Among the most modern free zones in the UAE, you will be able to find the Dubai Airport Free Zone. In this UAE jurisdiction, investors and entrepreneurs from everywhere can get the opportunities they need to set up thriving businesses. But before that, it is essential to learn about this free zone, its benefits, and the process to start a business there.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about this particular Dubai Free Zone and its advantages. In addition, here you can find the steps you need to follow to set up your business in this location. And, among other important details, we will also explain the differences between UAE free zones and the mainland.
- What exactly is a free zone in the UAE?
- How many differences are there between mainland and free zones in the UAE?
- What is the Dubai Airport Free Zone?
- Which is the cheapest free zone in the UAE?
- How can you start a business in a UAE free zone?
- How can Connect FZ help you start your business in Dubai Airport Free Zone?
1. What exactly is a free zone in the UAE?
Do you desire to start a business and reach success in no time? In that case, setting up your business in a free zone in the UAE is your best option. In this country, you will be able to find more than 40 free zones that provide the support that investors need. And among the most popular and favorable UAE free zones, you can find the Dubai Airport Free Zone.
But what exactly can a free zone be beneficial for your new business? Free zones are known for being geographically demarcated areas dedicated to business in many fields or industries. Some of them dedicate their resources to one specific industry or area. And some others are dedicated to different industries at the same time.
Depending on the nature of your business, a free zone in the UAE can boost it by providing you with different benefits. For example, one of the most remarkable benefits UAE free zones provide is 100 percent of foreign ownership. Below, you will learn more about the Dubai Airport Freezone and how this particular location can be favorable.
2. How many differences are there between mainland and free zones in the UAE?
In the UAE, you are free to choose between setting up your business in a free zone or the mainland. However, it is suggestible to learn about both options and their differences before choosing any of them.
For example, one of the main differences between a free zone and the mainland is the ownership of the business. Previously, foreign investors could only have 49 percent of the shares, while their local sponsors received the remaining 51 percent. In the meantime, free zones allow them the have 100 percent of ownership. Nonetheless, the government introduced new regulations, allowing investors to have 100 percent of ownership of their businesses on the mainland.
Other outstanding differences between free zones and the mainland that you should consider are the business scope, company setup cost, etc. There are also different types of tax exemptions, business setup procedures, trade license activities, and more.
3. What is the Dubai Airport Free Zone?
Dubai Airport Free Zone is among the most favorable locations for foreign investors and entrepreneurs since its foundation in 1996. Currently, this free zone is home to more than 1600 multinational businesses from different industries (IT, telecommunications, electronics, engineering, etc.).
If you choose Dubai Airport Free Zone to establish your business, you will enjoy a flexible business and investment environment. Besides, you will be able to get several benefits that will boost your business growth, such as the ones below.
3.1. Benefits of setting up a business in DAFZA
- Tax incentives: 100 percent of corporate and personal income tax exemption. Also, there is also a 100 percent of import and export tax exemption.
- Investment incentives: you can have 100 percent of foreign ownership of your company and full repatriation of capital and profits. Plus, there are no currency restrictions in DAFZA.
- Strategic location: business travel becomes easier in this free zone. You can also get easy access to logistics and cargo handling facilities. Furthermore, there is quick access to key business hot spots in the emirate.
- Office spaces: this free zone offers different office options, including package solutions for new startups and executive suite office packages. In addition, it also provides customizable office solutions.
Other benefits of Dubai Airport Free Zone are the easy company setup process and the wide range of allowed business activities.
4. Which is the cheapest free zone in the UAE?
As we mentioned before, there are more than 40 available free zones in the UAE. And each of them has unique features and benefits to offer. Therefore, you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. And in case the Dubai Airport Free Zone exceeds your budget, you can take into consideration other locations.
Among the cheapest UAE free zones, you can find Ajman Media City (AMC) and Sharjah Media City (SHAMS). In addition, the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) is also among the cheapest free zones. In Dubai, you can find the International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) as one of the cheapest locations too.
5. How can you start a business in a UAE free zone?
Now that you know how beneficial free zones are, you should learn how to complete the business setup process. In most locations, there are general steps that you must follow in order to set up your business.
Nonetheless, here we will talk about the process for setting up your business in Dubai Airport Free Zone particularly. Below, you will learn more about each step of the process, which are the following:
- Choose a suitable license for your business activities.
- Select a convenient company structure.
- Determine the office space that you will need.
- Submit your application and pay the required fees.
