What is the Cheapest Freezone in the UAE?
The UAE is known for many things. The first is its taste for luxury and appetite for gold. The second is that it is a rising star when it comes to being one of the best places to do business globally. In this article we take a look at the lowest costs freezone and the cheapest way to set up a business in the UAE.
What is a Freezone?
Freezones are commercial areas where foreign businesses can set up without the normal requirements under UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL) that state that foreign business owners must enter into a partnership with a local partner to set up in the UAE. Note: This regulation is now changing to allow foreign businesses 100% foreign ownership in specific industries.
Freezones are an escape from this regulation and allow foreign businesses 100% ownership within the freezone, regardless of their industry.
Businesses in freezones operate under the jurisdiction of the FZA (Free Zone Authority), which equips patrons of the freezone with many benefits that include superior business-specific infrastructure and tax exemptions.
Financial requirements of UAE Freezones
The finances involved in setting up in a UAE freezone are as follows:
- Trade licence registration fees.
- Rent for working spaces or facilities.
- The minimum holding capital amounts that are a requirement in some freezones.
It may be confusing to use all of these metrics to determine the cheapest freezone in UAE is. Therefore, we will simplify things by using only the cost of acquiring a trade licence in each free zone to compile our list.
What are the cheapest freezones in the UAE?
The cheapest freezones in the UAE are:
- Ajman Media City. Trade licence cost for one year: AED 8,500 with no visa.
- RAKEZ. Trade licence cost for one year: AED 10,535 includes two visas.
- Sharjah Media City (SHAMS). Trade licence cost for one year: AED 11,500 with no visa.
- IFZA. Trade licence cost for one year: AED 11,900 with no visa.
- Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone. Trade licence cost for one year: from AED 8,000.
There are many packages and businesses types one can choose from. However, for consistency, we used the standard trade licence package as a median to compare our list of freezones.
Note: Most of these packages do not contain visas as individuals will need to upgrade their package for visa allowances.
Freezone 1: Ajman Media City
Located in Ajman, this relatively new freezone operates in the media and creative sectors and offers licences for servicing-based businesses, commercial ones, or both. This freezone’s strategy of providing cost-effective services is what puts it at the top of our list.
Ajman Media City also provides excellent internet connectivity to cater for its clients’ heavy use of digital media.
How much is a standard Ajman Media City trade licence?
It is AED 8,500 for one year with no visa allowances and free workspace access.
Freezone 2: Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)
Located in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, this freezone provides services to businesses operating in over 50 business sectors. RAKEZ’s various licence types cover everything from media, industrial activities, and even e-commerce.
A one-stop shop exists for streamlining all investors’ setup and regulatory needs. In addition, universities and academic centres can be found within RAKEZ’s vicinity, which can supply businesses with a steady supply of well-equipped graduates ready to enter their workforce.
For a limited time, businesses can set up in RAKEZ with an unimaginable rate of AED 5,499 with the Biz Starter package, which was made to aide aspiring entrepreneurs.
How much is a standard RAKEZ trade licence?
It is AED 10,535 for one year with a two visa allowance, and free access to the shared workspaces.
Freezone 33: Sharjah Media City Freezone (SHAMS)
Located in the 3rd largest Emirate, this is another media focused freezone. But this does not necessarily mean that only businesses operating within that realm are accommodated.
Besides being famed for its cost-efficiency, SHAMS is known for being home to many event management, e-commerce, investment and marketing consultancies.
How much is a standard SHAMS trade licence?
It is AED 11,500 for one year with no visa allowances and free workspace access.
Freezone 4: International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)
One of the fastest-growing and highly acclaimed freezones of the UAE, IFZA boasts a strategic locational advantage as it is only around 2km away from the sea.
Licences found here include industrial, trading, consultancy/servicing, and holding licences.
How much is a standard IFZA trade licence?
It is AED 11,900 for one year with no visa allowances.
IFZA and Dubai Silicon Oasis
IFZA and the Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone have signed an agreement enabling those registered at IFZA the flexibility of operating from Dubai Silicon Oasis. This agreement equips those businesses with all the advantages of Dubai Silicon Oasis as well as access to the excellent tech centred service providers and businesses.
Freezone 5: Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ)
UAQ FTZ is excellent in servicing SMEs and start-ups. It seeks to reduce its service prices to accommodate the tight budgets that businesses of these sizes usually operate under. UAQ FTZ offers a wide array of licences ranging from manufacturing, travel, and technology.
How much is a standard UAQ FTZ trade licence?
It can cost as low as AED 8,000.
How can PRO Partner Group help?
PRO Partner Group is a professional business consultancy firm with a singular goal – to help entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors and companies find their footing in the competitive Dubai market. As a full-service company, our expertise includes providing a comprehensive range of solutions to speed up business setup in Dubai free zones.
We have a team of free zone company formation experts who can offer step-by-step assistance to clients, resulting in an easy, quick, and hassle-free setup. Our specialists are happy to take over the entire company setup process, from start to finish, so you can focus on what matters the most – business strategy and growth.
If you need guidance on setting up a business in a UAE freezone, or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE or Oman, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at email@example.com or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.