This guide outlines all the free zones in the UAE. It also provides information about where they’re based, and the benefits they offer.

List of UAE Free Zones

Abu Dhabi

Ajman

Dubai

Fujairah

Ras Al Khaimah

Sharjah

Umm Al Quwain

 

Information about Free Zones in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)

Located near Abu Dhabi airport, this free zone focuses on developing the state’s economic diversification.

Benefits include:

  • Tax exemptions
  • Investments incentives
  • Cargo clearance services
  • International freight forwarding
  • Logistics services

 

Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM)

Abu Dhabi Global Markets provides support for companies in the business and finance sectors. It’s situated in ADGM Square, Al Maryah Island.

Benefits include:

  • A wide range of banking services
  • Digital sandbox with participating regulator
  • A gateway to China

 

ADPC – Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ)

ADPC is based in Khalifa Port, and is focused on maritime trade and industry.

Benefits include:

  • World class integrated industrial / ports services
  • Wide range of working spaces available

 

Industrial City of Abu Dhabi

You’ll find this free zone on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. It caters for an extensive range of industries, including oil and gas, chemical and plastic, engineering and manufacturing, and construction.

Benefits include:

  • Innovative business environment
  • Repatriation of profits and capital
  • Strategic location, close to airports and ports

 

Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones

This free zone is located in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi. It was established to support industries throughout the state.

Benefits include:

  • 100% repatriation of profits
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Proximity to two major airports
  • Straightforward registration

 

Masdar City Free Zone

Masdar City Free Zone is in Masdar City.

Benefits include:

  • 100% tax free (personal income and corporate)
  • 0% import tariffs
  • Partnering with Khalifa University
  • No need for a local sponsor (100% foreign ownership)

 

Information about Free Zones in Ajman

Ajman Free Zone

Ajman Free Zone, located in Ajman, represents a number of sectors; from health and education, to retail and tech.

Benefits include:

  • A digital gateway for all services
  • Special packages for all businesses
  • Proximity to the port and airports
  • Ajman Media City Free Zone

Ajman Media City Free Zone

This free zone is also in the city of Ajman, and caters specifically for creative and media enterprises.

Benefits include:

  • Special packages for creative companies
  • Quick and easy registration

 

Information about Free Zones in Dubai

Dubai Academic City

DIAC is focused on academic development, and currently serves over 24,000 students from around the globe. It’s located in the city, and covers an area of 129,000,000 square feet.

Benefits include:

  • 100% freedom from tax
  • 100% repatriation of profits
  • 100% foreign ownership

 

Dubai Airport Free Zone

Dubai Airport Free Zone is situated next to Dubai International Airport. It’s home to over 1,600 companies.

Benefits include:

  • Progressive infrastructure
  • Rapid cargo clearance
  • Security, 24/7
  • 100% corporate tax exemption

 

Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park (DuBiotech)

This science and business park provides key facilities for businesses in the biotech sector.

Benefits include:

  • Easy registration and integration
  • 100% tax exemption
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Long-term land lease

 

Dubai Car and Automotive City Free Zone (DUCAMZ)

Located in Ras Al Khor, DUCAMZ’s focus is on exporting used cars to places like Asia and Africa.

Benefits include:

  • Easy access to airports, ports and the highway
  • No currency restriction
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Access to an extensive market

 

Dubai Design District

The Dubai Design District supports businesses in the following sectors: digital media, design, art and fashion. It can be found close to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall.

Benefits include:

  • No personal income tax
  • No corporate tax for the first 50 years

 

Dubai Gold and Diamond Park

This free zone is on Sheikh Zayed Road, and attracts tourists and local residents alike. It supports retailers who sell gold or diamonds.

Benefits include:

  • Operational freedom (24/7)
  • No income or corporate tax
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Top quality retail centre facilities

 

Dubai Healthcare City

Dubai Healthcare City is a top wellness destination. It has nearly 160 clinical partners, and is also home to Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Benefits include:

  • 50-year exemption on income, corporate and personal taxes
  • Impressive facilities
  • Exemption from customs duty (services and goods)
  • Extensive networking opportunities

 

Dubai Industrial City (DIC)

DIC can be found within Dubai Wholesale City, one of the state’s biggest industrial hubs. It’s conveniently located close to Al Maktoum Airport.

