Paolo Soro


Free Zones

Dubai have more than 20 free zones specialized in different services and industries in order to serve to both start-up companies and big corporations in their attempt of competing in the Middle East market. The free zones cover all the industries, spanning from ICT and Media, to the Financial and Biotechnology Sector. Foreign companies have the chance to have 100% of ownership in the free zones that are equipped with the most advanced and up to date technologies and infrastructures tailored to the companies needs.

Each free zone is run by an ad hoc organization, responsible for companies registration and for granting the license to operate in the area. Rules and procedures for obtaining such licenses vary in each free zone.

For example: the Dubai International Financial Centre is regulated by the norms written uniquely and specifically for sustaining the growth of the Financial Sector, while the Jebel Ali Free Zone, to which one of the greatest harbour in the world belongs, offers an unsurpassed base for logistics. The Dubai Healthcare City provides unique opportunities for the medical profession, with cutting-edge hospitals to conduct their business, and the Dubai Studio City, which was born to boost the Media and Entertainment Industry, is the perfect location for those companies which aim to be a dominant player in one of the geographical markets with the fastest growth in the Media Industry.

Currently, companies established inside a free zone are considered foreign companies by the Emirates legislation and need to have a local company to run their business in the UAE. At the same time, they represent the best company vehicle to operate worldwide, considering these benefit:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • No Corporate taxes for 15 years (renewable)
  • Complete repatriation of earnings and revenues (no taxation)
  • No personal income tax
  • Full exemption from customs duties for imports into the zone
  • No restrictions on currency
  • Costs of setting up and maintaining the company are very low