A Guide to Dubai Free Zones 

Table of Contents

UAE has now become a global business hub for international entrepreneurs and investors. Of course, it is because of the streamlined process. For setting up your business in. Dubai or anywhere in the UAE. Usually, there are three options available for a company setup in the UAE Mainland, Offshore, or free zone. When it comes to Dubai free zones, it offers enormous benefits to businesses. Dubai free zones are the most desired free zones for business setup in Dubai. 

In this blog, let’s just discuss from the beginning what exactly are free zones, how many free zones are there in the UAE, which are the best free zones in Dubai, and how to set up a business in the Dubai Free Zone. 

Let’s get started.  

What is a free zone in Dubai? 

The most common question asked is, what is a free zone in Dubai or in the UAE? The term free zones or free trade zones solely belongs to the economic zones or areas in the UAE that are regulated by their respective free zone authorities. UAE free zones are gaining so much popularity due to the enormous benefits that they offer with easy licensing options. Free zones attract investors and entrepreneurs from around the world to move to Dubai and start their businesses in Dubai. Free Zones offers 100% ownership and are number one choice for low-cost business setup in Dubai. 

How many free zones in Dubai? 

Dubai has over 30 free zones out of 40+ free zones in the UAE. Dubai Free Zones offers full ownership to business owners and is well known for its strategic location. The licensing process is straightforward and streamlined. Free Zones in Dubai save you time, energy, and a significant amount of money. 

Dubai free zones: List 

 Dubai offers approximately 30 free zones to start your business here in the UAE. Here’s the list of Dubai Free Zones in Dubai:  

  1. MEYDAN Free Zones 
  2.  Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) 
  3. Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) 
  4. Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) 
  5. IFZA Freezone 
  6. DWTC Freezone 
  7. Dubai Design District  
  8. Dubai Internet City (DIC) 
  9. Dubai Media City (DMC) 
  10. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) 
  11. Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC)
  12. Dubai South  
  13. Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) 
  14. Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) 
  15. Dubai Maritime City (DMC) 
  16. Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone (DUCAMZ) 
  17. Dubai Production City (formerly International Media Production Zone) 
  18. Dubai Silicon Oasis 
  19. Dubai Studio City 
  20. Dubai Gold and Diamond Park 
  21. Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone (DUCAMZ) 
  22. Dubai Outsource City 
  23. Dubai International Academic City 
  24. Dubai Science Park (formerly DuBiotech) 
  25. Dubai Techno Park (now part of Dubai Industrial Park) 
  26. Dubai Wholesale City 
  27. Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone (part of DMCC) 
  28. Dubai Sports City 
  29. Dubai Logistics City 
  30. Dubai Flower Centre 

                              What are the best free zones for business setup in Dubai? 

                              There are a lot of options available when choosing the right free zone for your business setup in Dubai. It usually depends on the type of business activities you want to conduct in Dubai. However, there are free zones that are considered the best ones for start-ups.

                              Let’s check out: 

                              • MEYDAN Free Zone 
                              • DWTC Free Zone 
                              • IFZA Free Zone 
                              • Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) 

                              MEYDAN Free Zone 

                              Meydan Free Zone is one of the desired Dubai free zones for a low-cost business setup in Dubai. It offers more than 2,500 business activities. You can obtain a business license with multiple business activities within a few working days.  

                              DWTC Free Zone 

                              DWTC Free Zone is fully abbreviated as Dubai World Trade Centre Free Zone. It is famous for its strategic location. With its countless advantages for businesses, it’s an ideal choice for startups. It offers a variety of office spaces including conference halls, exhibition halls, meeting rooms, and outdoor areas. You get a commercial business license, e-commerce license, or trading license options when setting up a business in the DWTC Free Zone. 

                              IFZA Free Zone 

                              IFZA is one of the top-tier Free Zone Communities in Dubai. It offers world-class infrastructure, modern amenities, and investor-friendly policies. With 100% ownership, and 100% profit repatriation on capital and gains, warehouse facilities have become the perfect choice for international entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs choose IFZA Free Zone to establish and expand their business setup in Dubai.  

