New Initiative by DED Permits Freezone Companies to Operate in the Mainland

by Zaara 21, May 2019

As it is already known, there are two main jurisdictions through which one can start a business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - the free zone and the mainland. Both jurisdictions have advantages and disadvantages depending on the activity and business type. 

While a Mainland Company registered with DED can carry on business anywhere in the world, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Free Zone business entity operation has been restricted in the respective Free Zone. But looks like things are changing slowly.

The New Initiative for All Dubai Freezone Company Setup

Earlier, as the business grew, a free zone company could expand to the mainland. But, they had to consider the option of either wholly restructuring to the mainland or having a branch on the continent. 

And as per the law, a free zone company had to obtain the necessary approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED) to expand its business operations to the mainland by applying to set up a suitable business structure. Now, there has been a new development under this law. 

A new initiative has been taken by the Department of Economic Development, according to which all the free zone companies operating inside Dubai can apply for a permit to operate their business in Dubai mainland without restructuring or opening a branch. 

This permit is issued only to companies operating in Dubai free zone. It must also be noted that the license is available only for the activities mentioned below. Other activities cannot apply for such a permit.

Abu Dhabi’s Similar Move

Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, has also taken a similar initiative of allowing a dual license for its business entities to operate in free zones and across the mainland. This is a good movie to diversify the economy, reduce the economic boost on oil reserves, attract FDI and improve Emirates and the world economy.

Both these two initiatives will raise the demand for companies set up in UAE as the companies registered in free zones can now bid for business in the mainland zone. 

Permissible Activities for the FZE Companies in Dubai

The following activities are granted permission to obtain the permit and implement the new law:

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Accounting and Office Machinery Rental
  • Aircraft Cleaning Services
  • Aircraft Upholstery Services
  • Boat Upholstery Services
  • Business Events Management
  • Cargo Loading and Unloading Services
  • Cost Control and Risk Management Services
  • Cyber Security Consultancy
  • Data Entry Services
  • Documents Destroying Storage
  • Electronic Chips Programming
  • Exhibition Organization Management
  • Facilities Management Services
  • Facilities Resource Management Consultancy
  • Feasibilities Study Consultancy
  • Festival Organization Management
  • Financial Instruments Quotation Services
  • Fine Arts Consultancies
  • Health Consultancies
  • Health Food Consultant
  • Health Planning Consultancies
  • Information Technology Consultants
  • Internet Consultancy
  • Logistics Consultancy
  • Management Consultancies
  • Marketing Research and Consultancies
  • Media Studies and Consultancies
  • Network Consultancies
  • Noise Control, Vibration, and Acoustics Consultancy
  • Occupational Safety Training
  • Parliamentary Consultancy
  • Pharmaceutical Consultancies
  • Product Design Services
  • Project Management Services
  • Public Networking Services
  • Quality and Standardization Consultants
  • Radiology Centers Consultancy
  • Science and Technology Consultancy
  • Sourcing and Procurement Consultant
  • Spa and Fitness Clubs Consultant
  • Technical Installation Consultancies.

Documents Required for Obtaining the Permit

The following papers are necessary:

  • License copy
  • NOC from the owner of the property/building.

Submit the above documents along with a respective fee. Once paid, you are all set to go.

If you plan to set up your business in UAE, this could be the best time to take your first move. Commitbiz has always been dealing with international clients helping them establish their business units, and will be your helping hand throughout the entire business setup process.

For more information, do contact us. We’d be glad to assist you.


What initiative has been taken by Abu Dhabi?

The capital of UAE has taken the initiative of allowing a dual license for its business entities to operate in both free zones and across the mainland.

What are the documents required to obtain the permit for the new law?

The following papers are necessary:

  • License copy
  • NOC from the owner of the property/building.

Do all freezone business activities would be able to operate from the mainland?

No, only the permitted activities are allowed to operate from the mainland.

Can the festival organization management companies follow the new permit?


Are the accounting and bookkeeping freezone firms allowed to operate from the mainland?