Setting Up a Business in the UAE? Consider These Wallet-Friendly Free Zones

These Free Zones, governed by a unique regulatory framework, encourage foreign investment by providing simple establishment procedures, simplified labor and immigration procedures, and several legal advantages.

According to estimates, the free zones currently contribute around 25% of Dubai’s GDP. With ambitious expansion plans, their economic impact will balloon to $68 billion by 2030. That kind of growth is just mind-blowing. It shows how the UAE is positioning itself as the startup capital of the Middle East and a global business hub.

Budget-Friendly Free Zones to Start a Business in the UAE

Free zones in the UAE offer several benefits to businesses, such as tax exemptions, 100% foreign ownership, and easy access to global markets. However, some free zones can be expensive to set up and operate.

If you are a startup, small business, or entrepreneur on a budget, there are a number of budget-friendly free zones in the UAE that you should consider. These free zones offer affordable licensing fees and other costs, making them an excellent option for businesses just starting.

Here is a list of the most affordable open zones in the UAE:

1. RAKEZ

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) is a free zone in the United Arab Emirates that is located in the center of Ras Al Khaimah emirate. It is a business powerhouse and leading industrial hub, also one of the most affordable free zones in the UAE.

RAKEZ is strategically positioned to facilitate the connection between investors and expanding markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, as well as South and Central Asia.

As a highly developed authority, RAKEZ places utmost importance on addressing the requirements of its investors and stakeholders through a system that encourages competition, swift customer service, and affordable solutions.

RAKEZ is home to almost 15,000 businesses. It is an excellent option for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs seeking an affordable and business-friendly free zone in the UAE.

2. Creative City

Creative City, founded in Fujairah in 2007, is a free zone offering affordable business solutions for various creative activities. The thriving media center provides a professional working environment for investors specializing in consulting, education, communications, marketing, music, entertainment, design, and technology.

Over time, Creative City has gained popularity among entrepreneurs and business owners who are seeking a simple and affordable way to establish their own company.

In other words, Creative City is an excellent place for creative businesses to start and grow, thanks to its reasonable costs, professional environment, and support services.

3. SPC

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone) is an excellent option for entrepreneurs setting up a business in the UAE. It offers business license activities, including publishing, printing, general trading, E-commerce, information technology businesses, and consultancies. Businesses can also combine activities from various sectors.

SPC Free Zone is an affordable option for entrepreneurs, with competitive licensing fees and other costs. It provides a variety of workspaces to meet the needs of different businesses, including modern offices, state-of-the-art warehouses, co-working spaces, and cafes.

4. STRIP

The SRTIP free zone is a unique business hub tailored to foreign investors’ needs in the science, research, and innovation sectors. Creative City’s appealing combination of budget-friendly business setup expenses and advantageous location makes it an attractive choice for businesses of any size.

In addition to its affordability and location, the SRTIP free zone also offers investors access to world-class facilities and business support services. The free zone’s modern office spaces, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and research and development facilities provide investors with the necessary resources to succeed. The free zone’s business support services, such as company formation assistance, visa processing, and marketing support, can help investors navigate the complex process of setting up and operating a business in the UAE.

The SRTIP free zone is also committed to fostering creativity and innovation among its investors. The free zone’s top-notch infrastructure and high-tech services can help businesses develop innovative systems and boost their global ranking in Sharjah.

5. IFZA

IFZA is a rapidly growing free zone in Dubai that is highly recommended for setting up a free zone company. It is one of the most affordable free zones in the UAE, and it does not require businesses to have a physical office or address. This makes it a good option for startups and businesses that operate remotely.

IFZA offers licenses for more than 2,000 different business activities, and it is one of the few free zones that allows businesses to combine consulting, services, and trading activities all in one license, provided that they are in a related business field. This flexibility can be useful to businesses that provide a variety of interrelated products and services.

Overall, IFZA is a good option for businesses of all sizes looking for a cost-effective, flexible, and business-friendly free zone in the UAE.

6. SHAMS

The Sharjah Media City Free Zone (SHAMS) is a free zone in the Emirate of Sharjah specifically designed for creative businesses. SHAMS offers businesses minimal upfront and renewal rates and allows businesses to register their company from anywhere in the world.

