There is no doubt that Dubai is the hub of business in the whole gulf area and it provides best business opportunities among all the emirates of UAE. One such indication is the presence of large number of free zones in Dubai. But it doesn’t mean that other emirates are devoid of such business opportunities. All the 7 UAE emirates provide the facility of one or more free zones for foreign investors. One such prominent free zone outside Dubai is AFZA (Ajman Free Zone). It is the only free zone present in the emirate of Ajman.
Ajman is a small emirate located almost completely inside the emirate of Sharjah. But the emirate is not completely land-locked as the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf is at its western side. It is the area where the Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) was established in 1988. Later in 1996, Ajman Free Zone Authority (AFZA) was established after which industrial activity started in the free zone. Apart from its main office in Ajman, AFZ also has office in the emirate of Dubai and also other international offices in Cyprus, Pakistan, Russia, India and the UK. Numbers of international companies have setup their businesses in AFZ in order to take advantages of the facilities provided in the free zone.
Following are few important advantages and facilities available in Ajman Free Zone:
- Due to its presence at the Persian Gulf, AFZ can easily serve both the eastern and western markets
- AFZA is in the proximity of Ajman Port that have 12 berths and serves around 1000 vessels per year
- AFZ is just 2 km away from Sharjah and 12 km from Dubai. Closeness to these important cities makes it accessible to 2 international airports and 4 ports
- 100% foreign ownership
- Exemption from all taxes
- Easy transfer of capital and profits
- Reasonable prices for leasing, facility usage and electricity
- Availability of low cost labor
- Fully developed infrastructure
Those foreign investors who want to open companies in AFZ in order to gain such advantages can obtain 5 different types of licenses:
- Business (or trade) license is for those who want to setup businesses in AFZ. There are separate types of trade licenses for general trading and business with 1 activity, 2 activities and 3 activities
- If a company intends for business in electronic trading then there are E-Commerce Licenses for such business activities
- Services Licenses are for businesses related to service activities in AFZ including IT consultants, management, marketing etc
- Manufacturing companies in AFZ require Industrial Licenses. The free zone provides warehouses and smart stores for conducting such activities. Organizations with a national of GCC countries owning 51% or more shares are granted ‘National Industrial License’. There are other conditions also for this license
- Offshore Licenses are for businesses aiming to setup offshore companies. But these companies can only run their businesses outside the free zone
AFZ provides opportunities for the formation of 4 different types of companies:
- A single owner (individual or company) with $50,000 established capital can setup a Free Zone Entity (FZE). One has to submit passport, photograph, NOC from sponsor (if required), feasibility study and AED 100 fee before opening FZE
- If more than one entity (individuals or companies) is establishing a company then it will be a Free Zone Company (FZC). Documents required for them are same as that for FZE
- If a local company wants to starts business in AFZ, then it can open Branch of Local Company in the free zone
- A company located outside UAE can also open a Branch of Foreign Company in AFZ in order to get benefits of the specific free zone
These are few important points regarding AFZ (Ajman Free Zone). It is important to note that AFZ provides facilities at a very reasonable rate quite similar to the free zones present in Dubai. Ajman Free Zone is the only free zone in Ajman and the emirate of Ajman is focusing entirely on the progress of its sole free zone. If you are willing to establish a company in AFZ, then we at Riz & Mona Consultancy can fully assist you in this respect. You can contact us via our WhatsApp # 971-56-9971225.