Special economic zones that are set up with the objective of benefitting the investors are popularly termed as free zones. The most common benefits that an investor enjoys by working or investing in these free trade zones are-
- Tax benefits
- Custom duty benefits
The free zones are governed by a special set of rules and regulations that are applicable and set up especially for that particular free zone. Dubai free zone are governed, operated and managed by an authority of the free zone. For example, the functioning of the Jebel Ali Free zone which is one of the largest free zones (sea port) in Dubai is managed by the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority. It is responsible for all its functioning, management and operations.
A free zone Authority is also responsible for offering business licenses to businesses that are owned by companies of foreign origin. Every free trade zone caters to a particular category of business industry or company and grants license to industry of that particular category only. The idea is to make the system well organized.
Following are the categories of licenses that most of the free trade zones in Dubai offer to the investors looking to set up a business there-
Benefits to the owners of the companies set up in free trade zones:
- The benefit of complete ownership i.e. just an individual can set up a business or a company in the free trade zone. It is not necessary to have partners or sponsors.
- The benefit of tax exemption is the most important and advantageous to the company looking to set up their business in the zone.
- The confidentiality of the business is maintained at all times.
- Bank transactions are allowed including opening a bank account for oneself in Dubai.
- There is no restriction on performing any number of activities.
- The renewal fee is reasonable.
- It is allowed to own properties otherwise in Dubai. This smoothens the task of looking for a warehouse or a place for production and assembling and packing of goods etc.
- The owner of the business can wind up the work at any time, completely at his discretion.
Popular Free zones in Dubai:
Dubai already has around 20 free zones operating. Some of the popular ones are listed below-
- Jebel Ali free zone
- Dubai Airport free zone
- Dubai Media City
- Dubai silicon oasis
- Dubai knowledge village
- Dubai internet city
- Dubai auto zone
- Dubai healthcare city
- Dubai international academic city
- Dubai international financial centre
- Dubai gold and diamond park
- Dubai multi commodities centre
- Dubai world central business park
- International media production zone
There have been times when people have faced difficulties in getting themselves registered for the free zones. There are now companies with the objective of assisting such people in all the pre and post registration processes. There job includes-
- Legal consultation
- Clearing approvals from authorities and ministries
- PR activities
- Maintaining and auditing of accounts
- Help to set up a bank account
- Documentation and filing
- Work related to visa and permits requirements as per the Emirates law.
It has become comparatively easier to set up a business in Dubai. The government in Dubai has been making all efforts to encourage business investments in the city. The companies that assist in the job of registration make it even more lucrative offer for any businessman to invest in the Dubai free zone.