SHAMS offers a wide range of business activities under one license, and it also allows companies to have shareholders and employees as young as 19 and 18 years old, respectively. This is a unique advantage that is not found in other free zones.

All company documents in SHAMS are electronic, meaning businesses can print them anywhere without worrying about losing their originals. Documents can also be viewed anytime on the SHAMS website to verify authenticity.

7. Meydan

Meydan Free Zone (MFZ) is a strategic economic free zone in the heart of Dubai, UAE. Established in 2009, Creative City is conveniently situated close to Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City and the Dubai Logistics Corridor.

MFZ is desirable for businesses due to its proximity to multiple commercial hubs, including the Dubai International Airport. Various commercial developments surround it, such as state-of-the-art facilities, parks, hospitals, schools, villa communities, sports facilities, and entertainment hubs.

Setting up a company in MFZ has several advantages, particularly in terms of cost. MFZ has always been an affordable choice for expatriates, and its ideal location offers seamless connectivity to road, rail, and air transportation facilities. Companies can also import and export products and raw materials through the Emirates logistics corridor.

8. DUQE

The DUQE Free Zone is a game-changer in the realm of cost-effective business licenses in the UAE. It is the cheapest option in Dubai, with highly competitive free zone license fees. This can save businesses significant money, which can be used to invest in other growth areas, such as marketing, product development, and hiring.

In addition to its low costs, the DUQE Free Zone also offers a streamlined company registration process. This reduces bureaucratic hurdles and minimizes time-consuming procedures, allowing businesses to expedite their setup and start operating in a shorter timeframe. This can save enterprises additional costs associated with delays, such as rent and employee salaries.

In general, the DUQE Free Zone is a great choice for businesses of any scale seeking an affordable, business-friendly, and streamlined way to establish a company in Dubai.

Set Up Your Business in One of These Cost-Effective Free Zones with ExpressPRO

Whether you are a startup seeking affordable solutions, a small or medium-sized enterprise planning to expand, or a multinational corporation aiming to establish a regional presence, a suitable UAE Free Zone caters to your business requirements.

Dubai provides abundant opportunities for businesses to flourish and succeed due to its dynamic and favorable business environment. Establishing your business in one of Dubai’s Free Zones can be a strategic decision, allowing you to access the extensive potential of the Middle Eastern, African, and South Asian markets.

If you are ready to set up your business in one of Dubai’s thriving Free Zones, let ExpressPRO assist you. With our expertise in Dubai company setup services, we handle the complexities, enabling you to focus on what truly matters – your business.

Set up Your UAE Company with ExpressPRO

Please fill out the form below so our team can get in touch with you and guide you through the complete process.

