Foreign entrepreneurs have consistently sought to expand their operations in the UAE, particularly in the free zones. Companies in these designated areas provide the most ease of doing business, in addition to 100% foreign ownership. Furthermore, establishing a business here qualifies investors to apply for a UAE Free Zone Visa.
In this article, you will learn everything about a Free Zone Visa. There are numerous advantages you can enjoy with this type of travel permit. Let us look at a more detailed explanation of:
1. Dubai Free Zone Visa: Rules and regulations
- It is easier to obtain a Free Zone Residence Visa if you work for a free zone company. The visa is only valid for three years.
- If you are an entrepreneur looking to establish a business in the UAE, you can apply for either an Employment visa or an Investor visa. Once you have obtained an Investor or Employment Visa, your dependents can apply for a residence visa. The visa is valid for three years.
- Free Zone Visas are issued by the Immigration Department (GDRFA) without the need to contact the Ministry of Labor. These visas are relatively easy to obtain; however, visa holders are not permitted to work outside free zones. To obtain work permits, you can apply for a NOC from the Ministry of Labor.
2. The advantages of having a UAE Free Zone Visa
Investors and entrepreneurs can successfully operate their businesses in the UAE through free zones, which also provide residency and operational flexibility. If a foreign company applies for a visa, it will receive the following benefits:
2.1. Exemption from paying taxes
Firstly, you are not required to pay any import, export, or personal taxes if you have a Free Zone Visa. Organizations are also exempt from paying corporate taxes for a set period, which can be renewed at a later date.
2.2. Complete ownership
The UAE’s government, in 2018, approved a law that allows foreign investors and entrepreneurs to gain 100% ownership of their company without the need for an Emirati shareholder. As a result, they would be able to maintain complete control of the company.
2.3. Financial access that is efficient
With a UAE Residence Visa, you are immediately eligible to open a bank account, transfer funds, and engage in any financial services.
2.4. Rent corporate space
You can rent office space and other properties based on your requirements. There is an advantage to choosing long-term leasing options that can last up to 25 years.
2.5. Healthcare accessibility
Lastly, residents with a UAE Free Zone Visa will be eligible to apply for an Emirates ID and will have access to the same healthcare services as UAE residents. This includes selecting a low-cost health insurance policy.
3. Step-by-step guide to obtaining a Free Zone Visa in Dubai
When you apply for your Free Zone Visa in Dubai with us, we will walk you through the five steps below.
3.1. Sign up for e-commerce services
Because the Free Zone Visa application is mostly done online, you must first register with the UAE government’s e-channel portal. All that is required in the mandatory registration fee of AED 2,500 is for Connect Services Middle East to manage this process for you.
3.2. A permit to enter
After you have completed your initial registration, you can apply for your entry permit. This is similar to a temporary visa in that you can enter and stay in the UAE for up to 60 days. While you are permitted to leave during this time, it is strongly advised that you do not because it may cause problems with your immigration file.
3.3. A change in status
Thirdly, the status change comes next. This is how you activate your entry permit. You can do this by submitting your passport to immigration in the UAE for stamping, presenting your visa to immigration at an airport when entering the UAE, or leaving the UAE by land and having your permit stamped upon re-entry.
The former is by far the most straightforward option.
3.4. Registration for medical services and Emirates ID
A medical exam and a fitness test are required to obtain a Free Zone Visa. This includes a blood test as well as a chest X-ray. Once you have your test results, you can apply for your Emirates ID, which will grant you access to services in the UAE.
3.5. Stamping of a residence visa
Finally, you need to insert the actual Residence Visa into your passport. This can be accomplished by presenting your passport to the relevant immigration authority in the UAE. Once this stage is completed, you will be able to live and work in Dubai until your visa expires.
4. What is the cost of a Free Zone Visa in Dubai?
A Free Zone Visa in Dubai costs around AED 5,000, but this varies depending on the free zone through which you apply.
Additional visas, such as those for your employees, dependents, and domestic staff, usually cost between AED 3,000 and AED 6,000. Contact the team at Connect Services Middle East for a detailed breakdown of the costs involved, tailored to your specific needs.
5. The most outstanding free zones to set up a business in Dubai
As the Middle East’s economic development hub, the United Arab Emirates has created numerous opportunities for both local and foreign investors in Dubai. The country’s economic progress is largely due to a visionary government, business-friendly policies, and the entrepreneurial zeal of its residents.
The government offers numerous tax breaks and other financial incentives to foreign investors. Whether you want to expand your existing business or start a new one, the UAE provides a fast-paced business environment. Apart from the attractive benefits offered by the emirates, the free zones are another reason why the UAE is becoming a global business hub.
