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Top Five Free Zones in UAE: Which is best for a business?

uae free zones

The United Arab Emirates has close to fifty free zones (UAE free zones) and hosts more than 20,000 companies. Each free trade zone is tailored to a specific category or business industry. Although free zones in the UAE have a couple of similar characteristics, there are differences in terms of price and what activities are allowed for a company that is registered under a certain license.

The most common characteristics most free zones in the country boast of include:

  • Availability of support services and visas for company directors and staff;
  • Exemption for corporate tax;
  • Repatriation of profits and capital is allowed;
  • Full foreign ownership

These benefits and more make free trade zone business setup an attractive option for investors and entrepreneurs. But, we’ll highlight the specific free zones that are best for certain sectors. Read on.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Free Zone

DMCC is the leading center for the trading of international commodities e.g. diamonds, gold, and all other precious metals up to industrial materials, food, and tea. It’s also the fastest-growing free trade zone in the world. Within easy reach of entry and exit points in Dubai, as well as the Expo2020 site, it’s connected to the most prominent retail, residential, and tourist districts in the region.

It is currently hosting tens of thousands of companies with approximately 60,000 employees while representing almost 200 countries. In DMCC, you’ll be able to establish a business as a limited liability company, subsidiary, or branch. Lastly, there are flexible office solutions that are available including serviced offices, Flexi-desks, and for sale or lease multi-story offices.

Creative City Fujairah

Creative City in Fujairah, UAE is a free trade zone that’s easy for business setup. It even offers flexible options in terms of the business entity to register. Whenever a certain business activity fits, business setup experts always recommend the free zone to clients. It is by far the best free trade zone if you want a quick process and one that requires the least effort and amount of documentation. It even is done remotely!

Creative City Fujairah business setup can be without a visa for an investor or staff member. But, the free zone authority also offers cheap solutions for entrepreneurs and employees that need visas. Certainly, a great free zone to work with! We know you are wondering if a business can be established for freelancers and professionals. Yes, definitely yes!

Creative City Fujairah is perfect not just for freelancers but also for international consultants including lifestyle consultants, management firms, and business consultants. Other activities that this free one is great for include online entrepreneurship or e-commerce, music and entertainment, designing, event managing, writing, online marketing, advertising, publishing, online training, and a lot more!

Take note: Manufacturing and trading companies are still not allowed to register in Creative City Fujairah.

Ras al Khaimah (RAK) Free Trade Zone

RAK FTZ is the best when it comes to affordability. It is particularly attractive to entrepreneurs and investors for its low business setup fees, as well as the generous incentives it provides to business partners. What’s more, it also offers a hassle-free approach when it comes to setting up a business entity. The free trade zone currently hosts tens of thousands of international and multinational companies, representing over fifty sectors and a hundred countries.

The free trade zone of RAK has 4 distinct segments: one for office clients, which is a business park; an industrial park that is for heavy manufacturing; another one for light manufacturing and trading, which is a technology park; and an educational or academic zone that is for educational institutions.

Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)

SHAMS is on our list of the top five free zones in the UAE as its list of advantages is nearly endless. Benefits of SHAMS business setup include a number of business activities that can be added to a business license, companies can have limited liability, low-cost company formation, and inexpensive workforce. The free zone is particularly sought-after among SMEs, aspiring startups, and of course, established corporations.

The free zone authority is known for offering a business community that’s holistic, forward-thinking, and dynamic at the same time. Now regarded as a world-class economic zone, SHAMS offer specialized facilities that are for the media and creative industries.

Read more: Most Common Misconceptions on Offshore Companies

Ajman Free Zone

Ajman Free Zone is particularly beneficial as its location is adjacent to a major seaport. It also welcomes all kinds of businesses, from freelancing to trading and light manufacturing. As opposed to company formation in any other free zone, it offers an advantage to budding entrepreneurs as it has an installment payment plan for business setup in Ajman Free Zone. Yes, that’s right! That means you can start your business and work on your great idea as soon as you can!

Are you interested in setting up a business in any of the top five free zones listed above? If so, give us a call today, and we’ll discuss your options!