Cheapest UAE Dubai Free Zones: Dedicated to Fast Track Your Entrepreneurial Dream


Cheapest UAE Dubai Free Zones: Dedicated to Fast Track Your Entrepreneurial Dream


The position of the UAE in the global business and economic landscape has been steadily improving over the last decade mostly due to the country’s visionary leadership, progressive economic models and continued socio-economic policy reforms. The country has hugely grown in business and investment attractiveness and steadily enhanced cumulative FDI inflows through new business set up in Dubai UAE. The total FDI inflow into the country has grown by 116% over the last decade.

The Ministry of Economy in the UAE revealed that the country has registered a 3.90% growth in FDI inflow during 2021, with nearly USD 20.7 billion against USD 20 billion FDI received in 2020. Setting up a company in Dubai free zone always remains the top priority for the foreign investors and a substantial portion of FDI has flown into Dubai free zones.


The Emirates offers 45 multidisciplinary free zones to the investors and allows expatriates and foreign investors 100% ownership of companies. These free zones have highly developed infrastructure, very effective logistics and supply chains and unmatched services to streamline workflows and achieve the highest standards of business productivity.

What are free zones?

Commonly known as free trade zones, these are special economic zones where goods and services are usually traded at preferential tax and customs rates. The original purpose of UAE free zones was to enhance international business, however, over time these free zones have transformed to offer increasingly more advantages to the companies within these.

Why do foreign investors prefer free zones in Dubai UAE for setting up companies?

There are numerous Benefits of Starting a Business in Dubai Freezone basically. Free zones come with specific features that provide the benefits and the most important features are

  • Exemption from 5% VAT
  • Exemption from Import Export Tax
  • No Currency Restrictions and Foreign Exchange Control
  • More Convenient and Faster Business Set up
  • Full foreign ownership of the business entities
  • Repatriation benefits on profit and capital
  • Free of Corporate Tax
  • Secure Banking System
  • World-Class Infrastructure Facilities
  • Cost-Effective Free Zone Licenses
  • Ease of Availability of Work Visas

Investors prefer the cheap and cost-effective free zones in Dubai especially for trading, consultancy and service industries due to its prime location and its status as the leading financial hub in the MENA region. Dubai connects the entire world by air and acts as an added benefit for setting up new businesses.

The business setup cost in Dubai is the lowest in the coastal territory of the emirate where the free zones provide cheap trade licenses and fast track your dream company formation.

Which are the UAE’s 3 cheapest free zones outside Dubai?

The investors while considering the cheapest free zones generally take into account the visa expenses, trade license cost, office rent expenses and administrative cost of business. Free zones located in the northern emirates of UAE are the most low-cost choices for investors due to lower office administration costs, reduced office rental expenses as well as reduced power costs.

The Free Zones in the northern Emirates such as Sharjah, Ras-Al-Khaimah, Ajman and Fujairah offer the cheapest start-ups with a lower cost of business licenses compared to the Free Trade Zones in Dubai.

The 3 cheapest free zones outside Dubai are:

Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) offers the cheapest free zone license in the UAE for AED 5750. It is a service or professional license and allows multiple activities without a visa. The business activities under this license include E-commerce, Transactional Services, Event Management, Computer programming and consultancy, Photography, Media Production, Digital Marketing, Advertising, Fashion and Interior Design, Publishing and Printing.

This license is best suited for startups who are willing to enter into the media business as this free zone mainly caters to the media sector. E-commerce companies and freelancers can also avail themselves of this license. As this package does not include a visa, it is not popular amongst foreign investors who wish to get resident visas for families and employees. This is a popular choice for UAE resident entrepreneurs.

Ras Al Khaimah (RAKEZ) also offers one of the cheapest free zone licenses and the cost of such licenses starts from AED 8000 roughly. This free zone is best suited for women entrepreneurs who can enjoy up to a 40% discount on license costs.

The business activities include Service, Commercial, Educational, Professional and Industrial covering many sectors. Presently housing many companies under several sectors, this free zone offers quick business set-up in less than a week.

RAK is well known for its customizable warehousing solutions facilitated by proximity to air and seaports. Various sizes of warehouses can be chosen depending on the business activities.

Ajman Media City (AMC) offers trade licenses starting from AED 8500 and is one of the cheapest free zones in the UAE. AMC has registered a significant growth of approximately 35% in the number of newly registered companies during the first half of 2021 and maintained its leadership in the medical and health care sectors.

This free zone offers a fast and easy company formation and is one of the most sought after investment destinations in the technology, food and beverages, and the Chinese retail sectors. This free zone attracts businesses from all over the world and also offers several media and entertainment-related activities besides e-commerce and consultancy. Flexi-desk and Flexi-rental services are also offered in this zone to reduce the cost of operations.

The recently introduced Amazon Web Services (AWS) Activate program is also going to act as a major booster for all startups in this free zone.

What is the cheapest free zone in Dubai?

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) is one of the cheapest Free Zones in UAE and also the best in terms of ease-of-doing-business-in-Dubai. It offers company licenses starting from AED 11,900 and is the cheapest free zone license in 2022. IFZA offers office and warehousing solutions built on the highest global standards.

It also offers Flexi-desk and flexible rental solutions to lower the operating costs of the companies within this free zone. As per the survey, most of the foreign investors preferred IFZA for setting-up-a-company-in-Dubai-free-zone recently.

The benefits offered to the Investors include quick business setup, ease of management of companies and a wide range of business activities. The types of licenses available in IFZA are Consultancy License, Service License, Holding License, Trading and Industrial License. General Trading License with Visa Package costs around 17,500 AED per year.

The Takeaway

Investors planning for a business set up in Dubai UAE free zone must consider several aspects before arriving at the final decision. Most of the investors, however, make a judgement based on location, business activities and permitted licenses, facilities and most importantly, the lowest cost and most economical package of Freezone license in UAE.

Choosing a free zone from the list of more than 40 free zones is often a difficult task for investors and in many instances, they prefer to consult a reputed and professional corporate service provider before taking the final call.


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