Jurisdictions for Business Setup in Dubai

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The Jurisdictions of Opportunities

At the core of the United Arab Emirates, where the majestic skyscrapers meet the Arabian Gulf’s bright waters, Dubai stands as a global symbol for entrepreneurship and economic wonders. For motivated business minds, Dubai offers a plethora of opportunities, facilitated by a spectrum of business jurisdictions tailored to suit your different business setup ambitions.

Dubai’s multifaceted business landscape is defined by three jurisdictions, each with its own set of advantages and requirements. From the bustling Dubai Mainland, teeming with opportunity, to the Free Zones, where 100% foreign ownership and tax exemptions allure investors. And then, on the outskirts of Dubai’s economic boundary, offshore jurisdictions provide a unique opportunity for asset protection and international wealth management.

Join Marqueway business setup services to give wings to your dream of business setup in Dubai. Whether you seek the boundless vistas of Mainland, the specialized regions of Free zone or the freedom of Offshore, we will help you set up your business in the city of Dubai.

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A Deeper Look into the Regions for Business Setup in Dubai

Business setup is an omnipresent process because of the customer’s needs and desires. Businesses provide various services or products for the betterment of the society as well as gain profit. With that in mind, we can confidently conclude that Dubai is the best place for business setup as it provides an abundance of opportunities. As mentioned earlier, to setup your business in the heart of UAE, Dubai, there are mainly 3 regions, namely Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore.

Here’s a deeper look into these regions:


In Dubai Mainland, there is a wide range of approved business activities, making it an ideal choice for a diverse array of pursuits. However, one of the distinguishing features of Mainland setup is the requirement for a local sponsor, who must be a UAE national and holds at least 51% ownership in the company. While this may raise concerns about control and profit distribution, it’s important to note that legal agreements can be put in place to safeguard the interests of foreign investors.

For certain business activities in the Mainland, foreign investors can also hold 100% of the ownership. Business setup in Dubai Mainland often involves additional documentation and approvals from various government departments like Department of Economic Development (DED), but the flexibility and market reach it offers make it a compelling option for many businesses. You can have opportunities with government projects and contracts, no trade restriction between business in Dubai and so much more.

Jurisdictions for Business Setup in Dubai

Free Zone

Jurisdictions for Business Setup in Dubai

Dubai’s Free Zones have gained massive popularity among investors due to the various advantages it offers. These specially designed zones cater to specific industries, such as technology, logistics, finance, Industrial and much more, and offer great many benefits. One of the major advantages of business setup in free zones is the possibility to have 100% foreign ownership, which means that you can retain full control of your business without the need for a local sponsor. Along with this, business setup in Free Zones often provide tax exemptions, no import/export duties, and smooth business setup processes. 

However, businesses in Free Zones are typically restricted from conducting business within the UAE mainland but can engage in international trade. Each Free Zone may have its own set of permitted activities, so it’s important to choose one that compliments your business. To establish a business in a Free Zone, you are usually required to lease office or warehouse space within the respective free zone. This comes along with other advantages that Dubai business setup offers like a supportive business ecosystem, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and a proficient regulatory environment.


Jurisdictions for Business Setup in Dubai

For registration of offshore companies in UAE you have offshore jurisdiction like Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) and Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC). Offshore companies primarily serve as an entity for asset protection, wealth management, and holding investments and real estate in Dubai. These entities are not allowed to conduct business within Dubai or with Emirates residents, making them suitable for international investors seeking to manage their global funds.

 Offshore companies typically do not require a physical presence in the UAE, providing an attractive option for those who do not want to conduct business activities in Dubai. However, opening a bank account for offshore companies in Dubai can be a bit challenging, and some strict banking regulations may be applicable. Offshore business setup in Dubai is suitable for expats who have a desire to make use of the Dubai government’s facilities.

Jurisdictions for Business Setup in Dubai


Frequently Asked Questions on Jurisdictions for Business Setup in Dubai

Dubai mainland is a economic zone maintained by the Department of Economic Development (DED) and offers a wide variety of benefits for businesses and in some cases require a local Emirati sponsor. Free zones are monitored by their own designated Free Zone authorities and you can enjoy 100% ownership. Free zones are not allowed to trade with the mainland, but they can trade with other free zones and internationally.

The answer is No. Free zones can trade with the other 40 free zones in Dubai as well as International Trade. Free zone companies can’t trade with mainland companies in Dubai.

Free zones companies operate with Dubai and they will have a physical presence while offshore companies will only have an office address and registration in Dubai, but all their activities will be in another country.

There is no income tax or corporate tax in the vast city of Dubai. You will have to pay VAT to the government and this was introduced in 2018.

Would you like to start a business setup with us?

We provide a range of business setup services to help you establish yourself in the UAE business landscape. We are the premier choice to guide you as you start your business setup in Dubai.

Business setup in Dubai
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