Benefits include:

  • 100% repatriation of profits and capital
  • Duty free imports on items like machinery and raw material
  • No corporate or personal tax

 

Dubai International Academic City

Dubai International Academic City is part of Dubai Academic City, and is near Al Ruwayyah. See Dubai Academic City for more details.

 

Dubai International Financial Centre

This free zone is a global financial hub, which provides a world-class infrastructure for businesses operating in this sector.

Benefits include:

  • Access to UAE’s network of double taxation treatises
  • A one-stop shop for visas, work permits and other similar requirements
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • An independent regulatory agency

 

Dubai Internet City (DIC)

Dubai Internet City is 25 kilometres south of the city. It’s the Middle-East’s biggest ICT infrastructure, and many businesses operate within it, such as HP, Dell, Microsoft and more.

Benefits include:

  • Networking and market development opportunities
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Impressive communications infrastructure
  • No personal, income or corporation tax (for 50 years)

 

Dubai Knowledge Village

Dubai Knowledge Village is the only free zone in the world that’s dedicated to human resource management. It’s situated in the city, and its main focus is developing the state’s rising talent, and enhancing its knowledge-economy.

Benefits include:

  • Partnership with the government and other regulatory bodies
  • 100% repatriation of the profits and capital
  • No corporate or personal income tax

 

Dubai Logistics City

Dubai Logistics City is conveniently close to both Jebel Ali port and Jebel Ali airport. Its purpose is to promote improved logistics and trade in the region.

Benefits include:

  • A comprehensive beneficial tax arrangement
  • Free transfer of capital
  • The opportunity to network with 7,000 other companies in the sector
  • 100% foreign ownership

 

Dubai Media City

The DMC is the media hub of the UAE, and supports businesses in the media industry. It’s located in the heart of the city, close to the Mall of the Emirates.

Benefits include:

  • Customs duty exemption on goods and services
  • No personal income or corporate tax
  • Easy registration and a fast-tracked immigration process
  • Government services to support business growth

 

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre / Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone

This free zone is situated in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. It was awarded ‘Global Free Zone of the Year’ by the Financial Times (on three occasions), and supports trade in the region.

Benefits include:

  • A variety of government services, such as sponsorship of employees
  • No corporate or personal income tax (for 50 years)
  • Easy registration

 

Dubai Outsource City

Dubai Outsource City was created in 2007, and is designed to support companies operating in outsourcing. It’s conveniently close to the highway, and key industrial areas.

Benefits include:

  • Real estate at a reduced price
  • 100% repatriation of profits and capital
  • A variety of administrative services to support business practices

 

Dubai Silicon Oasis

Situated beside the main highways, Dubai Silicon Oasis offers incentives to companies working within the tech park.

Benefits include:

  • Close to 100,000 square metres of commercial space for companies to lease
  • An environment that promotes collaboration and innovation
  • A sense of community (schools, hospitals, leisure facilities etc.)

 

Dubai Studio City

Dubai Studio City (part of Dubai Media City) provides state-of-the-art facilities for film-makers and those working in the entertainment industry

Benefits include:

  • Lower operating costs
  • Complete business ownership
  • Access to local investors
  • No customs duty

 

Dubai Techno Park

First opened in 2002, Dubai Techno Park is focused on technological advancement in the commercial sector. It’s located in the Jebel Ali Industrial Zone.

Benefits include:

  • No restrictions on currency
  • Long-term leases (up to 15 years)
  • Possible repatriation of profits and capital

 

International Media Production Zone

The IMPZ is a free zone for media production companies, exclusively those working in publishing and packaging, and graphic art. It can be found close to Jumeirah Village South.

Benefits include:

  • Sophisticated infrastructure
  • A central location for easy networking

 

Jebel Ali Free Zone

Jebel Ali Free Zone was the first in the world to be awarded ISO certification, and is one of the fastest growing free zones in the Middle East. Its focus is industrial development, and it is close to the airports, ports and major highways.

