Dubai Free Zone Visa: Complete Guide

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October 5, 2023


Welcome to the realm of Dubai freezone visa, where opportunities abound for investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses seeking to flourish in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This guide provides comprehensive insights into the advantages, application processes, costs, and notable free zones in Dubai.

Types of UAE Visas

In the UAE, obtaining a Free Zone Residence Visa can be notably easier if you are employed by a Free Zone company. These visas typically have a three-year validity period. Entrepreneurs aiming to establish a business in the UAE, on the other hand, have the option of applying for either an Employment Visa or an Investor Visa. Upon securing an Investor or Employment Visa, dependents can apply for their residence visas, which are also valid for three years.

Free Zone Visas are issued directly by the Immigration Department (GDRFA) without requiring contact with the Ministry of Labor. While they are relatively easy to obtain, it’s important to note that holders of Free Zone Visas are restricted from working outside the Free Zones. To obtain work permits for other areas, individuals can apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Labor.

Advantages of a Dubai Free Zone Visa

  1. Tax Exemption
    Free Zone Visa holders are exempt from import, export, and personal taxes. Furthermore, organizations enjoy a corporate tax exemption for a specified period, which can often be extended.
  2. Complete Ownership
    UAE legislation allows foreign investors and entrepreneurs to attain 100% ownership of their companies without the need for an Emirati shareholder, granting them full control.
  3. Efficient Financial Access
    With a UAE Residence Visa, individuals gain immediate eligibility to open bank accounts, conduct fund transfers, and engage in various financial services.
  4. Flexible Corporate Space
    Free Zone Visa holders can lease office spaces and other properties tailored to their requirements, with the option of long-term leases lasting up to 25 years.
  5. Healthcare Accessibility
    Visa holders can apply for an Emirates ID and gain access to healthcare services akin to UAE residents, including the option to select cost-effective health insurance policies.

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Dubai Free Zone Visa

The process of securing a Free Zone Visa in Dubai involves several steps:

  1. E-commerce Services Registration
    Begin by registering for e-commerce services through the UAE government’s e-channel portal.
  2. E-commerce Services Registration
    After your initial registration is complete, you can proceed to apply for your entry permit.This permit functions as a temporary visa, allowing you to enter and stay in the UAE for up to 60 days. During this period, it is advisable not to leave in order to avoid complications with your immigration record.
  3. Status Change
    The next step involves a change in status to activate your entry permit. This can be accomplished by submitting your passport to UAE immigration for stamping, presenting your visa to immigration upon arrival at a UAE airport, or leaving and re-entering the UAE by land with your permit stamped.
  4. Medical Services Registration and Emirates ID
    To obtain a Free Zone Visa, a medical examination and fitness test are required, including blood tests and chest X-rays. Once test results are obtained, individuals can apply for their Emirates ID, granting access to various services in the UAE.
  5. Residence Visa Stamping
    The final step is to have the Residence Visa physically stamped into your passport. This can be done by presenting your passport to the relevant UAE immigration authority. Once this stage is completed, you can live and work in Dubai until your visa expires.

Cost of a Dubai Free Zone Visa

The cost of obtaining a Free Zone Visa in Dubai typically ranges around AED 5,000. However, it’s important to note that costs may vary depending on the specific Free Zone through which you apply. Additional visas for employees, dependents, and domestic staff generally fall in the range of AED 3,000 to AED 6,000.

Prominent Free Zones for Business Setup in Dubai

Dubai’s economic landscape boasts numerous Free Zones, each with unique advantages for businesses. Here are some standout options:

  1. DMCC Free Zone
    Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is not only the largest Free Zone in Dubai but also a global trade gateway. It offers opportunities in retail and commerce sectors and is highly regarded in the region. DMCC allows freehold options and is strategically located in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers district.
  2. RAKEZ Free Zone
    Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) is known for its rapid growth and is ideal for businesses requiring warehousing facilities. It offers customizable warehouses and industrial land plots for development, accommodating a wide range of activities.
  3. DWC Free Zone
    Dubai World Central (DWC) Free Zone strengthens Dubai’s logistics and trade position.

In the realm of Dubai Free Zone Visas, opportunities are abundant, and with the right guidance, entrepreneurs and businesses can thrive in this vibrant and promising economic landscape.

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