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Mohsin Khan
Mohsin Khan
15:52 18 May 24
First of all thanks to Express PRO to have a man like Mr.Rohit I know he is giving me the right direction towards reaching my dreams. He is very professional, friendly, helpful and no matter how many... times I ask question they never failed to answer my concern and explained all the details that i need. I would strongly recommend their service if you want a better future here in Dubai. No words can explain how lucky I am to find a consultation company Expess Pro like this. All transaction were smooth and easy. Thank you again Mr.Rohit for all the help.They are truly knowledgeable, skilled and has empathy throughout the process. No doubt, the company’s success and the recommendations of their clients speaks for itself.read more
Sajjid Patel
Sajjid Patel
14:12 17 May 24
Rohit provided a very quick and efficient service to help us renew our company license. A big thanks to Rohit and the ExpressPro team for their thorough professionalism.
Muhammad sarfaraz uddin
Muhammad sarfaraz uddin
12:02 16 May 24
I recently contacted ExpressPRO to set up my business in Dubai and I couldn't be happier with their service. The entire process was smooth and efficient, thanks to their professional and... knowledgeable team. They guided me through every step, from company formation and trade license acquisition to opening a bank account.read more
Plat E
Plat E
07:51 14 May 24
This is the first time we setup business in Dubai. The business setup was done smoothly. When we moved forward to the visa processing, initially the information given to us was not been communicated... correctly by another department. Hassan had demonstrated his professionalism to make the process done in proper manner. Despite some delays in the process, which were entirely outside of Hassan’s control, he managed to navigate these challenges with grace and persistence. He helps us to solve all the problems and ensure everything was in order, his efforts did not go unnoticed. We highly recommend him for his outstanding service and dedication to his clients. Thank you once again for your helps!read more
Oriane International
Oriane International
08:00 07 May 24
Prompt reply and coordination and excellent services by Irshad Ismail. He assisted very professionally and helped me to get my license on time.
黃愛麗
黃愛麗
07:55 24 Apr 24
I am very lucky to met you, Hassan. Throughout the entire application process, I encountered issues like my name being written in reverse order, even during the medical check-up, you were online to... answer my questions in real-time. You were attentive to my worries even on weekends and during the Ramadan period. When Dubai faced its first major flood in 75 years, I still received your immediate response. Your dedication is truly commendable.The process for obtaining residency in Dubai is now longer due to the increasing population influx. Fortunately, applying through ExpressPro has been a breeze - fast, efficient, professional, and with prompt responses that provide peace of mind. I highly recommend this company. Once again, thank you, Hassan. May Allah bless youread more
Mj Tolentino
Mj Tolentino
13:45 23 Apr 24
As for my experience with the Express Pro company, they were very prompt in sharing updates of what is happening and the progress of documents.Double thumbs up to Mr. Paul's assistance on making... things happen at the promised certain time. We made the right choice coming to you and Thank you for your support. All the best to Express Pro.read more
Sheen Gurrib
Sheen Gurrib
10:02 22 Apr 24
I had such a smooth and quick experience. Hassan was so helpful, always keeping me updated and making sure it was done super fast! Strongly recommend!
Alessandro Nadalin (Alex)
Alessandro Nadalin (Alex)
13:06 08 Apr 24
Decided to process some of the visas in our family through them, they were extremely helpful and got everything done easily 🙂 I would gladly recommend Mahmoud Hafez, who we worked with
Erika Matullano
Erika Matullano
12:05 03 Apr 24
I recently had the pleasure of utilizing the exceptional services of ExpressPro for my business setup in Dubai, and I must say, it was an outstanding experience from start to finish.Professional and... Knowledgeable StaffI want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Paul Pasumbal, whose exceptional patience and dedication made the entire process smooth and hassle-free. His prompt responses to all my queries, unwavering support, and expert guidance were truly commendable. His in-depth knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile exemplify the professionalism at ExpressPro.I also want to acknowledge Mr. Hassan and Ms. Girlie for their efficient handling of all my documents. Their expertise and attention to detail were instrumental in ensuring a seamless process.Efficient Business Setup and Legal ExpertiseExpressPro.ae demonstrated a remarkable level of efficiency and expertise in navigating the legal and administrative procedures related to business setup in the UAE. Mr. Hassan for emailing me all the forms needed for the processSeamless Company Formation ProcessThe entire team at ExpressPro, especially Paul Pasumbal, Girlie, and Hassan Ali, delivered nothing short of professionalism, helpfulness, and extensive knowledge throughout the company formation process. Their dedication and support were instrumental in making my entrepreneurial journey in Dubai a reality.Expert Advice and Exceptional SupportI cannot thank Mr. Paul Pasumbal enough for his unwavering commitment to addressing all my concerns and providing expert advice at every step of the company formation process. His wealth of knowledge and genuine willingness to assist made a significant difference in my experience with ExpressPro.In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend ExpressPro to anyone seeking business setup services in Dubai. Their exemplary team, led by individuals like Mr. Paul Pasumbal, Ms Girlie, and Mr. Hassan Ali, sets a benchmark for professionalism, expertise, and customer-centric approach. Thank you for making my entrepreneurial journey a seamless and gratifying experience.read more
Ibrahim MOHAMED IBRAHIM
Ibrahim MOHAMED IBRAHIM
13:02 19 Mar 24
very efficient and knowledgeable about procedure and how-to of the legal and administrations procedures in the UAE. Hassan and Rohit have provided me with excellent guidance for my company set-up and... employee legislation process. I clearly recommend them with no reserve.read more
Umair Khalid
Umair Khalid
09:57 19 Mar 24
It’s been a good experience.
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