Choosing a free zone for registering a company in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates attracts entrepreneurs from all over the world not only with one of the most favourable income tax rates but also with an outstanding banking sector, innovative infrastructure and the opportunity to obtain tax residency through company registration and avoid the international exchange of tax information.

In the UAE, there are more than 40 Special Economic Zones (free zones) - these are separate territories where foreign investors can do business and take advantage of tax and other benefits from local authorities, each of which operates for certain areas of activity. Depending on the nature of your company, the location of the business and other individual factors of your project, Antwort Law will select the optimal free zone for your business. We also guarantee fast and efficient registration of your company and opening a bank account.

Advantages of registering a company in the free zones of the UAE:

  • Zero tax: Many free zones provide tax benefits, including complete exemption from income tax for a certain period (often 15-20 years), with the possibility of extension. There is a list of conditions that must be met to receive this tax rate;
  • 100% control and ownership: no need to have a local partner or pay for a nominee service;
  • Fast and convenient registration: 1 shareholder is enough; period from 2 to 7 working days, depending on the free zone;
  • Resident visa: Investor Visa or Entrepreneur Visa, validity period is 1 to 3 years. All you need to do is fly to the UAE once for a few days and take medical tests;
  • Access to global markets: The UAE is strategically located between Europe, Asia and Africa, making it an excellent base for accessing global markets. 

Let's look together at what types of businesses are best to register in various free zones in the UAE and provide you with recommendations for specific free zones:

IT companies and innovative enterprises:

  • Dubai Internet City: houses the world's IT giants and market leaders. It has a high status, but you must rent an office to register a company here.
  • International Media Production Zone (IMPZ): Specializes in media and production and provides excellent opportunities for companies related to the media industry.
  • Ahmed Bin Rashid (Umm Al Quwain): Consider this zone if your business involves innovation and technology.

Consulting and trading companies:

  •   Ras Al Khaimah: It has a wide range of activities and is an attractive location for consulting and trading companies.
  •   Ahmed Bin Rashid (Umm Al Quwain): interesting for companies in these areas

Industrial and industrial companies:

  •   Dubai South: It allows renting premises and workspaces in its business park and is considered one of the most economical options for starting a company in Dubai; it also offers quick registration.
  •   Ajman Free Zone (Ajaman): Focused on industrial complexes, an ideal location for industrial and manufacturing companies.

Fintech companies and financial corporations (banking services or wealth management):

  • DIFC – Dubai International Financial City: A premium free zone created for financial activities; it is a hub between the USA, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It applies to English law when resolving disputes, which can be useful for companies with interests in Great Britain (UK) and creating holding companies.
  • Al Shmukh Building UAQ Free Trade Zone: provides exclusive licenses for investment activities. Such licenses require the appointment of a manager with the appropriate competencies.

Take advantage of the unique opportunity to start your business in the UAE's prosperous free zones with Antwort Law's help. We offer a personal approach to choosing the optimal free zone, considering the specifics of your business and expert support in registering your company. We will also help you obtain a resident visa. Please take advantage of our services to make the most of your business in the UAE and achieve global success.

Lidia Ivanova

International lawyer
Antwort Law

Which UAE free zones are recommended for IT companies and innovative companies?
Dubai Internet City (DIC): an information technology center that houses world leaders in the IT market. DIC offers high profile and infrastructure specifically designed for technology companies. International Media Production Zone (IMPZ): specializes in media and production, making it attractive to companies involved in content development, multimedia projects and other media-related activities. Ahmed Bin Rashid (Umm Al Quwain): Offers access to benefits and facilities for the development of technology projects.
Which UAE free zones are recommended for consulting and trading companies?
Ras Al Khaimah (Ras Al Khaimah): offers favorable conditions for business development in these industries. Ahmed Bin Rashid (Umm Al Quwain): An attractive option for consulting and trading companies, offering a convenient location and business incentives.
Which UAE free zones are recommended for industrial and industrial companies?
Dubai South: Provides rental opportunities for premises and workspaces in its business park, making it attractive to industrial and industrial companies. Ajman Free Zone (Ajaman): focused on industrial complexes and provides convenient conditions for industrial and manufacturing companies.
Which UAE free zones are recommended for fintech companies and financial corporations:
DIFC – Dubai International Financial City: a premium free zone specially created for financial activities. It offers excellent conditions for financial corporations, including access to global markets and legal support. Al Shmukh Building UAQ Free Trade Zone: provides exclusive licenses for investment activities.
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