If you have been wanting to start a business in the UAE and have done your research, you will not be a stranger to the many free-zones situated in the UAE.

These free-zones tend to get the attention of foreign investors and for a good reason. Setting up your business in the free-zone will give you a lot of advantages. Some of the benefits are the easy registration process, 100% ownership, no local partner required, no corporate taxes, no customs duties, infrastructure, visa facility, workspaces, warehouses, and factories, repatriation of capital and profits, etc.

While these advantages serve you well, there are many more intangible advantages. For example, getting your business startup to be set up in a free zone will introduce you to a whole new world of networking. Usually, free zones host companies that have similar nature of the business which means you will be working amongst people who are in the same field. if you are looking for a business loan for your startup you must need such a plan on how you will manage by your installment, long term plan along with documents.

For example, Dubai Internet City is a technology park that was created by the government of Dubai to host information technology companies. So, if you are an IT company and start your company in Internet City, you get the chance to network with all the big companies in the Internet city and maybe even get an opportunity to collaborate with them in the future.

How can you set up your business startup in DAFZA?

First things first, you need to decide on what kind of business you want to do. Companies operating at Dubai Airport Freezone follow the free zones Registration Regulations. The Dubai Airport Freezone offers two different company formation types:

  1. Free Zone Company (FZCO)
  2. Branch of an existing company

FZCO Setup

This setup is similar to the limited liability company that can operate within the Free Zone. Shareholders may be individuals, corporate entities, or a combination of the two. FZCO Features

  • Can be from 1-50 shareholders (individual, corporate or both)
  • Minimum share capital: AED 1,000 (USD 272) per shareholder
  • Value of each share: AED 1000 (USD 272)

Branch set up

Existing companies can establish a Branch of their parent company in DAFZA. No share capital is required.

Branch Features

  • 100% owned by the parent company
  • Same business name as the parent company
  • Same business activities as the parent company

In the next step, you will have to choose the right kind of license for your business. This is a very crucial step since the work you do will be based on the license that you opt for. By law, you are required to obtain a license and establish your legal presence. DAFZA offers the following licensing options:

  • Trade License
  • Service License
  • Industrial License
  • General Trading License

Once you have decided on the company and license type, you will have to choose the office spacing. Dubai Airport Freezone offers a wide range of premium office spaces that are pre-designed. If it does not match your needs; you also have the option of customizing the office space according to your needs.

In the next step, you will have to apply for initial review and approval. For this, you have to submit the required documents once the DAFZA representative gets in touch with you. In the next step, you will be collecting your office keys. At this stage, you will sign the lease and register your company. You can follow the below steps in this stage:

Signing Lease – The DAFZA representative will get in touch with our sales team and upon confirming the facility, the leasing agreement will be issued for the authorized manager to sign. After signing the lease agreement upon confirming the payment release, you can then collect your office keys.

While finalizing the lease agreement and legal documents, DAFZA’s sales team will guide you at each step to ensure that your process is smooth and easy. Also note that depending on the nature of your activity, you may be required to get an NOC from external government entities. A bank share capital will be necessary if share capital is above AED 150,000.

If you are looking at starting a business in the UAE, DAFZA is one of the places you should look at. They are one of the most prestigious and advanced free zones in Dubai. They provide an ideal base to do business in the middle east by providing a business-friendly environment, world-class infrastructure, tax exemptions, full repatriation of earnings, total ownership, and exceptional facilities. Strategically located next to the Dubai International Airport, they boast rapid clearance and fast processing of paperwork to maximize business activity and efficiency.


Muhammad Lakhani is working as a Digital Marketing specialist at Florida digital agency. He has experience over 10+ years.