Dubai’s Free Zones
The Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Silicon Oasis and several other specialised Free Zones have been set up with the specific purpose of facilitating investment, and the procedures for investing in the Free Zones are relatively simple. The Free Zones are arranged around specific industries, bringing together like-minded businesses and allowing you to easily take advantage of the infrastructure you need in order to run your company.
While the Free Zones are designed to complement and contribute to Dubai’s growth and development, their legal status is quite distinct. Companies operating there are treated as being offshore or outside the UAE for legal purposes. That means the option of doing business in the Free Zones makes the most sense for companies intending to use Dubai as a regional manufacturing or distribution base, where most or all turnover is going to be outside the UAE.
The benefits of Dubai’s Free Zones can give companies important financial incentives for doing business in the region. You can take advantage of:
Dubai Auto Zone
Purpose: Dubai Auto Zone (DAZ) is a comprehensive marketplace for the automobile industry catering to buyers, sellers, service providers, principals and traders. DAZ, a mixed-use facility, consists of a Free Zone to attract foreign direct investment in the auto sector, a specialised economic zone to cater to the GCC markets and a retail zone to serve local markets.
Who’s here already? More than 400 companies including Boeing International Corporation, Aramex and Emirates Post.
Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park
Purpose: ‘DuBiotech’ accommodates the entire life sciences value chain by providing key facilities, investing in infrastructure and fostering industrial, academic, commercial and residential projects. The park incorporates tailored facilities that include bio headquarter towers, a nucleotide lab complex and warehousing facilities to support a growing body of research, development, manufacturing, distribution and services.
Who’s here already? DuBiotech fosters companies including global leaders like Pfizer, Amgen, Merck Serono and Genzyme.
Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
Purpose: The Gold and Diamond Park, located on Sheikh Zayed Road, the arterial thoroughfare running through Dubai, includes workshop areas complete with amenities designed for the requirements of jewellers. Another expansion was launched recently, offering 118 manufacturing blocks, and commercial space for over 350 offices.
Who’s here already? More than 90 regional and international leading jewellery retailers.
Dubai Healthcare City
Purpose: Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) was established in 2002 with a mandate to meet the demand for high-quality, patient-centered healthcare. It is the region’s largest integrated healthcare Free Zone, made up of two communities: the medical community, occupying 4.1 million square feet consisting of outpatient clinics, hospitals, commercial offices, and retail services, and the planned 19 million square feet wellness community.
Who’s here already? Today, DHCC is home to two hospitals, over 120 outpatient medical centres, and diagnostic laboratories with over 4000 licensed professionals.
Dubai International Academic City
Purpose:Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), the world’s largest free zone dedicated to higher education, aims to develop the region’s talent pool and establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy. As the premier destination for higher education in the Middle East, Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), is located on a campus spanning 18 million square feet with state-of-the-art facilities and knowledge leaders.
Who’s here already? Zayed University, Murdoch University Dubai, Emirates Aviation University, Lycee Georges Pompidou.
Dubai International Financial Centre
Purpose: Dubai International Financial Centre’s independent regulations, common law framework, supportive infrastructure and tax-friendly regime make it the ideal base for businesses to tap into the region’s rapidly growing demand for financial services. It has been designed as a ‘city within a city’ that provides a complete range of business and lifestyle facilities for global professionals. DIFC has a legislative system consistent with English Common Law, and as part of its autonomy, DIFC Courts is the entity responsible for the independent administration and enforcement of justice within this Free Zone.
Who’s here already? Al Futtaim Investment, Bloomberg Trade Group Europe, Damac
Dubai Internet City
Purpose: Dubai Internet City (DIC), a forerunner in carrying forward Dubai’s vision of transitioning into a knowledge-based economy, has successfully developed an ecosystem for technology organisations. It offers state-of-the-art offices, robust IT infrastructure, 24-hour security, retail services, access to funding, and a dynamic and engaging working environment to entrepreneurs.
Who’s here already? Facebook, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn.
Dubai Knowledge Village
Purpose: Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) [Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV)], the world’s only Free Zone dedicated to human resource management, is a hub offering the best selection of consultation, training and personal development programs in the heart of Dubai.
Who’s here already? Over 500 business partners including Gallop, Tower Watson, Hays Hewitt and Innovative HR Solutions
Dubai Logistics City
Purpose: Dubai Logistics City (DLC) is a platform that brings together transport modes, logistics and value added services, including light manufacturing and assembly, in a single customs bonded and free zone environment. DLC is adjacent to what will eventually be one of the world’s largest airports, Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central.
Who’s here already? Aramex
Dubai Maritime City
Purpose: Dubai Maritime City (DMC) serves as an international hub for maritime business with its strategic geographic location and open channels to both the eastern and western shipping corridors. Inspired by the trading, social spirit and stature of Dubai Creek, a symbol of the union of water and commerce, the Maritime Centre forms a harmonious district celebrating the resourcefulness, determination, and dignity of Dubai’s rich maritime history.
