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5 Best Free-zones for Startups in UAE.

A.Faryal / Blog, Brand, Business, Dubai /
5 Best Free-zones for Startups in UAE.

UAE has always been encouraging startups specially Dubai, it is no wonder that a large number of investors are coming and investing in Dubai. UAE is fostering the Entrepreneurship culture from a long time, according to World Bank statistics SMEs represent 60% of GDP in MENA region.

For startups being new in the region and with relatively low capital and investment as compare to others i have arranged a list of 5 best UAE free-zones which are best of any startups in order to start a new business. All selected zones are discussed in detail according to the legal and capital requirement and license activities they offer.


DTECH is the initiative of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority zone which is a 100% government owned free-zone. Recently they have been awarded with ISO20000:2011. The certification is awarded to organizations for meeting the requirements in establishing, implementing, maintaining and continuously improving its ICT service management system and adopting effective management methods throughout the high-tech park.

DTECH has been formed on the setup of co working basis. Startups can choose from 24 hour access to flexi desk, dedicated desk or enclosed office locations to best suit their growing business needs with the flexibility to upgrade as they grow.

Following are the business option presently offered by DTECH.



DTECH also offers incubation for baby business or pitch up ideas. details can be found on their website. The available license activities allowed are;

  • Computer Graphic Design Services
  • Software House
  • Electronic chips programming
  • IT Infrastructure
  • Web-Design
  • Public Networking Services
  • Internet Content Provider
  • Portal Building
  • Portal

This are the activities allowed till now there details can be found on the website and contacting them via email.


The second best option based on the investment and payment schedule is AJMAN free zone. AJMAN freezone provides competitive privileges and facilities as compare to other free zones. There are many license options available including specific for E-Commerce. Starting from 1-3 activities are allowed on each license.

The best part is the flexible payment option, any new startup or entrepreneur ran out of money in few months and its very hard to get investment or loan for any new business specially for a service company. Based on the initial requirements one can go from Smart office to Business office package.

The Business office package is best for any new company, the cost associated is explained below.

Activity Total
One Activity Trading License Package 11,900
Two Activities Trading License Package 13,200
Three Activities Trading License Package OR Service License Package 14,500
General Trading License Package 17,100
E-commerce License Package 18,000

However the Business package doesn’t allow any visa but it made you legal to do business in UAE without any hassle.

The next best option is to go for Smart Office Package with 12 installments;

Twelve (12) Installments

Activity Total Installments
One Activity 24,910 2,076
Two Activity 26,210 2,184
Three Activity or Service Activity 27,510 2,293
General Trading 30,110 2,509

My advice go for twelve installment package as it gives you three visas and other full fledged facilities of a normal company.


You must be amazed for mentioning Fujairah on number three? Right!

Well no wonder, they deserve it. with the multiple options for entrepreneurs to start business as less as 14,000 AED its not a joke. The options are unlimited although the activities are limited right now but covered a lot of as compare to other free-zones.

The package provides you with a benefit of having an office space that meets your needs, at competitive rates.
Services included:

  • Trade license valid for 1 year
  • Establishment card valid for 1 year
  • Availability of up to 12 visas
  • Processing time: 6-7 working days
  • Office lease agreement at Creative City Free Zone , Fujairah for 1 year


Baby Business package is designed for small businesses to benefit from an easy company set-up process with minimized overhead costs. Providing small companies with up to 6 visas in this package is aimed to help effectively operate business in the UAE.
Services included:

  • Trade license valid for 1 year
  • Establishment card valid for 1 year
  • Availability of 6 visas
  • Processing time: 6-7 working days
  • Office Desk Facility (online support, receptionist, Internet access, Facsimile, Sign Board, P. O. Box, Conference Room (subject to availability and booking), PRO service
This package enables you to operate as a freelance professional offering a service from a variety of business activities available at Creative City. Freelancer package provides you with an opportunity to sponsor your family, hire staff, open a bank account and have a company name.
Services included:

  • Trade license valid for 1 year
  • Establishment card valid for 1 year
  • Availability of 3 visas
  • Processing time: 6-7 working days
  • Office Desk Facility (services include P. O. Box/ free in-house PRO services)

List of Activities Allowed;

  • Consultancy
  • Event Management
  •  New Media
  • Film/Production/Post-Production
  • Music and Entertainment
  • Publishing
  • IT Services
  • Education and Training

The details of the above activities and licences type for each is also available and can be shared with the entrepreneurs who are interested in it.

