Free zones versus regular trade zones in UAE

UAE free zonesImage Credit: Supplied

The UAE has been considered a safe haven for global investors, and companies that plan to venture into business here are presented with different types of properties and infrastructure that suit their business needs. Investors can either choose to locate their business in a free zone or a non-free zone.

The main purpose behind the government’s setting up of free zones is to attract foreign investments to boost the economy. In the UAE, free zones catering to different industries are scattered across the emirates. In Dubai, these include the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Media City and others. In Abu Dhabi, there is twofour54 and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, among others, while the northern emirates have the RAK Investment Authority, Fujairah Free Zone Authority and Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, to name a few.

Aside from the usual free zone benefits, companies setting up within a free zone have the opportunity to network with other businesses through events being held frequently. They can also utilize the benefits of in-depth market analyses provided to them as part of free zone assistance.

The infrastructure available in the free zones across the UAE is at par with global benchmarks. These zones offer their clients a supportive environment where the clock never stops and everything is abuzz.

Meanwhile, the country’s regular trade zones (non-free zone areas) also offer world-class infrastructure that meets every investor requirements. Companies that operate from these areas are also at par with international companies.

In a regular trade zone, however, company ownership is in the 51:49 ratio, which means 51% of the ownership will rest with a local partner. They will not be charged income and corporate taxes; however, customs duty applies. There are also no restrictions in conducting business anywhere in the UAE.

Handy Hints
• The UAE offers various business infrastructure for global investors
• The country’s many free zones cater to a wide range of industries
• Investors have the option to set up in a free zone or a regular zone



You might also like these:
UAE free zones among the best in the world
Investor-friendly Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah
Media free zones great for growing business in the UAE
Dubai Airport Free Zone still on top

Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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