Benefits include:

  • Several value-added offerings for businesses
  • Excellent location
  • A wide range of business premises

 

Dubai South or DWC

Also known as Dubai World Central, Dubai South (soon to be completed) will act as an economic zone for businesses in a variety of sectors (such as aviation, residential, humanitarian etc.) It’s located close to Al Maktoum International Airport.

Benefits include:

  • 0% tax (corporate or personal income)
  • Easy access to the airport, and to Jebel Ali Sea Port
  • 100% foreign ownership

 

Dubai Science Park

Dubai Science Park caters for the scientific sector, and is approximately 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

Benefits include:

  • Networking opportunities with over 350 other companies
  • State-of-the-art facilities

 

Information about Free Zones in Fujairah

Fujairah Free Zone

Fujairah Free Zone is situated on UAE’s East Coast, which offers good access to several Arabian Gulf ports.

Benefits include:

  • Access to the local airports, highways and ports
  • Complete investment security

 

Fujairah Creative City

Located close to Fujairah International Airport, Fujairah Creative City is the state’s media hub, and complements the media clusters already in operation in the region.

Benefits include:

  • 100% ownership
  • Flexible business solutions
  • No auditing
  • No mandatory leasing of offices

 

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

The International Free Zone Authority is the only free zone in the UAE that’s solely focused on B2B companies. Their Fujairah office is situated in Fujairah Tower.

Benefits include:

  • Various warehouse options for businesses
  • Retail outlet options
  • Straightforward registration process

 

Information about Free Zones in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

This free zone is based in the centre of Ras Al Khaimah, and oversees the clients of Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone and the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority.

Benefits include:

  • 100% repatriation of profits and capital
  • Simple registration
  • No restrictions on currency
  • No customs duty

 

RAK Maritime City Free Zone Authority (RMCFZA)

First established in 2009, the RMCFZA specialises in supporting clients in the industrial, maritime, warehousing, cargo-handling and retail sectors.

Benefits include:

  • Proximity to the airport and ports
  • Flexible business packages

 

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority was created to support the investment climate of the state. It’s part of the RAK Economic Zone.

Benefits include:

  • Ease of obtaining business licences
  • Various state-of-the-art business facilities
  • Licences for offshore companies

 

Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone

RAK FTZ has four free zone parks in the state, which cater for the following sectors: business, industry, academic and technology. It’s an hour’s drive from Dubai.

Benefits include:

  • No corporate or personal income tax
  • Fast-track visas
  • Freedom to source talent and materials globally
  • Reduced cost (when compared to other UAE states)

 

Ras Al Khaimah Media Free Trade Zone

This free trade zone is designed to benefit media enterprises; especially in the fields of production, broadcasting, animation, event management and entertainment.

Benefits include:

  • One-stop-shop business set-up
  • Value-added packages for start-ups
  • Access to the free zone’s professional support team

 

Information about Free Zones in Sharjah

Hamriyah Free Zone

Hamriyah Free Zone covers 22 million square metres of prime commercial and industrial land.

Benefits include:

  • Access to the harbour and deep-water port
  • Warehouses, factories and offices to lease
  • Sophisticated infrastructure and telecommunications links

 

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone

SAIF is situated close to the airport, and caters for a wide variety of businesses in various sectors.

Benefits include:

  • 100% repatriation of profits and capital
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Free transfer of funds

 

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone

This is the world’s first free zone dedicated entirely to publishing and printing. It has a convenient location, close to the state’s sea ports, airports and other Gulf corporation countries.

Benefits include:

  • 0% tax
  • 100% business ownership
  • 100% capital repatriation

 

Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams)

Shams specialises in offering innovative services for the media and creative industry.

Benefits include:

  • 0% corporate tax for 50 years
  • No annual audit or paid-up share capital
  • 100% foreign ownership

 

Information about Free Zones in Umm Al Quwain

Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ)

Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone is just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport. It was established to help start-ups and SMEs in particular, with affordable set-up costs and incentives to help new businesses to flourish.

Benefits include:

  • 100% repatriation of profits and capital
  • Complete company ownership
  • No corporate or personal income tax
  • Simple registration