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company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone

Company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone: All you must know

Dubai is known as the business capital of the United Arab Emirates. Its multiple free zones offer new investors unique opportunities for job and economic growth. For this reason, every year, hundreds of entrepreneurs decide to venture into a company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone.

In this article, you will find information about what Dubai Airport Free Zone is, and all the information you need to start your company formation journey in the UAE.

  1. What is the Dubai Airport Free Zone?
  2. Types of companies at DAFZA
  3. Types of legal entities at DAFZA
  4. How can you start your company formation in the Dubai Airport Free Zone?
  5. Step by step to company formation in DAFZA
  6. Types of business licenses in DAFZA
  7. Some benefits of a company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone
  8. What is the cost of a company formation process?
  9. Why is it a good idea to set up a business in this zone?
  10. How can we help you start your business activities in the UAE?

1. What is the Dubai Airport Free Zone?


Dubai Airport Free Zone, also known as DAFZA, is one of the free economic zones in Dubai. It is home to more than 1,600 companies doing business in the Emirates. It was established in 1996 and quickly became one of the fundamental pillars of the government’s strategic plan to boost the local economy.

DAFZA is located in the vicinity of Dubai International Airport and its objective is to provide premium facilities to the business community worldwide. At this zone, there are hundreds of activities that can be licensed. For example, manufacturing, consultancy, trading, aviation services, mobile phone, IT services, foodstuff trading, accessories trading, among others.

This zone enjoys VAT exemption and also has a simple company formation process. The requirements to do this are minimal and you will pay a reasonable price.

Due to its strategic location, DAFZA provides access to 2.5 billion consumers across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. For this reason, it is logical that the companies established here achieve their business objectives. Currently, this zone is one of the fastest-growing in the region and represents 4.7 percent of Dubai’s gross domestic product.

2. Types of companies at DAFZA

The companies that work in DAFZA participate in various sectors, some of which are the following:

  • Electrical
  • Telecommunications
  • Information technology
  • Aviation and aerospace
  • Luxury items
  • Engineering and building materials
  • Jewelry
  • Cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
  • Precious stones
  • Logistics and freight
  • Food and beverages
  • Electronic

3. Types of legal entities at DAFZA

In Dubai Airport Free Zone, only two types of legal entities can carry out commercial activities. These are the following:

3.1 Free zone company (FZCO)

  • Minimum share capital: AED 1,000
  • You can have from 1 to 50 shareholders (corporate, individual, or both)
  • Value of each share: AED 1000

3.2 Branch of an existing company

  • Same business name of the parent company
  • 100% owned by the parent company
  • Same business activity as the parent company

4. How can you start your company formation in the Dubai Airport Free Zone?

Firstly, establishing your company in DAFZA is an extremely important and simple process. This area allows local and foreign investors a business setup without currency restrictions, an almost tax-free economy, and 100% ownership for investors.

In addition to this, companies established here can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will not have any type of restriction when hiring employees.

If you are determined to set up your business in this region, you must follow certain steps. It is recommended that you hire the assistance of a business consultant to guide and advise you in this process and ensure that it is carried out successfully.

5. Step by step to company formation in DAFZA


All free zones in this country have an authority in charge of regulating the business carried out there. If you want to set up a company at DAFZA, you must submit to the respective laws.

The steps are the following:

  • Choose the type of legal entity
  • Pick a trade name
  • Apply for a business license
  • Select an office space
  • Get approvals
  • Register your business
  • Get your license

5.1 Legal entity

You can choose between a Free Zone Company (FZCO) or a Branch of a Company. The difference between these two lies in the number of shareholders and whether the shareholders are natural or legal persons.

5.2 Trade name

When you have already chosen the legal entity, the next step is to choose a trade name. Before making any decision, it is recommended that you check with the Department of Economic Development (DED) or with the authorities of the corresponding free zone about the availability of names.

Now that it is of the utmost importance that you ensure that the name of your company is not registered by any other organization.

Generally, for the DED to approve the proposed trade name, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • The name must be compatible with the type of activity carried out by your company.
  • It may not contain references to any government authority or religious deity.
  • The company’s legal entity must appear at the end of the name. For example, FZCO, FZE, among others.
  • It must align with the morals of the nation; it cannot have foul or vulgar language.

5.3 Business license

The business license for which you are going to apply will depend on the productive activity to which your company is dedicated. A few of the existing licenses are the following:

5.4 Office space

Generally, in the UAE’s free zones, you can rent or buy office spaces. The requirements of these offices will depend on the number of employees and the type of productive activity carried out by your company.

Note that in Dubai Airport Free Zone you can choose between smart desk office packages, regular office packages, and executive office packages.

However, you can also learn how to set up a business without office space.

