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Choosing the right Free Zone in UAE

How to choose the right freezone in the UAE for your new business?

The business opportunities in the UAE are immense and the same is the business infrastructure support available here in the UAE. To promote the business services and operation in and out of the UAE, business free zones are set up in strategic locations in the region.

Based on business activity, you are free to choose from more than 40 free zones in the UAE. The most in-demand being the Airport Freezone in Dubai (DAFZA), and if you are not focusing on Dubai for business, the free trade zones in Fujairah, Ras-Al-Khaimah, Ajman, Um-Al-Quwain offer great infrastructure for company formation.

So, let’s dive in to know what these free zones offer and which one is the ideal choice for setting up your business activity

The free zones in the UAE are broadly categorized into two:

Industry-Specific Freezones

As per the business activities, the free zones in the UAE have been categorized into various geographic locations as well as individual freezones. For Example, Dubai Media City is a free zone exclusively for creative and media-related business establishments. Similarly, there are individual Freezones in the UAE for certain designated business activities such as financial service, healthcare, media & Creative, general trading, etc.


  1. Improved synergy as companies from similar industry could work in collaboration, outsource projects, liaise with, to deliver exceptional customer value.
  2. Enhanced brand image as the Freezone branding will provide your business an edge among the audience. (For example, Dubai Healthcare City, hosts world-class healthcare services companies & clinics, and being a part of this community has a higher reputation among the customers)

The free zone authorities are very supportive for all your business activities and conduct regular trade shows, conferences, networking events, etc. Hence, there is a high chance of meeting like-minded people, customers, thought-leaders. Hence belonging to the cluster where similar business activities are prevailing, is always a win-win situation.

General Purpose Freezones

If you feel that your business requires a generalist approach and do not want to confine to a specific niche area or industry vertical, there is a choice for that too. You could look at Freezones such as the DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Center), Freezones in Ras-Al-Khaimah, Ajman, Um-Al-Quwain, etc.

With the freezones, you could choose from a list of business categories that are tailored for your business. There is every chance of getting lost as the list of business categories are very extensive and arriving at a category for registering your new business is a tedious task individually.

Each of the freezones provide a detailed list of available licensing under them based on the business activity you would wish to set up.

For example, In DMCC, you could choose from over 600 business licenses spread over industry verticals such as:

  • Energy
  • Commodities
  • Gold and Diamond
  • Technology
  • Construction
  • FMCG
  • Education
  • Professional Services, etc.

Arriving at the right business activity and deciding on your preferred free zone is just a start, there is a whole lot of process and paperwork to be initiated before you set up your dream company.

Following are some of the key steps to be considered before you start

  • Determine the type of your legal business establishment
  • Pick your trade name
  • Apply for the business license
  • Look for an office space
  • Get the paperwork, approvals, and license in place

With certain freezones, the steps vary. For example, to get a license approved for your business in Ras-Al-Khaimah Free Zone a Flexi-Office or shared office space will do fine. Hence based on your requirements you can delve into the detailed offering of each free zone specifically.

While you focus on the core business operations, marketing strategy, and revenue plans of your new business you could always take the assistance of business setup consultants for the hassle-free incorporation of a new business in the UAE.

You can read our blog 5-Step checklist for choosing the best consultants in the UAE

Should you wish to know more about setting up a business in the UAE, feel free to reach out to Aurion Business Consulting for a free chat.