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

Thanks to financial investment, digital acceleration, and ambitious ambitions, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is solidifying its position as a global hub for entrepreneurship and investment. Free Zones are strategic economic locations in Dubai that offer lucrative advantages such as exemptions from customs duties and tax incentives.

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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