Free zones in UAE are special areas within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in which foreign companies can operate with certain benefits. For instance, tax, customs, and regulatory advantages. These zones have the function of promoting trade, investment, innovation, and development in strategic sectors for the economy in the UAE. Currently, there are more than 40 free zones in UAE, each with its requirements, features, and benefits.
In this article, we are going to present you a list of the main free zones in UAE, classified by emirate and by sector. We will explain to you what type of activities you can do in each one, what drawbacks and what advantages they have. In addition, how you can establish your company and the costs you have to assume when opening a company somewhere. We will also give you some recommendations and advice to choose the free zone that best suits your objectives and needs. We hope that this information is useful to you and encourages you to explore the opportunities in the free zones in UAE.
What Are Free Zones?
If you want to start a small business in the UAE, you must know what are free zones in UAE. In this way, the free zones of the UAE are commercial zones. These accelerate a fluid and strategic roadmap that not only ensures that goods, but also that services are marketed without any type of tax or customs fees.
Therefore, designated free zones in UAE give business owners 100% ownership of the business. In this way, they are very attractive areas for investors from all over the world.
However, a frequently asked question is, how many free zones in UAE? The answer is that in the UAE there are several free zones and each emirate has a certain number of these. In addition, each free zone has different activities according to the type of company you want to form. For this reason, it is important to know everything about them.
List of UAE Free Zones
In the UAE 46 free zones are operating. In this way, when making a list of free zones in UAE it is important to point out which emirate each one is located in. Furthermore, thanks to the popularity of the UAE as a global business center, many people only know the top free zones in UAE. For this reason, all the free zones in the UAE and in each emirate will be presented.
List of Free Zones in Dubai
- Firstly, Dubai Multi Commodity Center, or by its acronym DMCC.
- Then, Dubai Airport Free Zone, or by its acronym DAFZA.
- After, the International Free Zone Authority, or by its acronym IFZA.
- Dubai Automatic Zone, or by its acronym DAZ.
- Dubai Automobile and Automotive Zone, or by its acronym DUCAMZ.
- Gold and Diamonds Park, or by its acronym DGDP.
- Dubai Design District, or by its acronym D3.
- Dubai Flower Center, or by its acronym DFC.
- Energy and Environmental Park, or by its acronym Enpark.
- Dubai Health City, or by its acronym DHCC.
- Dubai Industrial City, or better known as DIC.
- International Humanitarian City, or by its acronym as CIH.
- Dubai International Financial Center, or by its acronym as DIFC.
- Dubai International Academic City, or by its acronym as DIAC.
- Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, or by its acronym as Jafza.
- Dubai Internet City, or by its acronym as DIC.
- Dubai Knowledge Park, or by its acronym as DKP.
- In addition, there is the Dubai Logistics City, or by its acronym as DLC.
- Dubai Maritime City Authority, or by its acronym as DMCA.
- Dubai Media City, or by its acronym as DMC.
- In addition, Dubai Outsourced City, or by its acronym as DOC.
- Dubai Science Park, or by its acronym as DSP.
- Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, or by its acronym as DSOA.
- In addition, Dubai Studio City, or by its acronym as DSC.
- Dubai Technology Park, or by its acronym as DTP.
- Dubai Textile City, or by its acronym as DTC.
- In addition, Dubai Production City, or by its acronym as DPC.
- Dubai Wholesale City.
List of Abu Dhabi Free Zones
The list of Abu Dhabi free zones is smaller than that of Dubai. However, it has free zones of utmost importance both nationally and internationally and the free zones found in the emirate are the following:
- The Abu Dhabi Global Market or by its acronym ADGM: It is an award-winning international financial center.
- Twofour54: It is a media and entertainment center that offers a freelance license.
- The Khalifa Abu Dhabi Industrial Zone or by its acronym KIZAD: It is one of the cheapest free zones in Abu Dhabi. In addition, it has one of the highest-quality warehouses in the UAE. It even allows entrepreneurs to have up to a total of 5 similar commercial activities.
- The Industrial City of Abu Dhabi or by its acronym ICAD: It is one of the most technologically advanced free zones in the UAE and the world. In addition, it contains 5 clusters to serve different industries.
- ZonasCorp: It is the largest operator of industrial zones especially those that have been built in the UAE.
- Masdar City Free Zone: This is a zone of free economic and sustainable urban development. In addition, it is recognized as the best renewable energy-free zone. Finally, this recognition was granted by the Financial Times fDi magazine in 2016.
List of Sharjah Free Zones
You should know that there is also a List of Sharjah Free Zones that are very interesting and one of the best. In this section, you will see these free zones in UAE and a brief description of each of them.
Sharjah Media City (Shams)
- Firstly, this is one of the fastest-growing free zones in the UAE.
- In this free zone, only activities related to the media can be carried out.
- You have the option of applying for self-employed permits and, therefore, freelance visas.
- Another interesting feature is that you can register companies without having certified documents.
Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF)
- This is one of the free zones with the largest customer bases in the world.
- You can find the headquarters in the UAE of some of the most prestigious companies in the world.
- You have the option of getting high-quality installations at the lowest cost.
Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA)
- Its main characteristic is that it is the second-largest industrial free zone in the United Arab Emirates.
- It has a variety of facilities ranging from executive offices to customizable plots of industrial land.
Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ)
- This is the world’s first publishing and printing-free zone.
- You have the option to carry out up to 5 activities under 1 license without any additional charge.
- In addition, entrepreneurs are offered dual licenses.
- It is restricted and is only for printing and publishing companies.
Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTIP)
- You can find a variety of facilities ranging from office space to laboratory areas.
- Entrepreneurs are allowed to obtain dual licenses.
List of Ras Al Khaimah Free Zones
Thus, like the other emirates, there is also a List of Ras Al Khaimah Free Zones and you will see it below.
Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)
- Its main characteristic is being one of the largest free zones in the United Arab Emirates.
- In it, you can find customizable warehouses and plots of industrial land for development.
- It provides you with an e-commerce license.
- It is extremely close to RAK airport and ports.
RAK Maritime City (RAKMC)
- The most important thing to highlight is that it is one of the most progressive centers in the Middle East.
List of Fujairah Free Zones
On the other hand, other interesting free zones in UAE are those that are in the List of Fujairah Free Zones and are the following.
Fujairah Free Trade Zone (FFZA)
- If you are an exporter you have to know that you only have access to the Indian Ocean.
- Its main feature is that it has the largest oil storage space in the GCC.
- You can have access to the e-commerce license.
Creative City Free Zone Authority
- There is a provision for a virtual office.
- One of the best possibilities is that you can obtain up to 20 visas under 1 license.
- You can establish a company without the visa requirement for staff and investors
List of Ajman Free Zones
As all Emirates have free zones in UAE, you can expect there to be a List of Ajman Free Zones which is as follows.
Ajman Media City Free Zone (AMCFZ)
- You can apply for an e-commerce license.
- In addition, you can find a variety of packages to suit investors.
Ajman Free Zone (AFZ)
- Its main characteristic is that it is one of the oldest free zones in the United Arab Emirates.
- You can find a variety of facilities, from flexible desks to warehouses.
- Additionally, you can apply for a freelance permit.
List of Umm Al Quwain Free Zones
Finally, the last free zones in UAE that you will see are those belonging to the List of Umm Al Quwain Free Zones.
Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ)
- In this free zone, up to 3 activities of different categories are allowed under 1 license.
- In addition, it allows you to have up to 10 commercial activities of the same category under one license.
- Finally, it issues freelance permits and a microbusiness license.
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