                              Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) 

                              Jebel Ali Free Zone is the first free zone established in the UAE. It has now become the best free trade zone in the UAE. JAFZA has established more than 9,500 companies in Dubai. JAFZA offers offshore company formation as well. You can avail warehouse facilities and run your business with very low investment. 

                              How to start a business in Dubai freezones?

                               Starting your business can vary from free zone to free zone in Dubai. Let’s just discuss the general and simplified process of business setup in free zones briefly. 

                              1. Choose the business activities that you will conduct in your business in Dubai. 
                              2. Select the right free zone according to your business activities, license type, and budget. 
                              3. Register your business trade name to the relevant authority and make sure it is unique. 
                              4. Required documents usually include your original passport, white background pictures, visa copy, or other required additional documents.  
                              5. After submitting the documents, get the initial approval from the relevant free zone authority. 
                              6. After getting initial approvals, now you can sign the Memorandum of Association submit it, and pay the license fees. 
                              7. After paying the fees, you will receive your business license. 
                              8. Obtain a business bank account in Dubai after obtaining the license in any of the free zones. 
                              9. Get a residence visa for 2 years in Dubai. 

                              Benefits of Dubai free zones 

                              Dubai Free Zones offers so many benefits to attract foreigners and international entrepreneurs. The most prominent ones are: 

                              •  100% fully foreign ownership 
                              • 100% repatriation of capital and profits 
                              • Streamlined business set-up process 
                              • Securing business bank account in UAE 
                              • Multiple business activities 
                              • Low corporate tax rates  
                              • 100% exemption from import and export customs duties 
                              • Low-cost business setup options 
                              • Independent laws and regulations set by the relevant authorities 
                              • International market access  

                              Types of trade license in Dubai Freezones

                              Dubai Free Zones offers different types of business trade licenses suitable for different business activities and industries. Here are the common ones. 

                              E-Commerce license 

                              As the name suggests, this license is for online trading and e-commerce business activities in Dubai. It is specifically only for online sales of goods. 

                              Commercial license 

                              The commercial license permits trading business activities. It includes such as wholesale, import export, or retail trade. 

                              Industrial license 

                              An industrial license allows the production of goods and products. It includes the manufacturing industries such as chemicals, or food & beverages products. 

                              Professional license 

                              A professional license is required when you are offering professional services. The professional services example is such as consulting services. 

                              How much Dubai free zone license cost? 

                              Dubai free zone license cost can vary depending on the specific free zone chosen, with prices typically starting from 25,000 AED. Dubai attracts foreign investors and offer cost-effective business setup options especially in the free zones.


                              As the conclusion to this guide, it is sure that free zones in Dubai plays crucial role in UAE’s economic development. Emirates Business Setup is a business consultancy in Dubai. It offers business setup services in the UAE. Free trade zones in Dubai offer tax incentives and 100% ownership. Contact our business consultants in Dubai to know more! 

                              Frequently Asked Questions 

                              1. Can companies in Dubai Free Zones conduct business within the UAE? 

                              Companies in free zones can conduct business within the UAE but are primarily geared towards conducting international trade. 

                              2. Which industries are popular in Dubai? 

                              Freezones in Dubai attracts companies from diverse sectors such as financial sectors, logistics, technology, and more. 

                              3. How can I set up a business in Dubai? 

                              You can start a business setup at a very low cost. It is advised to talk to our business consultants in Dubai to start your business setup process. We handle everything from the attestation of your documents to submitting them to the relevant authorities. We ensure you get your business-free zone license in Dubai on time.  

                              4. Do I need a local partner to set up a business in a free zone? 

                              In free zones foreign investors are allowed 100% ownership of their businesses. You usually do not need a local partner to set up a business in any free zone.  

                              Get in touch With Our Team of Experts

                              Fill out the form below to contact us!

                              Cost Calculator

                              Fill the form details to calculate cost.

                              Not sure where to begin on your business journey? Our experienced business consultants are here for you.