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DAFZA Free Zone

DAFZA Company Formation. Key features of doing business in Dubai Airport Free Zone.

DAFZA Free Zone - Freezone Logo

Get the details about company formation in DAFZA Free Zone

Phone number: +971 (4) 425 6062

Office hours: Sunday - Thursday from 9-00 to 17-30

  1. Benefits of doing business in the DAFZA free zone
  2. Types of companies and licenses in the DAFZA zone
  3. Company Registration Procedure at the Dubai Airport Free Zone
  4. The infrastructure of Dubai Airport Free Zone
  5. Dubai airport free zone gate pass

What is Dubai airport free zone? Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) is an area located at the International Airport of Dubai with a special status, preferential tax and customs conditions for foreign entrepreneurs.Itwas founded by the Government of Dubai in 1996. It provides the best conditions for business development in the field of aviation, pharmaceuticals, logistics, transportation, jewelry, IT-technologies, etc. As of the beginning of 2019, more than 1,600 companies are registered in this free zone.

The close proximity of DAFZA to Dubai International Airport means that 24-hour logistics services are provided here. DAFZA offers foreign investors its modern infrastructure: ready-made offices, premises for small-scale production or storage, and land plots for rent for a period of 15 years to build own buildings. There is a separate customs office providing customs clearance services for goods in the shortest possible time, and other services (registration and renewal of resident visas, licenses, ID-cards, etc.), the territory of this zone is guarded around the clock. In addition, a modernly equipped business center, restaurants, beauty salons, a post office, bank offices, a cafeteria, a medical clinic, a travel agency, and parking are located on the territory of this free economic zone. The company formation process at DAFZA airport free zone will take you about two weeks, and most operations can be performed remotely. Taking into account the overall level of ease of doing business in this jurisdiction, we can say for sure that the company setup in DAFZA free zone is a very profitable and promising solution.

DAFZA map (Google Maps)

Fig. 1 DAFZA free zone at the Dubai International Airport (Google Maps)

All the relevant information about this jurisdiction can be found on their official website:

Benefits of doing business in the DAFZA free zone

DAFZA, like other free zones in the UAE, has a number of advantages for foreign investors. The main feature of this jurisdiction is its close proximity to Dubai International Airport, where millions of tons of cargo pass through annually. Here are the key benefits of doing business in DAFZA:

  • Full exemption from all taxes. As in all the other free zones in the UAE, there are special preferences for foreign businessmen. There are no corporate, personal, income taxes or other types of taxes in this free zone. Any legal and physical persons are exempted from taxes in DAFZA.
  • 100% foreign ownership of capital. In the DAFZA free zone, a foreign citizen can fully own his company, unlike the UAE mainland, where, according to local laws, at least half of the business must belong to individuals or legal entities from the UAE.
  • No currency restrictions and customs duties. There are no restrictions on the withdrawal of currency; there are also no duties on the import and export of goods. The import duty of 5% is applied when goods are exported outside the free zone on the UAE mainland.
  • Direct access to the infrastructure of Dubai airport. Logistics Center, 24/7 customs service for fast cargo clearance are at your disposal. These services are provided mainly by Dnata, an Emirati airport services provider.
  • Visa for a foreign investor. A foreigner who opens a company here gets the right to receive a resident visa for three years for himself, his family members and employees, who he invites to work in the country. DAFZA visa processing time takes about two weeks, after that a foreigner gets an Emirates ID card. The resident has almost the same set of rights as a citizen of this country.
  • Full confidence. There are free zones both with open and closed registries of company owners in the UAE. In DAFZA information about owners of companies is closed to the public.

Thus, if your business is related to logistics, cargo transportation, or you are planning to re-export or trade in the region, you should consider registering a company here.

Types of companies and licenses in the DAFZA zone

According to the local rules, a foreign citizen can register one of the following types of legal entities:

  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE) is a company with a single shareholder; the liability of such companies is limited. These companies may conduct business outside the UAE, in accordance with the laws of other countries, it is prohibited to operate outside this zone in the UAE.
  • Free Zone Company (FZC) is a company with a number of shareholders from 2 to 50; the liability of such companies is limited. These companies may conduct business outside the UAE, in accordance with the laws of other countries, it is prohibited to operate outside this zone in the UAE.
  • Branch of a foreign company. Branch is the same legal entity as the parent company. A branch of the company is fully owned by the parent company and conducts the same activity, under the same name.

