Pros and Cons of a Free Trade Zone in Dubai

Around 20 years ago, the Dubai government started the Free Trade Zones in the country with an aim to capitalize the UAE market and to transform the economic structure. The Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in Dubai was a pioneering step taken in 1985 by the government that changed the industrial control in the entire UAE. Unlike other Emirates, Dubai was intense on inviting foreign investor and offering them several off-track inducements.

In the recent years, this particular jurisdiction has been a major factor in diversifying the market sense and creating a benchmark over the long-endured protocols of the nation. As a result, Dubai achieved a successful supposition in terms of the multiple Free Trade Zones the city proposes that made the other Emirates join the league as well. The scheme was such that every significant business sector has a jurisdiction of its own – so that it may maximize the enablement of each segregation. Apart from this – the benefits in terms of taxation, complete ownership, and least constraints made it more appealing for entrepreneurs considering company setup in Dubai. Besides, the developmental bodies also made sure to create convinces the procedural aspects of setting up a Free Zone company. Be it a free zone company registration in Dubai or a decision on a designated area for your business type – the Dubai government had things sorted by implementing with user-friendly and online procedures.

Segregation in a Free Zone Business Setup:

• Free Zone Company

• Free Zone Establishment

• Branch Office / Branch Company

Some of the Free Trade Zones in UAE are as follows:

• Jebel Ali Free Zone

• Dubai Multi-Modal Corridor

• Dubai Media City

• Dubai Internet City

• Dubai Airport Free Zone

• Dubai International Financial Centre

• Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Healthcare City

• Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park

• Dubai Knowledge Village

• Dubai International Academic City

• International Humanitarian City

• Dubai Outsource Zone

• Dubai Maritime City

• Dubai Logistics City

• EnPark, Dubai Cars & Automotive Zone

• Dubai Sports City, International Media Production Zone

• Dubai Studio City and Dubai Creative Clusters Authority

Pros and Cons of a Free Trade Zone

Several reports state that it is the Free Trade Zone that helped Dubai become a commercial hub of UAE. With the escalation of foreign entities clamouring to establish a company and the rise in the number of free zone company registration in Dubai – there are all reasons to believe it. But this region is also bound to a set of Pros and Cons. Read on!


• Eliminates the obligation of forming a partnership with a UAE national.

• Provides complete possession, as investors can have 100% ownership in the company.

• Special consideration in terms of appointments, investments, and procedures.

• Freedom in operations and movements of the company.

• Benefits on taxation, customs, currency control and more.

• Administrative services can be cleared through a single window system.

• No restrictions on engaging in more than one activity.


• Free Trade Zone companies are restricted in indulging in any business activity within the country.

• These companies are only allowed to do business internationally; it limits their expansion opportunities.

• They are mainly situated in the least proximate areas – however, transport and connectivity are making things better.

Even though there are few limitations, the intensified attraction towards Free Trade Zone continues. The Dubai government plans to introduce more such jurisdictions in the years to come.

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