Licence – Single Owner (FZE) AED 14,000 AED 13,000 Non-visa package
Licence – Multiple Owners (FZ LLC) AED 17,000 AED 16,000 Non-visa package
Freelance Company AED 25,000 AED 21,000 3
Baby Business AED 30,000 AED 26,000 6

Why RAK? good question,

Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone’s most special promotion ever! Investors who set up their business with them during summer 2016 can avail either one of the two cost-effective packages that they have on offer.


Get up to 30% discount on full business set-up package + guaranteed same discount for the first renewal.


Enjoy up to 40% discount on the Three-Year Package.
This limited time offer is valid on Flexi facilities only.

Yes, adding to it RAKFTZ provides various activities for businesses with cost effective solution. for any new SME or entrepreneur RAK is a best choice. The license type they allows includes;

Allows your company to import, export, distribute, or warehouse goods. You can select from specific or general trading licences

Allows your company to conduct services or consultancies across any industry

Allows your company to import raw materials, as well as to manufacture, process, package, and export finished products

Allows your company to open any type of learning or training institution as well as education-related consultancy

UAE-RAK Free Trade Zones Table of government cost & Professional fees
Trade License option / activity Cost in US$ Cost in AED
Industrial License US$ 2,260 AED 8,250
Commercial License
Specific Trading US$ 2,260 AED 8,250
Oil & Gas US$ 3,015 AED 11,000
Real Estate US$ 4,520 AED 16,500
Aviation US$ 4,520 AED 16,500
General Trading License US$ 4,520 AED 16,500
Service License
Specific Services US$ 2,260 AED 8,250
Oil & Gas US$ 3,015 AED 11,000
Freight Forwarding US$ 2,560 AED 9,350
Real Estate US$ 4,520 AED 16,500
Aviation US$ 4,520 AED 16,500


UAQ really? are you out of your mind?

I agree, no but i am not out of my mind, UAQ is yet another best free zone when it comes to startup and entrepreneurs. NO JOKE! the option they provide other than the normal licenses and office is MICRO-BUSINESS.

Micro Business Consultancy License package (AED 13,500). Annual renewal fee is AED 11,500.

• Micro business package includes a PO Box number (will be shown in the license). No flexi desk is included. No visas. No email. AED 11,500 is the annual renewal fee for any micro business license.

No NOC is required from any of our clients in order to set up their companies with UAQFTZ. WOW!!!!!

  Establishment Card is also free of charge.

Share Capital: For FZC & FZE, the minimum share capital is AED: 300,000/-. However, They do not require proof of share capital during the licensing process.

Type of Facility: UAQ FTZ offer the following facilities which will enhance customers’ business opportunities even further:

  • Offices – small- and medium-sized office spaces available. Their business center offers fully-equipped meeting and conference room facilities.
  • Warehouses – Available in a range of sizes, our pre-fabricated units offer flexible and high-quality solutions for all manner of storage and light manufacturing activities.
  • Land – A range of plot sizes are available depending on specific requirements – the perfect solution for those who wish to build their own facilities.

Premium Office Package: The comfortable and modern office spaces located in Umm Al Quwain are designed to maximize your business potential. You can Choose from a range of fully-serviced, small- and medium-sized offices, available for short- and long-term lease. Their Premium Offices in the business center offers to tenants high-end office premises and developed infrastructure that provides to tenants a full range of services and amenities.

What Other License Options are available in UAQFTZ?

  • SERVICE LICENSEThis license is for service providers. It permits the licensee to carry out the services specified on the license within the Free Zone, such as Logistics; Courier Services; Insurance Service Provider; Travel Agency; Tour Services; Car Rental etc.

    This allows an individual to operate as a freelance professional, and conduct business in one’s birth name as opposed to a brand name or company. The Freelance Permit is designed for individuals who operate in technology, media and film sectors, and is issued to talent roles, creative roles and selected administrative roles.

Yes this is the best option for anyone who works solely on their own, what are the benefits ? Family VISA. yes you can sponsor your family here.

In order for our clients to apply for a Freelancer Permit, the applicant will be requested to submit the proving documents/achievements/training courses/essays/art works/qualification degrees/letter of endorsement/letter of recommendation/personal website or any other proof to support his/her application for a UAQ FTZ Freelancer Permit. Copies of the proving documents are accepted (originals might be requested for verification). No attestation is required.

The Freelancer visa is for two years, and it allows its holder to sponsor his wife and kids (two years visas as well). WOW !!!

I guess i have explained so far the best economical options available for baby businesses and new startups who wants to work on their own but with a legal setup.




All above information regarding activities and fees are from respected freezones and can be changed any time. The writer is not responsible for anything related to it. The information is prepared for knowledge only. if you want to have proper consultancy and wants to open the business in UAE, the writer works with Management consultants and can be reached on the following email: aziza@ircoca.com.