most diverse and state of the art infrastructure for businesses. Dubai groups businesses by clusters or “cities” such as Internet City, Media City or Healthcare City. Currently the only multi-purpose Free Zone in Dubai is Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) which is conveniently located next to terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport. A very promising fledgling free zone is Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) which is strategically located along Emirates Road, next to Dubailand and Academic City. DSO aims to attract companies in the high-tech field and offers as one of the first free zones residential and commercial use for lease and buy.

Choosing a Free Zone - many factors must be considered, some are:

  • Distance from international air- and seaports  

  • Facilities and infrastructure offered at the free zone

  • Real estate options

  • Types of activities allowed by the respective free zone authority   

  • Annual rent for office space and size of office units

  • Minimum capital required, registration, trade licence fees

  • Processing time of application

List of Dubai Free Zones

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For more detailed information, please contact our Formations Team [contact info here] 




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