Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) is the largest and oldest free zone in the UAE, established in 1985. JAFZA is an engine for Dubai’s commercial and industrial growth. It’s product offerings ensure that clients will find the right set-up for their needs including plots of land, warehouses, showrooms, customised development solutions, offices, retail outlets, a business park and even on-site residences.

Apart from the three core categories of activity in JAFZA i.e. Trading, Service and Industrial, the free zone also provides a wide range of activity selection and licence types for investors such as below:

JAFZA - Licence Types

  • Trading Licence: To carry out trading activities
  • Industrial Licence: To carry out manufacturing activities
  • Service Licence: To carry out services activities
  • E-Commerce Licence: To carry out buying and selling of goods and services over electronic networks via any electronic means
  • National Industrial Licence: To carry out manufacturing activities where at least 51% of the ownership is of national(s) of a GCC country.
  • Innovation Licence: To carry out development of new products and services
  • Offshore Registration: To establish an offshore company with limited liability

JAFZA - Company Types

Free Zone Company (FZCO)

  • FZCO is basically a Limited Liability Company within the Free Zone. The obligations of the company are limited to the company’s assets. Personal assets of the investors are protected and limited to the amount invested into the company.
  • Shareholders may be individuals, corporate entities or a combination of the two.

Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

  • A single shareholder can form a Free Zone Establishment (FZE) within JAFZA.
  • The Shareholder can be an individual or a corporate entity. An FZE is essentially a Limited Liability Company within the Free Zone, which means the obligation of the shareholder is limited to the company’s assets and personal assets are protected and limited to the amount invested into the company.

Public Listed Company (PLC)

  • PLC is a company with limited liability with two or more shareholders.
  • PLC is basically a Limited Liability company within the Free Zone, meaning that the liabilities of the company are limited to its paid-up capital.
  • PLC has a legal disposition diverse from that of its shareholders and it has the capacity, rights and privileges of a natural person.
  • PLC may invite the public to subscribe to its shares and must list its shares on a stock exchange in accordance with the market rules and regulations.


  • A branch is considered as a legal entity of its parent company.
  • Any company established outside the Jebel Ali Free Zone can establish a branch within JAFZA.
  • The Branch Company should be 100% owned by the parent company, operate under the same name and conduct the same business.

It is imperative to first seek professional advice and guidance if you are considering establishing a company in Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), appointing a company formation specialist such as PRO Partner Group will remove the complexity of setting up your business, ensuring that the process is handled correctly to save time and resources.

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