A Free Zone or a Free Trade Zone is intended for encouraging international business in the UAE by offering government incentives including, free of tax, free custom duty and complete foreign company ownership.
Free Zones play an important part in the growth and development of the UAE. There are currently over 40 free zones across the country. Most of the country’s Free Zones are located in Dubai serving various sectors of the economy including healthcare, education, advertising, media, automotive, goods trading and commodities.
There are several benefits when setting up a Free Zone Company setup in Dubai:
GCC advises clients on market entry into the UAE and which Free Zone is best suited to their individual business needs. We assess our clients’ needs and provide bespoke solutions tailored to their particular industry sector. We provide cost-effective solutions that allow our clients to advance as their business grows organically.
We can advise on which Free Zone best suits your business plan at every stage of initial business development, market evaluation, company formation with upscaling mechanisms as required therein.
Companies incorporated in free zones operated in the UAE typically allow up to 100 per cent of foreign ownership. The major free zones include the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC) and the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) (formerly known as the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone). This will potentially allow certain sectors to obtain complete foreign ownership of UAE based companies. A few industries that are exempted from this liberalisation include investments in the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors.
The continued establishment of free zones and reform initiatives are a few steps the UAE is taking to accelerate and attract foreign investment in the UAE. It can lead to diversity in the UAE’s economy, nurture private sector growth, create employment for nationals and attract training. While many countries in the Middle East have enacted new foreign investment regimes, currently the UAE still relies on old legislation and practice.