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DWC Free Zone is defined as a particular selected area within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where you are able to establish specific entities once they meet specific regulations.

Dubai World Central (DWC) is a top-notch city that revolves around Al Maktoum International Airport, which will turn into the world’s biggest air terminal once it has been completed. Upon completion, it is anticipated that the airport will have the ability to cater to more than 200 million travelers and 16 million tons of cargo every year.

Intended to be ‘The Center of Tomorrow’, the city covers about 145 square kilometers and is presently considered as one of the top and largest urban projects and developments within the UAE. DWC is divided into eight sectors, which are the following: Al Maktoum International Airport, the residential area, the commercial area, the aviation, logistics, exhibition as well as golf and humanitarian sector.

Moreover, the DWC freezone is home to the Business Park, which is known as an economic free zone positioned in the doorstep of the free zone. Dubai’s government launched the DWC project in 2006, which coincides with the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021. The purpose of both these projects is to create a city whereby individuals will wish to live in, work as well as invest. Upon its completion, the city will have the capacity to accommodate one million individuals.
DWC is governed by the Dubai Aviation City Corporation entity, which is a government authority of Dubai.


Services Licenses: include oil-linked services, entertainment & parties services, aviation coordination services, interior design engineering services etc.

Industrial Licenses: include industrial plant equipment, Industrial spare parts trading, industrial solvents trading as well as industrial production engineering services.

Commercial Licenses: include commercial information services as well as investment in commercial enterprises and management (this is only offered in the DWC), as well as commercial brokers.

Education Licenses: include educational aids trading, educational consultancies as well as education & training computer software.


Foreign Company Branch: In a Foreign Company Branch the applicant is a registered foreign business whereby there are no restrictions concerning minimum share capital.

Free Zone Limited Liability Company (DWC-LLC): Free Zone Limited Liability Company (DWC-LLC) refers to a new free zone legal unit, whereby its shareholders comprise of either individuals, entities are both individuals and entities. The company is labeled as DWC-LLC.

UAE Company Branch: A UAE Company Branch refers to a registered business entity based in the UAE whereby the applicant is the actual UAE company branch. There are no restrictions concerning the capital.



As aforementioned, the DWC falls under the Dubai Aviation City Corporation government authority. Establishing a business within the DWC carries a variety of benefits, some of which are noted below:

  • Foreigners are granted complete foreign ownership;
  • No restrictions imposed on capital repatriation;
  • Granted 100% of profits;
  • Not subject to custom duty concerning good and services (imported);
  • Economic-friendly jurisdiction that focuses on the development and promotion of business;
  • State-of-the-art infrastructure;
  • Infrastructure promotes and supports business growth and development;
  • Simple and flexible legal structure;
  • Incorporation procedure is easy and simplistic;
  • Presence of top international, regional as well as local businesspeople;
  • Easy access to a variety of government services like licensing, postal and visa services;
  • Direct and easy access to Knowledge Workers due to efficient immigration procedures;
  • Business records are kept confidential.


A DWC-based company is exempted from both corporate and personal taxation for 50 years.




The company is required to submit four possible company names to the state authority, from which the authority will choose one.


A DWC Free Zone company must appoint a minimum of one director and a maximum of seven directors. A DWC company must also appoint a General Manager, who is required to be a UAE resident in order to run the daily operations and be accessible within Dubai at any given moment.


A DWC Free Zone company is required to have one to six shareholders.


A DWC Free Zone company is required to appoint at least one secretary.


The sum of share capital required to set up a DWC company amounts to AED 300,000. The authority does not require proof of the funds availability. All the licenses may have a share capital that amounts to AED 300,000, apart from the general trading license whereby the sum of share capital is required to be 1 million dirham and proof of funds must be presented.


All the licenses granted are subject to renting or leasing a facility, which must be located within the DWC free zone.


The license is valid for a year whereby it must be renewed. The license is only valid for setting up a business within the free zone.


All DWC-based companies must conduct a financial audit every year, which must be submitted to the authority. Even though the authority requires a one-year financial audit report, companies may choose their own reporting periods. However, companies should not present financial reports that cover less than six months or more than eighteen months.



The number of visas which companies are allowed to obtain is based on the size of the office. Generally, a company is granted one visa for each 10 square meters. However, the DTMFZA issues and treats the visas according to the business activity the company runs. Typically, visas need 4 to 7 days to be evaluated, approved and issued.



  • If you are interested in collaborating with a free zone-based company in order to trade within the UAE, you have the option of cooperating with an LCC company which obtains an Import & Export License or a Logistics Company, which has the capacity to supervise the clearance as well as the delivery of your products;
  • Concerning Service Companies which intend to offer services to non-based DWC companies, should be informed that services can only be extended within the free zone jurisdiction;
  • Companies that obtain a Free Zone License are not subject to Custom Duty concerning goods and services, which have been imported from foreign countries. Custom Duty is only applicable when goods are transported outside the jurisdiction of the free zone. These goods refer to warehouse facilities that offer storage for imported goods, which are required to be stored before being re-exported at a later date. In these situations, a deposit is required to be paid that is the same amount as the Custom Duty. This amount is refunded once the goods are re-exported;
  • A 5% Custom Duty is imposed on the CIF value of majority of goods. Tobacco goods are imposed 100% of the CIF value, while liquor & alcohol goods are subject to 50% of their CIF value;
  • Basic goods and products such as food and pharmaceutical products are considered as duty free products and therefore are exempted from Custom Duty;
  • The Custom Authorities require a variety of documents including invoices, certificate of origin, bill of landing as well as goods declaration documents. it is possible that more documents are needed, thereby we suggest you visit;
  • You are able to collaborate with a local distributor in order to sell products within the local market. Free zones do not usually trade their goods and products within the domestic market.