According to DAFZA rules and regulations, any company that conducts business here must obtain a license. There are three main types of licenses: trade, license for the provision of services and industrial license.

  • Trading license. This is the most common type of license in this zone. The overwhelming majority of companies have this type of license. It gives the entrepreneur the right to export and import to the territory of the FTZ, to store and sell products. The list of allowed types of goods is stated in the license. The more different positions are on the list, the more expensive is the license.
  • Service license. A service license gives its owner the right to provide services that are stated in the license: banking, financial and accounting consulting, etc. Those who plan to engage in the logistics business (working with the sea, air and land cargo, storage, warehousing, transshipment, distribution) need a service license.
  • Industrial license. In the free zone, you can rent a premise to arrange the production line. Here you can set up production, import and export finished products. All this can be done with an industrial license.

A license of any kind is issued for one year. At the end of this period, it must be updated; otherwise a license will be canceled.

Company Registration Procedure at the Dubai Airport Free Zone

The following sequence represents the procedure for registering a company in DAFZA:

  • Collect documents and legalize them;
  • Apply for DAFZA authorities;
  • Choose an office and other necessary premises for rent;
  • Apply for a license;
  • Apply for a visa;
  • Open a bank account;
  • Receive all necessary documents and starting a business.

In order to set up a company the following documents must be submitted to DAFZA’s Sales Department:





To register a company

Filled in application form




Letter of Intent




Company of Intent




Business plan




Personal bank statement (for the last 6 months)




Audited financial report




Passport copy of shareholders, and managers




No Objection Letter from sponsor (only for companies based in UAE)




To get a license

Certificate of Registration / Certificate of Incorporation of the shareholder 




Memorandum & Articles of Association of the shareholder or parent company




Board of Resolution for the establishment of a branch




Manager & specimen signature & power of attorney & copy of passport




Letter for Bank share capital




When applying documents, please note, that all documents must be notarized by a notary public and attested by an embassy of UAE or by UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It will take form 2 to 4 weeks for a company to complete all the procedures, depending on the specific business.

The infrastructure of Dubai Airport Free Zone

The authorities of DAFZA Free Zone Guide offer its customers offices, premises for small-scale production, storage space, and land plots for building.

In modern DAFZA Business Park, foreign investors can choose an office starting form 25 square meters. Premises for rent are equipped with furniture, telephone, Internet, and everything needed. Every 50 square meters of office give the right to get a visa for four employees. Offices are rented for one year, after which the lease agreement can be extended.

If you are planning to engage in production, in DAFZA you can rent premises from 350 sq. m for production lines (light industry, assembly, packaging), or warehouses. One company can rent multiple premises if required. Production facilities are equipped with all necessary communications.

In addition to offices and warehouses, DAFZA offers meeting rooms, lecture halls, business lounges, catering services, etc. There are also banks, post offices, cafes and restaurants, a clinic and parking in this free zone.

The approximate cost of renting office space is 50 square meters with the rental of parking, and the issuance of all necessary documents will cost approximately AED 12,000.

The authorities of the UAE make every possible effort to attract foreign investors. Besides the fact that they provide excellent conditions for business development in free zones, DAFZA in particular, here you can find lots of consulting companies offering professional assistance in all legal and organizational procedures: choosing the optimal jurisdiction, filing documents, opening a bank account, obtaining licenses and visas. For a reasonable fee, you’ll get rid of numerous troubles, and save your time – consulting companies have well-established contacts and worked out schemes.

Dubai airport free zone gate pass

Dubai Airport provides the airport free zone gate pass. This service allows a foreigner to get access to the airport – registered employees of the company, managers, translators and just visitors can apply for this service and get access to facilities in the free zone of Dubai airport. The service is provided by the airport security department. The cost of this service is AED 10.0.

If you have any questions concerning a company registration in DAFZA free zone, contact our specialists, we will be glad to help you start a business in the UAE.

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DAFZA Free Zone

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