Ultimate List of Free Zones in Dubai
  • September 20, 2023

Ultimate List of Free Zones in Dubai

Dubai is prominent for being the hub of business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is known for its numerous free zones that attract local and international businesses. Free zones offer various benefits to companies, including 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, simplified procedures, and world-class infrastructure.  


There are over 20+ free trade zones operating in Dubai, broadly offering trading, professional services, and industrial licences to investors looking to set up business in a specific sector or industry, from commodities trading to healthcare, education and manufacturing.


List of Top Dubai Free zones


1. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC):

DMCC is among the largest and most successful free zones in Dubai. It focuses on commodities trading, including gold, diamonds, and other precious metals. DMCC provides various services and infrastructure, such as office spaces, business centres, and warehousing facilities. It is home to over 18,000 companies from multiple industries, making it a thriving business community.


2. Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA):

JAFZA is one of the largest free zones in Dubai. It is strategically located near Jebel Ali Port, the largest container port in the Middle East region. JAFZA offers excellent infrastructure, logistics support, and a range of business facilities. It caters to various industries, including manufacturing, trading, logistics, and services. JAFZA is known for attracting global businesses and multinational corporations.


3. Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA):

DAFZA is adjacent to Dubai International Airport, providing a highly convenient location for businesses involved in import and export activities. DAFZA specialises in the aviation industry, logistics, and light manufacturing. It offers state-of-the-art facilities, advanced infrastructure, and exceptional logistics support. DAFZA provides value-added services like fast-track visa processing and simplified company setup procedures.


4. Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO):

DSO is a free zone that specifically focuses on the information and communication technology sector. It provides a conducive environment for tech startups, research and development companies, and technology-driven enterprises. DSO offers modern office spaces, business centres, and residential areas within the community, fostering a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and technological advancements.


5. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC):

DIFC is a prominent financial-free zone that caters to the financial services industry. It is a hub for banks, financial institutions, investment firms, and professional services companies. DIFC offers modern office spaces, a robust regulatory framework, and a favourable business environment. It provides access to a network of financial professionals and opportunities in the financial sector.


6. Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC):

DHCC is the first healthcare-free zone in Dubai. It is dedicated to granting a comprehensive platform for healthcare services, medical education, and research. DHCC attracts healthcare professionals, medical institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and research organisations. It offers specialised facilities, including hospitals, clinics, research centres, and residential and commercial spaces tailored for the healthcare sector.


7. Dubai Internet City (DIC):

DIC is a vibrant community focusing on information technology (IT) and media-related businesses. It is home to numerous global technology giants, startups, and digital companies. DIC offers modern office spaces, coworking facilities, and advanced infrastructure. It fosters collaboration and innovation among its residents and provides access to talent and resources within the technology ecosystem.


8. Dubai Media City (DMC):

DMC is a free zone designed for media and entertainment companies. It is a hub for media production, broadcasting, publishing, advertising, and digital media businesses. DMC offers state-of-the-art facilities, studio spaces, and a creative environment that nurtures the growth of media companies. It hosts major media organisations and attracts media and entertainment industry professionals.


9. Dubai Studio City (DSC):

DSC is a free zone dedicated to the film, television, and broadcasting industry. It provides services and infrastructure for production companies, post-production facilities, animation studios, and content creators. DSC offers sound stages, production offices, editing suites, and other specialised facilities. It aims to position Dubai as a regional film and TV production hub.


10. Dubai Design District (d3):

d3 is a creative community and free zone dedicated to the design industry. It is a platform for fashion, design, art, and luxury businesses. d3 provides tailored office spaces, showrooms, and workshops for designers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs. It fosters collaboration, innovation, and cultural exchange within the design community.


11. International Humanitarian City (IHC):

IHC is a free zone that serves as a global hub for humanitarian organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and charities. It provides a unique environment for humanitarian operations, emergency response, and coordination of relief efforts. IHC offers facilities, warehouses, and services that support the humanitarian sector's activities in the region and beyond.


12. Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP):

DKP is a free zone focused on the education and human resource development sectors. It provides a platform for academic institutions, training centres, and professional development organisations. DKP offers flexible office spaces, training facilities, and support services tailored to the education industry. It fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the growth of educational initiatives.


13. Dubai Science Park (DSP):

DSP is a free zone dedicated to the science and healthcare sectors. It supports research and development, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology firms, and other scientific organisations. DSP provides state-of-the-art laboratory spaces, research facilities, and specialised infrastructure to foster innovation, collaboration, and advancement in science and healthcare.


14. Dubai Maritime City (DMC):

DMC is a specialised free zone that focuses on the maritime industry. It provides a comprehensive platform for naval services, shipbuilding, marine engineering, and offshore operations. DMC offers a dedicated space for maritime companies, shipyards, and maritime-related businesses. It aims to position Dubai as a leading maritime hub in the region.


15. Dubai South:

Dubai South, formerly Dubai World Central, is an integrated free zone near Al Maktoum International Airport. It aims to become a significant business and logistics hub, supporting various aviation, logistics, and e-commerce industries. Dubai South offers flexible office spaces, business centres, and warehousing facilities. It is strategically positioned to exploit the global trade flows between Asia, Africa, and Europe.


Some of the other freezone include Dubai Outsource City, Meydan, and Dubai CommerCity. 


Each free zone offers unique advantages, industry focus, and facilities tailored to specific sectors. When considering setting up a business in Dubai, it is essential to research and evaluate the most suitable free zone that aligns with your industry, business objectives, and growth plans.


How can Ascent Partners help?

Ascent Partners is a boutique consultancy providing bespoke, end-to-end corporate services ranging from company formation to accounting, bookkeeping, and compliance services for entrepreneurs looking to set up their next venture in the UAE. We work alongside to strategise, startup, and scale businesses in the UAE and the broader region.


With a combined experience of 50+ years, our expert consultants provide reliable and unparalleled guidance throughout all strategic phases of a business' evolution.