And apart from the steps, we will also mention the documents that are necessary for completing the business setup process. This way, it will be easier for you to start gathering them to carry out the process as soon as possible.
5.1. Choose a suitable license for your business activities
To start your company formation process, you must first choose an appropriate type of license to carry out your activities. In the Dubai Airport Free Zone, you can choose between several options, including these:
- Trade license: it allows you to participate in import and export activities in DAFZA.
- E-commerce license: this one is particularly for businesses that perform their activities online.
- Industrial license: with this license, your business can perform industrial activities, including manufacturing, packaging, assembly, and more.
- Service license: this license was designed for those businesses that do not produce products but offer different services in the free zone.
- Talent Pass: and with this other license, your business can perform freelancing activities within different sectors, such as media, technology, and education.
By visiting the official DAFZA portal or consulting with specialists, you can learn more about these licenses.
5.2. Select a convenient company structure
After choosing a license, the next step will be determining the company structure that matches the nature of your business. In the Dubai Airport Free Zone, you can choose between three types of company structures, which are the following:
- Free Zone Company (FZCO): if you choose this type of company structure, your business must have between 1 and 50 shareholders. And the minimum share capital must be AED 1.
- Public Limited Company (PLC): a Public Limited Company is known for being a partnership company that was set up with limited liability agreements or conditions. This type of company structure is also known as LLC or Limited Liability Company.
- Branch office of a foreign company: in case you already have a company outside the UAE, you can set up a branch in DAFZA. This way, you can carry out your company’s operations in this favorable location.
5.3. Determine the office space that you will need
Apart from choosing a license and company structure, you will also need to get a physical workspace for your business. And when it comes to office space in Dubai Airport Free Zone, you can choose between these three options:
- Traditional office space: it may include flexi desks and executive office packages.
- Warehouses and industrial space: if your business is related to manufacturing, logistics, packaging, and assembly, this is the perfect option. Performing those functions usually requires warehouses and suitable industrial space.
- Cold storage: with cold storage facilities, it will be easier to manage and store temperature-sensitive items, such as food products.
Depending on the nature of your business and its operations, you must choose one of these options. Then, you can proceed with the next step of your business setup process in DAFZA.
5.4. Submit your application and pay the required fees
Once you have chosen your license, company structure, and office space, you must submit your application. You will probably have to wait a few weeks to get the necessary approval, depending on your type of business. For example, if you set up a small, freelance-type business, the process may take between 2 and 3 weeks.
You will have to submit certain documents, which we will mention below. And, on the other hand, you must also pay the required business setup fees. In DAFZA, these fees usually range between AED 11,000 and AED 18,000.
5.5. Required documents to set up a business in DAFZA
In order to complete your application and set up your business in DAFZA, you must provide the following documents:
- Your online pre-approval application form, which must be duly filled in.
- Business plan and all details related to it.
- Your personal bank statements for the last 6 months are also necessary.
- An original bank reference letter.
- A few passport copies of all shareholders, managers, directors, secretaries, and other offices, if applicable.
- Lastly, a NOC (No Objection Letter) for the manager will be required if he/she is a UAE resident and employment visa holder.
Other documents may be necessary during the registration process, like a Board Resolution, Power of Attorney, Memorandum and Articles of Association, etc. By contacting our specialists, you can get more information about these details.
6. How can Connect FZ help you start your business in Dubai Airport Free Zone?
With many years of experience, Connect FZ can be your best partner to start your business in this free zone. And by working with our specialists, your business will exponentially grow and thrive in less time in any free zone. Also, our different services and practical solutions can help you set up your business in a free zone or mainland.
And apart from DAFZA, there are other available options you can choose from to set up your business, including these:
- Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)
- Dubai South Free Zone (DWC)
- Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)
- Dubai Multi-Commodity Center (DMCC)
- Dubai free zone visa benefits for employee
And you can also find a variety of free zones in other UAE emirates, such as the following:
Would you like to start building your business in a UAE free zone right away? Then contacting us is the first step. With our specialists by your side, it will be easier to set up your business in any UAE free zone. Therefore, make sure to call us at +971 43 316 688 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know about your requirements.
On the other hand, you can also find your dream job in the UAE by visiting and exploring thetalentpoint.com website. On this platform, you will easily find a job opportunity that fits your experience, skills, and needs. And, to apply for a job, you just need to send your CV to email@example.com. You can use this website to find job offers not only in the UAE but also across the Middle East.