The UAE has been the center of economic growth in the Middle East. A focused government, lenient policies, and entrepreneurial culture of the UAE residents are some of the critical reasons for the fast economic progress the country is witnessing. The country has created countless opportunities for local and foreign investors.

 

Whether you want to start your own business or expand your current one, the UAE is the best place to start. Besides the benefits from within the Emirates, the free zones are another important reason the UE is becoming a business hub.

 

Establishing a company in the country’s free zone areas has a lot of benefits. Most of these zones allow for 100% foreign ownership of the business and full accrual of both profits and capital. Also, enterprises enjoy tax benefits like corporate tax, not forgetting networking and support opportunities.

 

A free trade zone is a designated area intended to encourage international business in the country by allowing individuals to own their companies fully. So, not sure which are the best free zones in the UAE to check out. This guide will review the best free zones in the UAE to make your choice smooth and easy.

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, or RAKEZ, is one of the best free zones in the UAE where individuals and corporations can set up businesses. RAKEZ has a strategic location near the seaport and the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport.

 

While the free zone accommodates almost all types of businesses, manufacturing activities are by far the most involved industry in the area. This is because RAKEZ is among the few free zones in the country offering tailored plots of land for industrial purposes and customizable warehouses.

 

RAKEZ divides all activities into several categories. Just a few of these categories are e-commerce, commercial, educational, and media services.

KIZAD

KIZAD stands for Khalifa Industrial Zone, Abu Dhabi. This free zone provides licenses for logistics, trading, industrial, and service operations at a reasonable fee. Low costs, easy conducting businesses, and convenient market access make KIZAD an ideal place for global investors. 

 

Furthermore, KIZAD has connections to Khalifa Port, one of the most sophisticated deep-sea ports in the world. The port is situated in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to ease trade in the country.

DAFZA (Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority)

Over 3,100 companies call DAFZA home. The free zone houses companies from various sectors, such as pharmaceutical products, lighting, logistics, manufacturing, trading, mobile phone accessories, IT, and Jewelry, to mention a few.

 

Dubai Airport Free Zone offers an incredible opportunity for companies to set up quality operations in the Emirate. Foreign businesses get warehouses and offices for full ownership in a no-tax environment. The free zone area is close to the Dubai International Airport and features modern facilities and premium infrastructure, and is known to connect markets in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the rest of the Middle East.

AFZ (Ajman Free Zone)

The Ajman Free Zone is in the Emirate of Ajman, an ideal location in the Arabian Gulf that serves the western and eastern markets. AFZ is also close to Dubai and Sharjah, home to four ports and international airports. 

 

More than 1400 businesses have set up operations here, and it gives value-added services to many companies, including banking, medical, and insurance.

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF)

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone is ideal for business incentives. The setup process is easy and quick. Versatility is always a mission of SAIF ZONE. Businesses of all calibers can set up operations in the zone.

 

The location of SAIIF is also perfect for logistics, manufacturing, and trading companies that want to set up operations in the UAE at reasonable fees. SAIF ZONE also boasts of having one of the most extensive customer bases in the world, with access to over 2 billion. Moreover, the Emirate of Sharjah accounts for more than a third of the UAE’s industrial activities.

 

Container parking, labor housing, bunkers, storage areas, and warehouses are available here and are also of impeccable quality. The free zone offers a full-time workforce to support companies with visas and sponsorships to ease the transition process.

Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone

Also referred to as UAQ, Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone is prosperous, progressive, and friendly. It’s a pro-business environment, boasting modern infrastructure and facilities. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone is perfect for SMEs and micro businesses.

 

The free zone opened for operations in 2014, and the government has heavily supported the project to help the business grow. UAQ FTZ has quickly gained popularity among local and international investors thanks to its flexible licensing solutions and modern management.

 

There are some unique benefits inherent to UAQ that you won’t find anywhere else. Coupled with low costs for business setup, they make the free zone an attractive free zone for local and global investors. A few of these benefits include:

Quicky and Easy Setup

A critical feature of the Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone is the speed at which companies can set up operations here. Secondly, there are no bureaucracies for establishing offices here.

Ideal Location

The most significant selling point of  UAQ FTZ is location, which is strategically located and affordable in terms of labor and cost of living.

Perfect for Minor Business Persons

The UAQ FTZ has some competitive advantages for solo entrepreneurs and SMEs. They are on a small budget and want to establish operations in the United Arab Emirates. Also, the support from the government is highly commendable.

Final Thoughts

The United Arab Emirates is an ideal place to start and expand a business, depending on investors’ needs and goals. The best free zones discussed in this article are all strategically gifted to help businesses thrive in the UAE. They all feature incredible business support services, infrastructure, and facilities to help any business in the country thrive. 

 

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