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UAE Free Zones

Free trade zones are areas in the United Arab Emirates that have a special tax, customs and imports regime. These zones work under their own regulations. There are  45 UAE free zones  across Dubai, Abu Dhabi,  Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras al Khaimah (RAK)  and Umm Al Quwain.

Each free zone in the UAE cater to a specific type of business category. Business owners who want full ownership can choose a license and location in one of the many free zones in the UAE. These areas were created to encourage foreign investors with easier start-up process, labour and immigration procedures. Each zone has its own rules and governed by its own authority. Each free zone offers licenses to companies within those categories.

An independent Free Zone Authority (FZA) governs each free zone and is responsible for issuing FTZ operating licenses and assisting companies with establishing their business in the FTZ.

Some of the exemptions of free zones are:

  • 100% foreign ownership of the enterprise

  • 100% import and export tax exemptions

  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits

  • Corporate tax exemptions for up to 50 years

  • No personal income taxes

  • Assistance with labor recruitment, and additional support services, such as sponsorship and housing.


A new company can be registered by an investor in the form of a Free Zone Establishment (FZE) or simply establish a branch or representative office of their existing or parent company based within the UAE or abroad.

An FZE is a limited liability company governed by the rules and regulations of the Free Zone in which it is established. The provisions of the Commercial Companies Law (CCL) do not apply to FZEs, except for acquiring nationality in the UAE.

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