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Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ) UAEDAFZ’s establishment dates back to 1996 and because of its strategic location, it has edged out as a premium free zone for international blue chip companies.

Currently, global investment clients in DAFZA range from aviation, information & technology, fashion & beauty and to telecommunications with world class facilities as well as reliable personal service. A combination of these two factors presents the clients with an amazing opportunity to successfully run their businesses in and out of the Middle East. In a real essence, the success of DAFZ is a great reflection of the success of Dubai in general.

Dubai is strategically located at crossroads that provide easy access to international markets with close to 2.5 billion in markets such as Asia, Middle East and Europe. The large international market is the main reason why companies thrive greatly in Dubai. There is an enticing no tax government that provides investors with a unique chance of being able to thrive greatly.


Trading: Permits holders to engage in importation, exportation, sale, distribution and storage of items specified in the license. Sales done in the UAE needs to be transacted through an agent/ distributor.

Industrial: Permits the holder to import raw materials, manufacture specified products and export end products globally. Manufactured products are free to be sold in the UAE but only through a distributor or agent.

Service: Permits the holder to engage in services that are specified in the license. These services are to be carried out within the free zone. Additionally, the services to be carried out requires to conform to the services highlighted in the parent’s company’s license. This license is issued by the Municipal authority of the respective Emirates in UAE or Economic department.

It is required that sales and service provision outside DAFZ but within the United Arab Emirates are to be carried out through a distributor or an agent. Usually, in these transactions the Free Zone authorities impose a 5% duty that is to be shared by the two parties involved in the sales.


FZE (Free Zone Establishment): FZE is exclusively a limited liability company that is owned by an Individual or a Company and is incorporated in Free Zone. The company has a distinct legal entity and independent financial liability. The minimum share capital stands at AED 1,000,000.

FZCO (Free Zone Company): FZCO should have at least one shareholder and is a limited liability company that is incorporated in the Free Zone. Further, it has a distinct legal entity and independent liability with a share capital of AED 500,000.

Local Company Branch (Local Company should be registered in the UAE): No capital requirement.

Branch of a Foreign Company that is incorporated outside the United Arab Emirates: No capital requirement.



  • Full foreign ownership;
  • Full capital and profits repatriation;
  • Full corporate tax exemption;
  • Full import and export tax exemption;
  • Complete personal tax exemption;
  • Close proximity to Dubai International Airport;
  • Access to an excess of 2.5 billion consumers as it is strategically located at crossroad of Europe, Middle East and Asia;
  • Cheap energy;
  • Reliable cargo clearance services operating 8-24 hours;
  • International Freight Forwarders and Logistic support companies in DAFZ;
  • Online customer services;
  • Full time security;
  • Confidentiality of records.


One of the most amazing advantages about the incorporation of a free zone company is the fact that there is total tax exemption. The DAFZ free zone has total exemptions on personal and corporate tax rates. This implies that there is no corporate or personal taxation on individuals and or companies that operate in the free zones.




Four preferred company names need to be forwarded to the authority for approval purposes. Usually, the authority strives to reserve the first choice.


At least one director / manager (only individual corporate bodies not allowed). No maximum number of directors.


At least one shareholder and a maximum of five. Shareholders can either be an individual or corporate.


Share capital should be deposited into the company’s bank account within 6 weeks after the trade license has been issued. Further, proof of the deposit requires to be provided to the authority.


Renting a facility is a requirement with proof of the rental facility being provided to the authority for you to receive your company’s trade license.


The validity of the trading license is one year after which the license should be renewed before or on the expiry date or within 30 days after the expiry of the license.


An annual financial audit to be conducted but as of now there is no requirement to file the audit. Companies are free to choose their reporting period but it should be at least 6 months and a maximum of eighteen months.



The number of visas that a company is eligible to apply for is mainly dependent on the office size that your company takes. Approximately, one visa for every 10 square meters available and is assessed on a case by case basis by the DAFZ. The size assessment is based on the business activities that are being carried out. The issuance of the visa takes about 4-7 working days. However, this duration is not fixed as the whole process is subject to immigration department’s approval.



  • Service companies that wish to provide services to a company that is not in the free zone, the overall rule provides that the services must be provided within the free zone;
  • If you by any chance wish to trade within the UAE, through a free zone company, there are two trading options where you can either trade through an LLC Company with an import/export license or strike a deal a logistics that will in turn clear the goods and deliver the goods to the mainland;
  • Free zone license holders are allowed to deal in importation of goods or equipment from any country without paying custom duties. Custom duties only apply in cases when goods are moved out of the free zone. However, there are numerous warehouse facilities that provide storage for companies that wish to store and re-export the goods to other destinations. A deposit is payable (equivalent to the full custom duty of the goods). However; upon the re-export of the goods the deposit is refunded;
  • The Customs duty paid for most goods is usually calculated on the CIF value of the goods at a 5% rate. Liquor/ alcohol imports are subjected to a duty of 50% of their CIF value while tobacco imports are subjected to 100% CIF value custom duty. Staple foodstuffs and pharmaceutical products are exempted from customs as they are duty free;
  • Documents required by customs are goods declaration, certificate of origin, bill of lading and invoice copies. It is however important to note that there are other documents that may be required and as such it is important to visit for updates.