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A free zone is basically a specific designated area within the United Arab Emirates where you may incorporate certain entities under specified rules.
DMC (Dubai Media City) has been in existence since January 2001 and has grown over the years to be a prosperous business community that hosts both regional and global media companies. DMC is bordered by the Marina District to the West, Sheikh Zayed Road to the South and Palm Jumeirah to the North. Sectors in which businesses can apply for inclusion in the DMC business community are such as Advertising and Communication, Media Support Services, Event Management, Media and Marketing Services, Media Consultancy, Freelancers, New Media and Non Profit Associations.
DMC falls under the Jurisdiction of Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone. It is regulated by DTMFA (Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority), an independent government body.
Services: media & marketing, advertising & communication, media consultancy and event management, etc.
Commercial: trading in different products.
Freelance permit: this license provides holders with opportunities to operate as freelance professionals.
Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC): This is an independent separate legal entity that has its shareholders being either individuals or entities or both.
Foreign Company Branch: Applicant is a foreign (registered) corporate: There is no minimum share capital required.
UAE Company Branch: UAE registered corporate person is the applicant and there is no minimum capital requirement.
DMC is a TECOM Investment Media Cluster member that is based in Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone. Benefits of having business operations in DMC:
One of the most advantageous things about establishing a Media City Company is that companies benefit from a full 50 years tax (both personal and corporate taxes) exemption.
4 preferred company names need to be forwarded to the authority for approval purposes. The authority aims on reserving the first choice.
At least one director / manager is required.
At least one shareholder is required.
A minimum share capital of AED 50,000 and a maximum of AED 500,000 with the exclusion of broadcasting activities which is AED 2,500,000. The minimum share capital should be deposited in the company’s bank account and proof of the deposit forwarded to the authority before receiving the trading license. Company branch establishment are exempted from minimum share capital if the branch is in DMC.
All licenses, freelance permits included are subject to leasing a facility. The facility should be within Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone.
The license’s validity is limited for only establishing a business in the free zone. The validity of licenses is one year after which they should be renewed.
Businesses should conduct an annual financial audit that should then be forwarded to the authority. The stated reporting period is one year but businesses are free to choose their own reporting periods. It is important to note that the period should not be less than 6 months or more than eighteen months.
The number of visas that companies are eligible for is dependent on the office size. Generally, one visa is available for 10 square meters but the issuance of the licenses is treated separately by the DTMFZA and is determined by the business activities being undertaken. Visas take 4-7 working days to be processed but this duration is subject to immigration department’s approvals.