A free zone is also commonly referred to as free trade zone is a defined geographical area within each emirate. These locations typically exist to help new businesses and startups because of no duties or taxes, which are levied in the free zone.
The most important types of free trade zones are free zones, free port zones, and exporting processing zones. Let us discuss more in-depth which free zones are better suited to your business needs.
IFZA Dubai provides local and international businesses with a lot of variety and offers flexible residency visa packages. This free zone is renowned for its strategic position, which a number of businesses take advantage of to help grow their business whilst simultaneously fulfilling all the business demands. It offers world-class business infrastructure and has a very tax-friendly environment. IFZA Dubai also has great office solutions and real estate products from its new headquarters at Dubai Digital Park.
IFZA Dubai offers three types of business licenses: Professional, Commercial, and Industrial. The foreign incorporated companies can also register a branch at IFZA.
This free zone offers not only single but also multi-year free zone business licenses. Moreover, it also gives a choice of up to three free business activities in every license.
Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)
Launched back in 2017, Shams has established itself as a reliable free zone for thriving creative and media businesses. Although despite being renowned for media services, Shams offers over 150 business activities across different sectors. Unlike many other free zones, Shams also offers some special offers to attract investors and potential business partners. Some of these offers are as following:
- 30% off on Standard License package, if three business activities are on the same license
- Up to 35% off on multi-year license packages
- Freelancer licenses start from Dh 5,750
The three types of licenses offered in Shams include: Service, Trading, and Industrial license. The Standard License fee starts from Dh 11,500, which is very reasonable.
Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone
Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone specializes in a vast majority of sectors which include food and beverages, light industry, medical equipment trading, IT consultation, and international investment firms. The free zone has an abundance of benefits some of which include 0% corporate and personal tax along with 100% company ownership. There are also no currency restrictions in Umm Al Quwain FTZ.
There are a number of sectors that Umm Al Quwain promotes, which is why the list of licenses offered to businesses is long. The types, however, include:
- Commercial with specific activities, trading, and general Trading
- E-Commerce and portal licenses
- Professional services with consultancy activities
- Industrial licenses
- Premium licenses with special activities such as investments, logistics, legal consultancy
- Freelance permits
As of now, the FTZ is currently providing 50% subsidiary across all various licenses. Moreover, the land rental rates for industrial businesses are being offered at lower rates.
Dubai CommerCity is one of the few trade zones which specialize in offering their services to e-commerce business, which makes it an ideal hub for all the businesses operating online. The trade zone offers business packages that are tailored to the needs of the business owners, and provide you ample support to set up your very own e-commerce business or help you with business development.
The main emphasis of Dubai CommerCity is on online businesses but the key sectors also include fashion and apparel, beauty and cosmetics, and Pharma.
The licenses are broken down by the type of the business, which is as follows:
- E-commerce License
- Trade License
- Service License
- General Trading License
- Freelancing License
Fujairah Free Zone
The Fujairah Free Zone is basically a government organization that is entirely focused on foreign investments and offers state-of-the-art infrastructure along with excellent solutions. This free zone is renowned for its administrative services and for the ease of doing business, which has led to a huge spike in international businesses making it their hub as well. The special offers in this free zone are targeted towards attracting new international businesses and offering them maximum support from the relevant authorities.
With international-level infrastructure, the Fujairah Free Zone offers licenses for a number of sectors including in the fields of trading, manufacturing, assembling, distribution, consultancy, logistics, and marine, by providing trading offices, warehouses or land as per their requirement.
Hamriyah Free Zone (HFZA)
HFZA specializes in six different sectors namely oil and gas, industrial manufacturing, Food Park, maritime industry, Global Logistics Park, and Accelerator Hub. To attract new businesses, HFZA is offering 50% incorporation fee waive off for the first year; 100% license fee waive off for the first year; 50% service fee waive off for the first year; and deferment of security deposit until following year’s license renewal.
The three types of licenses provided in HFZA are Commercial, Industrial, Service. The Commercial license is basically for trading, general trading, and e-commerce.