There are numerous benefits to establishing a business in a UAE free zone. Most free zones allow for full foreign ownership, as well as full repatriation of capital and profits. You will also benefit from significant tax advantages, such as exemption from corporate tax, as well as plenty of support and networking opportunities.
Note that a free trade zone is an exclusive area for international business in the UAE by allowing foreign enterprise ownership to be of 100%.
5.1. DMCC Free Zone
Unlike any other Dubai free zone, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre has significant potential and opportunity in the retail and commerce sectors. This zone is a gateway to global trade and an exclusive location for retail exposure for your company. For four years in a row, the Financial Times FDI magazine named DMCC “Global free zone of the year.”
It is not only one of the most highly regarded free zones in the region, but it is also the largest, making it an excellent choice for companies operating in the financial or commodities sectors. It is also the only free zone that provides freehold options and has a convenient central location in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers district.
5.2. RAKEZ Free Zone
Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone was formed by the merger of Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone and RAK Investment Authority. Because of its trading activities, RAK is one of the UAE’s fastest growing free zones. It is ideal for businesses that require warehousing facilities.
RAKEZ is one of the few free zones that has customizable warehouses and industrial land plots available for development. You can carry out many activities here. Commercial, service, industrial, media, educational, and individual/professional e-commerce are among those.
5.3. DWC Free Zone
DWC Free Zone strengthens Dubai’s position as a logistics and trade hub. It uses Jebel Ali Port and connects it to Al Maktoum International Airport via the dedicated Dubai Logistics Corridor. This creates a single custom-bonded zone, which reduces time on the ground and speeds up the flow of sea-to-air/air-to-sea cargo.
DWC Free Zone is a truly multimodal logistics platform with direct access to the major trans-emirate road networks, providing unprecedented levels of connectivity, speed, and efficiency.
5.4. JAFZA Free Zone
Jebel Ali Free Zone focuses is on long-term customer relationships and fostering alliances with global investors by providing them with world-class infrastructure supported by quality-driven value-added services and incentives, allowing them to capitalize on enormous business opportunities in the region.
JAFZA boasts of being the world’s first free zone to receive ISO certification in 1996. This is one of the MEASA region’s fastest-growing Free Zones, providing direct access to a market of over 2 billion people.
5.5. DAFZA Free Zone
More than 3100 companies from various industry sectors call Dubai Airport Free Zone home, including light industry, pharmaceutical items, trading, manufacturing, logistics, jewelry, IT, mobile phone accessories, and so on.
Dubai Airport Free Zone, strategically located adjacent to the boundaries of Dubai International Airport, offers a variety of modern facilities with best-in-class infrastructure and has positioned itself as a gateway connecting markets in the Middle East and Africa with Europe and the rest of Asia.
Dubai Airport Free Zone provides foreign companies with complete ownership of office space and warehouse space in a zero-tax environment. It provides an excellent opportunity for organizations to establish their quality in Dubai through a simple procedure that allows them to begin operations within days.
KIZAD (Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi) provides low-cost licenses for trading, logistics, industrial, and service activities. Additionally, this is the first choice of investors worldwide due to its low operating costs, ease of doing business, and market accessibility.
Also, KIZAD is connected to Khalifa Port, one of the region’s most advanced deep-sea ports and the first semi-automated container port. To facilitate trade in the country, this port’s location is between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
6.1. Is there a prohibition on Free Zone Visas?
No, Free Zone Visas are not prohibited in Dubai.
6.2. What is the distinction between a Work Visa and a Residence Visa?
You can enter the country with an Employment Visa. Once you have gained entry, you will need to apply for a residence permit to benefit from several government services.
6.3. What is the distinction between a Mainland Visa and a Free Zone Visa in Dubai?
Employment Visas for Mainland companies are valid for two years, while Free Zone Visas are valid for three years. You can work anywhere in the UAE with a Mainland company visa. To work in non-free zone companies with this visa, you must consult a local agent.
7. How can Connect Services Middle East help you?
Without a doubt, a Free Zone Visa offers a lot of opportunities for investors, and Connect Services Middle East provides you with everything you need to start, run, and grow a small business in the UAE.
We can help you find and access banking services, guide you through the UAE Free Zone Visa and relocation process; and support you throughout the life of your business with our wide range of concierge services, in addition to assisting with Trade License application processes and company administration.
There are many things our specialized team can do for your business. For this reason, we invite you to reach out to us and explain us your request. We will provide you with a tailored strategy and the best packages for you to choose.
Do you need more information about how to get a Free Zone Visa easily and quickly? Get in touch with our experts today and get the answers you need. Our agents are happy to assist you every time you call us at +971 43 316 688. On the other hand, feel free to send us an email at email@example.com.