Who’s here already? Apex Global Logistics, Goltens
Dubai Media City
Purpose: Dubai Media City (DMC) offers media companies and independent media professionals a pro-business environment enabling them to operate with collective synergy and freedom. Media companies enjoy Free Zone benefits including complete business ownership and tax-free income combined with value-added services such as networking opportunities, venue management services, industry building programs and government services.
Who’s here already? Thompson Reuters, Leo Burnett, CNN, Showtime, Sony
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
Purpose: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) was established in 2002 as a strategic initiative of the Government of Dubai with a mandate to provide the physical, market and financial infrastructure required to set up and operate a thriving commodities marketplace. Today, it is officially recognised as the largest Free Zone in the UAE with over 10,000 registered companies under license.
Dubai Outsource Zone
Purpose: The Dubai Outsource Zone (DOZ) business park, launched in 2007, provides a comprehensive purpose-built infrastructure to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), HR Outsourcing, IT Outsourcing, back office and call centre operations. It has created a base for companies looking to control costs and gain efficiencies by leveraging the talent, technology and expertise of third party vendors.
Who’s here already? Du, Emirates Airlines, L&T Infotech, HCL Technologies, Jumeirah Group, Arab Bank, Intelenet
Dubai Silicon Oasis
Purpose: Dubai Silicon Oasis, wholly owned by the Government of Dubai, caters to the need of tech industries in the Free Zone, ranging in the industries of advanced telecommunications, bio-tech, engineering, aerospace, alternative energy and oil and gas.
Who’s here already?SAP, Fujitsu, AMD, Euromonitor International, Western Digital, Synopsys, Schneider Electric
Dubai Studio City
Purpose: Dubai Studio City is an initiative to cement Dubai’s standing as a leading media hub, featuring the latest in production and post-production. Its full range of offerings includes soundstages, pre-built studios, warehouses, dressing rooms, workshops, office spaces, indoor water tanks, latest satellite communication facilities, recording studios and a variety of supporting ancillary services.
Who’s here already? Arabian Radio Network, Forbes Middle East, Nojoom TV
Dubai Sports City
Purpose: Dubai Sports City’s mix of residential and commercial offerings, retail and sports creates a supportive community that celebrates every success whether it’s on or off the field. This Free Zone comprises some of the world’s largest sports complexes designed exclusively for sports related activities. It’s built around five major sports venues and features a number of sports academies.
Purpose: Enpark was established as an ideal one-stop platform to coordinate large projects and deploy new technologies in order to tap the vast untapped opportunities in the MENA region. This Free Zone caters to the energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building and waste management sectors by providing sustainably designed real-estate products, and a platform to facilitate industry and regulatory collaboration, identify business opportunities and share their experience of regional operations with industry peers.
Who’s here already? Averda International, Solar Reserve Middle East
International Humanitarian City
Purpose: International Humanitarian City (IHC) puts Dubai’s expertise in transport and logistics to work for aid agencies as they reach out to help the victims of crises and families whose lives are scarred by hunger and poverty.
The IHC’s capabilities and strategic location in Dubai — within eight hours by air to two-thirds of the world’s population — have made it the world’s largest and busiest logistics hub for humanitarian aid with nine United Nations agencies and nearly 50 NGOs and commercial entities as members.
Who’s here already? Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Save the Children, World Vision International.
International Media Production Zone
Purpose: International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) is a dedicated media production zone designed to meet the unique needs of the global media production industry. Businesses operating in this Free Zone benefit from privileges such full ownership and tax-free income in addition to a range of customs duty exemptions including those for machinery, equipment, raw materials and spares. Rules governing media production have been simplified to facilitate ease of operation for companies.
Who’s here already? The Free Zone is home to more than 1500 professionals from multinational companies, young and mature SMEs and start-ups.
Jebel Ali Free Zone
Purpose: Jafza’s vision, inline with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is to be the leading provider of sustainable industrial and logistics infrastructure solutions. Jafza, centrally located on both sides of Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s main arterial highway, is strategically placed between Abu Dhabi to the South and Dubai to the North.
Purpose: TechnoPark, is being built on land sprawling across 21 million square metres, and will house 60,000 permanent residents and employ over 133,000 people. Once complete, it will function as a hub that enables research partners to access the resources of academic and research institutions, and international associations. In TechnoPark, an industrial development will provide high standard facilities while a dedicated area will hold the science and technology core.
JLT Free Zone
Purpose:Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) Free Zone comprises modern infrastructure, free-hold property, trade networking platforms in addition to secure vaults and purpose-built storage facilities. It attracts key players throughout the entire value chain of a wide range of commodities sectors, together with relevant support industries such as finance, logistics and insurance.
Who’s here already?Dubai Diamond Exchange, Skai Holdings
For comprehensive information on all of the Dubai Free Zones, visit the UAE Free Zones website.