At present there are approximately 45 Free Zones in the United Arab Emirates, over 20 of which are located in the Emirate of Dubai. The others are to be found in the remaining Emirates of Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.
Each Free Zone is dedicated to a specific commercial sector and issue licenses for companies that operate within that category and related activities.
One of the biggest advantages of setting up your company within the Free Zone, rather than outside of them (in the so-called “mainland”), is that there are no restrictions to foreign ownership. This means that a non-Emirate individual or corporate is allowed to hold 100% of the share capital.
In addition, a Free Zone company grants its Shareholders, Directors and employees the right to apply for residence visas in the UAE.