Free trade zones have been set up in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras al-Khaimah. Incentives 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 period;
- One-hundred per cent repatriation of capital and profits
- No personal income taxes
- 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 company’s 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 agent.
- The holder of a service license must be licensed in one of the Emirates to render the samd services intended for its free trade zone operations.
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) ownership (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.The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority offers factory and offers factory and warehousing facilities on lease to tenants. Buildings to lessee’s specifications can be constructed under a long-term land least. Under Act Number 9 od 1992, a free zone establishment may be incorporated in the Jebel Ali Free Zone. It is a one person or more company with a legal identity where the owner’s liability 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 million paid into a bank account in the fame of the proprietor at the time of incorporation. The capital may be divided into shares of equal value. read more
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 units and commercial enterprises carrying on trading, financial, and professional activities and services. Goods within the free zone are exempted from custom and import and export duties. Products of factories in the free zone (licensed by the Ministry of Finance and Industry and in which the parpicipation of UAE or AGCC nationals is now less than 51 per cent) are coosidered to be national products, and no custom duties are levied there on entering the UAE. Goods violating the rules governing intellectual, industrial, and commercial property, goods prohibited by government order and goods which is not in accordance with Islamic principles are not a|lowed to enter the free zone. A free zone establishment may be incorporated in the Hamria Free Zone.
Sharjah International Airport
The Sharjah Airport Authority was created by Local Decree Number 2 of 1995. The Authority issues commercial licenses, general trading licenses, industrial licenses, and service licenses. To qualify for a license, the applicant company must be a branch of a UAE company or a branch of a foreign company outside the UAE or free-zone establishment