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Dubai Silicon Oasis DSO Free Zone UAEA free zone is best defined as an area in UAE that is designated for the incorporation of different business entities that are required to follow a specified set of rules.

Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone is strategically located at a 15 minutes drive distance from Dubai International Airport and an almost equivalent distance (15 minutes drive) from Dubai’s Business District. Further, the distance between this free zone and Jebel Ali Port & Port Rashid is a 30 minutes drive distance. This free zone was established back in 2004 after which Dubai Silicon Oasis companies came into operation.

The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has over the years strategized on the provision of an excellent living and working integrated community. The Authority has worked towards ensuring that it caters for the needs of high tech industries that are incorporated in the free zone. This is by making a huge capital infrastructure investment that has in turn ensured that companies enjoy support services like advanced telecommunications and 8 power stations that have a capacity of 1600MW. DSO enjoys an amazing road network that has helped a great deal in allowing easy accessibility of the free zone using the major highways in Dubai.


Service: Registered business entities allowed to carry out services specified in the licenses.

Trade: Holders allowed engaging in activities that are in relation to imports/exports and the distribution of goods and items that are specified in the licenses. General trading licenses require a minimum share capital of AED 3 million while licenses for trading for specific products require a minimum share capital of AED 100,000.

Industrial: Allows holders to deal in importing raw materials, manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging and exporting finished products.

Business Operation Permit: This is a special type of license that allows its holders to operate in Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone Authority’s administrative zone using a Dubai Economic Department license. These administrative zones are simply areas that are owned by private developers. The best thing about these licenses is that they do not require any minimum share capital.

Entrepreneurial Business: This license is structured in a way that it helps in accelerating the successful development of youthful entrepreneurs and their business through the availability of a wide range of support services and resources. However, this license is limited in that it is only available to Dubai Silicon Oasis incubator program members.


Free Zone Establishment (FZE): Only one shareholder and a minimum share capital of AED 100,000.

Free Zone Company (FZCO): At least two shareholders and a minimum capital requirement AED 100,000.

Local/Foreign Branch or Subsidiary: No capital requirement in the establishment of this entity.



  • Full foreign business ownership;
  • Exemption from personal and corporate tax;
  • Full capital repatriation;
  • No import/export custom duty;
  • Affordable operations;
  • Modern IT infrastructure and tier 3 data centre facilities;
  • Flexible regulations;
  • A large consumer market of over 5 Billion people in North Africa, India Subcontinent and the Middle East;
  • Company records not disclosed;


Tax exemption edges out as the main factor as to why incorporating a free zone company is an economically viable option. The Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone has full exemptions on corporate and personal tax. This acts as one of the key attraction factors responsible for attracting existing and potential investors to set their companies in the free zone.




Three preferred names to be used for the company should be forwarded to the authority for approval purposes.


At least one director / manager. Should be individual as corporate not allowed.


At least one shareholder (either individual or corporate).


Minimum share capital stands at AED 100,000 with the exclusion of a general trading license that requires a minimum capital of AED 3,000,000. The share capital is required to be deposited to the company’s bank account and an official proof of the deposit forwarded to the authority.


The validity of trade licenses is one year after which the licenses should be renewed before the expiration date or within 30 days after the license expires.


The Company should conduct an annual financial audit that should then be forwarded to the authority. In normal situations, the reporting date is one calendar year but companies are free to set their own dates as far as they are not less than 6 months and not more than 18 months.



The office size of a company is the key determining factor as far as the number of visas to receive is concerned. Usually, one visa goes for 10 square meters which each visa issuance being handled separately and in respect to the business activities carried out by the applicant. Processing of visa applications takes about 4-7 working days though it may be longer due to approvals that need to be done by the immigration department.



  • For you to trade within UAE through the use of a free zone company, there are two options that you can choose from. In the first option, you can trade directly with an LLC company that holds an import/export license while in the second option you can hire a logistics company to oversee the clearing of goods and delivery to the mainland;
  • For Service provision companies that intend to provide services to a company that is not within the free zone, the general rule provides that services need to be offered within the free zone;
  • Free zone license holders are permitted to import goods and or equipments from foreign nations without paying custom duties. This is mainly because of the fact that custom duty only applies when the goods are moved from the free zone. There are several warehouse facilities that offer storage services for companies that deal in the re-exportation of the goods. In this case, the company is required to pay a deposit that is equivalent to the custom duty of the goods. The deposit is however refunded upon the re-exportation of the goods;
  • Custom duty payable is calculated at 5% rate of the CIF value of the goods. However alcoholic goods are subjected to a 50% rate of their CIF value while tobacco products have their custom duty being 100% of the CIF value;
  • Documents required by custom authorities are such as goods declaration, certificate of origin, bill of lading and invoice copies. It is however important to note that there may be other additional documents that may be required by custom authorities. For information on these documents and other reliable information, feel free to refer to .