5.5 Get approvals

As shown above, it is mandatory for all companies established in DAFZA to comply with the respective laws. To get the necessary approvals, you will need to submit certain documentation.

This documentation will depend on the type of company, type of productive activity, and also the requirements of the DAFZA authorities.

To obtain initial approval, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Passport copies of the shareholders
  • Business plan
  • Application form duly filled
  • No objection certificate from the current sponsor
  • Letter of intent
  • Registration certificate of your business License (if you already have a license, you must submit a copy of it, instead)
  • Unit title deed
  • Specimen of the shareholders signature
  • Two years audited financial report for a corporate identity or a bank reference for a natural person.
  • The registry identification code form (RIC)

If you decide to become a freelancer, then you will need to submit fewer documents. Some are the following:

  • Bank reference letter
  • CV
  • Application for registration
  • RIC (Original and notarized)

5.6 Registration

After receiving initial approval, you are required to pay the registration fee and the license fee. These fees will depend on the type of license chosen.

Then, after paying, you must submit the following documents:

  • Photo of the director of the company against a white background
  • Specimen signature of the director of the company
  • Registration form duly filled out
  • Share capital information
  • Power of attorney given to the director of the company

5.7 Visa and licensing process

At this point, the authorities will take care of your paperwork. The lease contracts will be prepared, the license will be issued and you will finally begin the process of applying for your visa.

6. Types of business licenses in DAFZA

Companies established in DAFZA comply with the same licensing regulations as other free zones. There are four license options in this zone, with the possibility to hold dual licenses, depending on the essence of your business and requirements.

The licenses that you can acquire here are the following:

6.1 Trade license

The trade license is aimed at those companies whose commercial activity is based on the export, import, storage, and also distribution of products.

6.2 Industry license

Companies whose commercial activity is based on the manufacture and production of goods and services can acquire this license.

6.3 Service license

In essence, this license allows companies to legally offer different types of services.

6.4 General trading license

If your company qualifies for two or more licenses, then you can apply for a general trading license.

7.  Some benefits of a company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone

Among the most important advantages of establishing a company in DAFZA, we can find the following:

 7.1 Taxation leverage

This free zone offers investors several incentives when it comes to taxes. for example, tax leverages on import and export tax, 100% ownership, zero currency restrictions, 0% income tax, among others.

7.2 Strategic location and infrastructure

DAFZA’s strategic location offers world-class facilities and comprehensive services, these are unique to the free zones.

Also, this zone offers custom services 24 hours a day, a dedicated logistics center, an inexpensive workforce, rapid cargo clearance, 24/7 security, easy recruitment procedures, warehouse facilities, among others.

7.3 Strong connections with the local government

In recent years, the government of the United Arab Emirates has shown great motivation by carrying out ambitious projects in the Dubai Airport Free Zone. The goal is to make it the leading provider of services to international customers, and also make the process of running a business as simple as possible.

Currently, they offer several amenities. For example, visa processing, office space requirements, licensing, registration, and other administrative and operational services.

7.4  Single window system

This free zone offers a unique opportunity for administrative services, intending to boost the efficiency of international traders. Under the single window, an entrepreneur has the freedom to manage the documentation procedure in a single entity.

The single window system makes it easier to interact with government authorities, as well as to obtain permits and authorizations.

8. What is the cost of a company formation process?

Note that a company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone is not precisely cheap. However, it offers various packages to make this process more affordable and easier.

The most cost-effective setup is a business with a smart desk, this will cost AED 34,655 with the license included. Another type of setup should be calculated as follows: license + office rent.

Generally, a license costs AED 15,000 for most business activities. Overall, a company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone has a similar cost to any other of the free zones in Dubai.

9. Why is it a good idea to set up a business in this zone?

DAFZA offers world-class infrastructure and a beneficial location in the heart of Dubai. This allows entrepreneurs to have the upper hand in the commercial operations they carry out.

Also, when deciding to setting up a company here, you will find a business-friendly environment and exceptional amenities, aimed at promoting the gradual growth of the different businesses.

10. How can we help you start your business activities in the UAE?

DAFZA is one of the leading free trade zones in the Middle East. This is because of its easy accessibility and its state-of-the-art infrastructure. Therefore, it has become the business hub par excellence for all those entrepreneurs interested in innovating in the United Arab Emirates.

However, in order to succeed in this territory, it is always advisable to have the help of professionals in the area. And this is where Connect Zone can be your best companion.

In our agency, we gather and process all the paperwork necessary for the formation of your company. In this way, you can invest your time in expanding your business. Also, we take care of your tax returns, your license applications and even help you find an office space that suits you, in one of the best business centers.

Would you like to learn about how we can help you establish your firm in DAFZA? You can contact us at the following number +97143316688 or send us an email at where one of our representatives will answer any questions you may have.


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