It might be complex work, especially if you’re doing it alone, to research and determine which free zone best fits the profile of your company.
The Dubai Free Zone Council (DFZC) runs the Free Zone Gateway website, www.freezonesgateway.ae, which assists entrepreneurs and investors in connecting with the appropriate free zone and offers comprehensive information on each free zone in Dubai and its amenities.
The platform’s objective, according to the website, is to present a fair depiction of the various free zones’ offerings. Free of charge is the service. The platform can be used as shown above.
How to use the Free Zone Gateway platform and get matched with the right free zone in Dubai?
The DFZC council has formed partnerships with 25 free zones. You can use Free Zone Gateway to search for the ideal free zone for your company based on your criteria.
For instance, the website’s platform will suggest Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA) or Dubai CommerCity if you want to launch an eCommerce business and are concerned about being close to an airport. Both of these free zones are close to Dubai International Airport and provide an eCommerce licence.
Here is a detailed look at how to use the platform
To select a free zone that fits your company’s needs, first go to the following website: https://www.freezonesgateway.ae/en/dubai-free-zones.
Step 1: Select a business sector
For this you will have to select the industry your company specialises in:
- Fashion And Design
- Finance And Banking
- Food And Agriculture
- Hospitality And Tourism
- Outsourcing Services
- Real Estate
Step 2: Choose your licence type
Select the licence type next. A business licence is a valid document that formally authorises a person to begin engaging in a certain line of business.
- Aviation – With this licence, you are able to do specific aviation-related tasks.
- Commercial – With this licence, you can conduct a business dealing with trading activities.
- eCommerce – With this permit, you can do online business.
- Freelance – Individual experts may operate autonomously in a free zone with a freelance permit.
- General trade – You can engage in general trade with this licence, which includes import, export, re-export, storage, and distribution.
- Industrial – With this licence, you are allowed to carry out light production in specially designated spaces inside the Free Zone. Light manufacturing typically refers to product packing and assembly.
- Logistics – With this licence, you are able to perform a number of logistics-related tasks, such as managing orders and inventories as well as storing, transporting, sorting, and distributing goods.
- Non-profit – This licence is only available to organisations that engage with charitable donations and humanitarian relief.
- Service – This licence is appropriate for firms that provide services. For instance, the provision of services across all industries, including the business, legal, financial, media, technological, educational, energetic, and healthcare sectors.
- Trade – With this licence, you are able to engage in trade activities like importing, exporting, re-exporting, distributing, and storing particular goods.
Step 3: Select the type of amenities and facilities you want for your business
You can also use that as a criterion if you want to establish a business near an airport or seaport, or if you want to put it near storage facilities.
Step 4: Get matched with the right free zone
The app will connect you with the ideal free zone for your business once you have narrowed down your search. You may receive recommendations for a number of free zones based on your selection.
You would next need to begin the process of setting up the business after selecting the ideal free zone for your business idea.
Setting up a business in mainland Dubai
There are numerous ways in which mainland businesses differ from free zone businesses. They are first licenced by an emirate’s economic department, whereas free zone companies are first licenced by the particular free zone administration. For instance, you would need to submit an application for a business licence to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism if you wanted to establish a mainland firm there (DET).
The range of business operations you are allowed to carry out within a free zone is also subject to some restrictions.
Recently passed UAE Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 amended the Commercial Companies Law, allowing foreigners to own 100% of companies operating on the mainland. However, this requirement of 100% foreign ownership is not applicable to all companies and industries.
Also Read: What is the process for getting a free zone visa in the UAE? All you need to know