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Dubai is undoubtedly UAE’s crown jewel, with its futuristic standard of living, cutting-edge technology and globally renowned economic prowess. Much of its growth can be attributed to the ease of doing business in the Emirate. Dubai offers liberal tax policies, zero personal income tax, full repatriation of profits, and increased global connectivity to several nations. However, to become a successful entrepreneur, it is equally important to know where in Dubai to form your company. In Dubai, free zone company setup is cost friendly and easy to process. This makes it a popular choice among business owners.

Although Dubai is the pinnacle of luxury and extravagance, it does not necessarily translate to being unaffordable. In a bid to entice investors and entrepreneurs to set up roots in the emirate, the country offers a variety of business activities as well as numerous free zones at competitive costs. The free zones in Dubai are much in demand because of their low-cost company setup. A free zone license is readily available with pocket-friendly add-ons for office space options and low administrative fees.

Dubai Mainland Vs. Free Zone

The United Arab Emirates has two primary jurisdictions for company formation. You can either choose between Dubai mainland or from its approximately 50 free zones. Both are starkly different in their operations and offer varied benefits.

A Mainland License allows entrepreneurs to trade within UAE’s local markets, and most businesses opt for a Limited Liability Company (LLC) set up with the license. On the other hand, free zone licenses are popular for businesses that deal in service provision, import/exports, etc.

Dubai Free Zone Company Setup Saves Cost and Time

In the fast-paced world of business, every second counts. Therefore, it is extremely important that your Dubai company registration, as well as your licensing process goes through quickly. This is where free zones in Dubai are ahead of their league. They have super-fast processes and can clear business license applications, issue new visas, lease out office space, etc. faster than other governmental entities. Systems that would generally take weeks to process get sorted within days in free zones. This speed is absolutely crucial to the success of companies for whom time is money. Additionally, most free zones also have special customer care departments to assist entrepreneurs in their Dubai free zone company registration.

Dubai free zones scale your business faster

After the business is underway, the next step is to grow it sustainably while also strategizing how to achieve maximum resource optimisation. This is essential for all types of companies be it start-ups or larger conglomerates. Dubai provides a plethora of resources to all businesses to help them become their best self. First, UAE’s unique global positioning makes it easily accessible from Europe, Asia and the MENA regions. Furthermore, the presence of well-developed sea and airports makes business extremely well-connected with access to multiple growth markets. The vast majority of the world’s top MNCs have regional headquarters in Dubai. With the aid of Dubai’s business friendly environment, they have seen tremendous growth in their operations.

Dubai Free Zone Company Setup Cost

The cost of opening a company in a Dubai free zone is dependent on several variables. Foremost, free zones in Dubai are often industry specific, and thus, their costs also differ. Next, free zone license costs also vary based on the nature of the business activity, the type of company you want to form, number of employees, visas issued, additional fees etc. Some common costs to keep in mind are:

License & Registration Fees

Businesses need to pay a certain fee to the free zones itself for the activity they wish to conduct. Most freezones in Dubai offer a variety of license options, and the type of license that is issued depends on the primary business activity, all of which influence the fees. Companies can opt for trading, professional or industrial licenses, which need to be renewed every 1 to 3 years. The cost of opening a company in a Dubai free zone can start from AED 10,000* onwards.


Entrepreneurs and investors will need to apply for their residency once their business has taken off. They will also need to apply for the residence visas for any of their family members as well (if any). The residence visa cost is a one-time payment giving the applicant the legal authority to stay in the UAE as an investor and conduct their business in the respective free zone. Depending on the type of license, free zone companies also have a certain quota assigned to the number of employee visas they can apply for. Investor or residency visas help to open personal bank accounts, sponsor family members, lease property, and apply for your driver’s license.

Office Space

Free zones in Dubai are known for the high standard of service they offer to companies. One of the benefits of setting up your company in a Dubai free zone is the availability of pocket-friendly office space for rent. Expat organisations ranging from start-ups to SMEs to large corporations, all need a base of operations for the smooth running of their business. Free zones offer options such as flexi desks, co-working spaces, serviced spaces, to multi-storey offices to rent out or to buy.

In Dubai, free zone companies’ office costs are dependent on several factors. First, each free zone has its own specific pricing. Next, based on where they are located in the emirate and the standard of the establishment, the pricing can fluctuate. Entrepreneurs must finalise their domain on the basis of their workforce. Additionally, co-working spaces and flexi desk options are the best option for entrepreneurs with flexible requirements. Also, free zones in Dubai allow for business incorporation without the need for physical office space.

Dubai Free Zone Company Setup: Benefits

The different emirates in the UAE also have several free zones, which makes the choice of location for business setup important. The opportunities in these free zones, both long-term and short-term, differ vastly from each other. Businesspeople who come into the UAE with the intent of company formation need to consider all the benefits before making the final decision.

Corporate consultants like Shuraa Business Setup can give you a clear administrative insight of the freezones and can guide you to the one that will suit your company the best. They will guide you through the different regulations prevalent in each emirate. However, Dubai proves to be the most popular destination of choice because of its strong infrastructure, liberal taxation policies, and business- friendly environment. Dubai is home to over 45 free zones, the highest among any of the Emirates, offering a wide range of business activities. Here, entrepreneurs are more likely to find an industry specific free zone that meets their requirements.

Getting the best for value

Shuraa Business Setup has been an industry giant for over 22 years and over 35,000 clients served. Additionally, we are professional partners with some of Dubai’s top free zones like IFZA (International Free Zone Authority). We create customised packages curated specifically for your business and help you set up your corporate bank account. Shuraa connects you with a network of experienced industry professionals who expedite your transition to the UAE faster. Call us today and get a free consultation with our free zone experts. 

Call: +97144081900

WhatsApp: +971507775554

Email: [email protected]

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