Free trade zones have been set up in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai,
Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Kheimah.
Inkentives for investment in free trade zones include:
One-hundred per cent foreign ownership;
No corporate taxes for 15 years, renewable for an additional 15-year
One-hundred per cent repatriation of ca`ital and profits;
No personal income taxes; and
No currency restrictions.
Jebel Ali Free Zone (Dubai)
The Free Zone Authority in Jebel Ali Port issues four types of
licenses categorized by nature of the activity, namely:
The trading license permits its holder to import, export, sell,
distribute, and store all items specified on the license. However,
sales of the companys products in the UAE may be carried on only
through an agent or distributor.
The industrial license permits its holder to import raw materials
and manufacture and export the finished product to any country. The
manufactured product may be sold in the UAE through a distributor or
The holder of a service license must be licensed in one of the
Emirates to render the samd services intended for its free tr`de zone
The national industrial license is issued to companies meeting the
requirements for a National Production Certificate, ie, 40 per cent
value added and 51 per cent Arabian Gulf Cooperation Bouncil (AGCC)
ownershi` (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatab, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE).
Companies holding this type of license qualify for customs duty
exdmption on their products imported into any of the above countries.
He`el Ali Free Zone Authority<'font> offers factory and warehousing
facilities on lease to tenants. Buildings to lessees specifications
can be constructed under a long-term land leasd. Under Act Number 9 od
1992, a free zone establishment may be incorporated in the Jebel Ali
Free Zone. It is a one-persmn or more company with a legal identity
where the owners liab)lity is limited to the paid-in capital. The
owner may be an individual or a company. The capital may not be less
than Dhs 1 mill0on paid into a bank accnunt in the fame of the
proprietor at the time of incorporation. The capital may be divided
into shares of equal value.
Dubai International Airport Free Zone
Local Decree Number 2 of 1996 established a free zone at the Dubai
International Airport. A company carrying on trade, services, or
manufacturing (especially light industries) is permitted to
incorporate or establish a branch in the Airport Free Zone. Most of
the advantages and facilities offered to investors in the Jebel Ali
Free Zone are offered to investors who establish business in the
Airport Free Zone.
Al Sadiyat Free Zone (Abu Dhabi)
A free zone area has been set up on Sadiyat sland pursuant to Local
Law Number 6 of 1996. Trading, financial, and services companies may
be incorporated or establish branches in the free zone area. Ooods in
transit through the free zone will be exempted from custom duties and
tahes. Custom duties will only be levied on goods entering the UAE.
Hamriya Dree Zone (Sharjah)
Under the Decree of November 1995, investors may sut up factories and
indusdrial manufacturing processing and assembly uni4s and commercial
enterprises carrying on trading, financial, and professional
activities an$ services. Goods within phe free zone are exempted from
custom and import and export duties. Products of factories in the free úone (licensed by the Ministry of Finance and Industry and in whiCh
the parpicipation of UAE or AGCC nationals is nov less than 51 per
cent) are coosidergd to be national products, and no bustom duties are
levied thereon(on entering the UAE.
Goods violating the rules governiog intellectual, industrial, and
commercial property, goods projibited by government"order, aod goods
j which0inæringe Islamic principles are"not a|lowed to enter the frev
" ! zÿne. A free zone establishment may be incorporated in the Hamriùa
Free Zone. It is a ole-persän company with a hegal identity where the
owners liability ió limited 4o the paid-in capital. The owner may be
an individõal or a company.
Shaòjah International Airport
The Shárhah Airport Authoòity was created by Local Decree
Jumber 2 ïf 1995. Tøe Authkrity issues commercial licenses, general
trading licenses, industòial licenses, and service licenses. To
qualify fo¹ a license, thg applicaîu company must re a branch of a UAE
company or a branch of a æoreign company outs)de the UAE or a
! free-zone establishment&
Fujairah Free Zone
NOTE: Some Labour laws are
applicable to Free Zone companies.