The Long List of Free Zones at the United Arab Emirates

Published September 30th, 2021 - 07:00 GMT
Free Zones at the United Arab Emirates
There are 39 duty free zones at the UAE currently (Shutterstock: Sorbis)

Free zones, also known as Duty-Free zones, have become one  of our time's clearest signs of economic globalization. Our world is seeing a growing number of shopping spots and in some cases whole cities with no fees imposed on imports or foreign-manufactured products, making it a great option to boost business collaboration across borders.

In 1985, the UAE opened its first Duty-Free zone in Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, which later became the region's leading business hub that is popular all over the world. The opening of this project at that time aimed to accelerate international business ties between the UAE and the rest of the world, as the country was starting to feel the positive impact of the booming oil industry with only a small population of around 1.3 million people.

Over the years, more and more emirates started to welcome free economic zones in ports and airports. By the early 2000s, there was at least one duty-free zone in each emirate.

Now, the country has 45 different free zones, spread around each and every busy spot in the country, with each offering a variety of benefits and services. 

This week, the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) announced that the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority has agreed to regulate and allow the trading of cryptocurrencies and assets within the zone, showing UAE determination to keep duty free zones up-to-date with all the new trends in the world of finance.

Free zones guarantee foreign brands 100% ownership in these zones, in addition to full repatriation of capital and profits. It also exempts all imports and exports of any taxes not to mention a 100% exemption from income and corporate taxes.

UAE's 45 Free Trade Zones

Abu Dhabi

  1. Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)
  2. Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM)
  3. ADPC - Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ)
  4. Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
  5. Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones / ZonesCorp
  6. Masdar City Free Zone
  7. Two Four 54

Dubai

  1. Dubai Airport Free Zone
  2. Dubai Auto Zone
  3. Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park (DuBiotech)
  4. Dubai Car and Automotive City Free Zone (DUCAMZ)
  5. Dubai Design District
  6. Dubai Flower Center
  7. Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
  8. Dubai Healthcare City
  9. Dubai Industrial City (DIC)
  10. Dubai International Academic City
  11. Dubai International Financial Centre
  12. Dubai Internet City (DIC)
  13. Dubai Knowledge Village
  14. Dubai Logistics City
  15. Dubai Media City
  16. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
  17. Dubai Outsource Zone
  18. Dubai Silicon Oasis
  19. Dubai Science Park
  20. Dubai Studio City
  21. Dubai Techno Park
  22. Dubai Textile Village
  23. Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone
  24. International Media Production Zone
  25. International Humanitarian City
  26. Jebel Ali Free Zone
  27. Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone
  28. Dubai South or DWC
  29. Dubai Production City

Sharjah

  1. Hamriyah Free Zone
  2. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
  3. U.S.A. Regional Trade Center (USARTC) Free Zone
  4. Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone
  5. Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams)
  6. Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone)

Ras Al Khaimah

  1. Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)
  2. RAK Maritime City Free Zone Authority (RMCFZA)
  3. Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority
  4. Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone
  5. Ras Al Khaimah Media Free Zone

Fujairah

  1. Fujairah Free Zone
  2. Fujairah Creative City
  3. International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

Ajman

  1. Ajman Free Zone
  2. Ajman Media City Free Zone

Umm Al Quwain

- Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ)


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