How do I set up a business in Dubai? - Part 2


We mentioned in Part 1 of “How do I set up a business in Dubai”, that the many choices available related to Free Zones  can pose difficulties, cause confusion and stress.

The choice for the most appropriate  place of establishment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is crucial. None of the Free Zones are perfect for all activities or industries. Dubai alone has more than twenty Free Zones. In addition, there are many Free Zones located in the other emirates, where you would also be able to establish your business in a cost-efficient way.

So, the following factors  play a vital role when choosing the most suitable Free Zone: the nature of the activities, the location of the Free Zone and the costs related to registering your company in a Free Zone:


Firstly, it is important to establish which Free Zone suits your company activity best. As previously indicated, some Free Zones have a focus on certain activities and industries. For example, Dubai Internet City (DIC) accommodates to companies in the IT and telecommunications sector, while Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) has its main focus on industrial companies. Furthermore, not all Free Zones allow all activities. It is therefore important to ensure that your required activities are allowed in the Free Zone of your choice.


Secondly, attention must be paid to the location of the Free Zone. Would you prefer to register your company in a centrally located Free Zone such as the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), or rather in a more economical Free Zone in one of the northern emirates? The answer to this question is related to the amount of time you expect to be in your office or if you expect to receive many visitors. If you will not often be physically present in your newly incorporated establishment in the UAE, it might be more attractive to opt for a cheaper Free Zone, less centrally located.


Finally, the costs of registration and annual fees largely differ from Free Zone to Free Zone. The costs related to the set up of a company and annual renewal costs are generally high. This is mainly due to the fees related to office space rental in the Free Zones. It is therefore of high importance to really think of how much time you expect to be in the office and if you intend to receive your clients there. This will make it easier for you to decide the location.

Are you curious to find out which Free Zone matches your company activities? Then please send us an email: [email protected]


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More information coming soon.