Free Zones in the UAE for Trading, Logistics, Shipping, and Warehouse Business

by Zaara 09, Dec 2020

The United Arab Emirates has established itself as a global shipping hub. Transport and logistics business is also considered as an advanced part of the UAE free zones these days. Due to its strategic location, the country is a significant trade link between the east and the West. Therefore the UAE’s trading, logistics, shipping, and warehouse business are said to be one of the busiest in the world.

Key UAE Free Zones for Trading, Shipping, Logistics, and Warehouse Business

The top five free zones for the businesses as mentioned above are -

  1. Sharjah Airport International Freezone (SAIF), Sharjah 
  2. Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA), Sharjah
  3. Jebel Ali Freezone (JAFZA), Dubai
  4. Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), Abu Dhabi
  5. Ajman Freezone (AFZ), Ajman

Let us understand all the activities carried out in these free zones one-by-one.

1. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF)

SAIF zone in Sharjah is one of the most exclusive free zones in the UAE. It is widely known for its symbol of efficient operations and access to over two billion customers in the Middle Eastern and North African regions.

Some of the advantages of business setup in SAIF Zone are -

  • 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of capital and profits
  • A well-built resource-rich strategic location
  • Availability of choice of location for business and plots in different sized pre built warehouses and office spaces
  • On-site worker accommodations, sponsorship, and visas for all staff members
  • A business license issued within 24 hours

Facilities offered by SAIF-Zone

  • World-Class Offices
  • Industrial Parks
  • Land on Lease
  • Prebuilt Warehouses
  • Temporary Warehouses
  • SAIF Zone Labour Accommodation

All we can say is, company formation in the SAIF zone is the centerpiece of the Sharjah government’s commitment to free trade.

2. Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA)

Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah is becoming one of the cornerstones of UAE industrial development. The free zone manages approximately 22 million square meters of prime industrial and commercial land and a 14-meter deep Hamriyah port with scope for expansion. HFZA in Sharjah is playing a leading role as the pre-eminent industrial base of the UAE, with its unparalleled strategic location between 3 continents, assisting a growing market of 1.5 billion people.

Benefits Offered by Hamriyah Free Zone Authority are -

  • 100% foreign ownership and full repatriation of capital and profits
  • No customs duty
  • No currency restriction
  • Affordable cost of living
  • Abundant and reasonably priced energy
  • Exclusively designed and furnished executive office suites

Different Zones in HFZ Sharjah

  • Hamriyah SME Zone
  • Hamriyah Logistic Village
  • Hamriyah MB Zone
  • Hamriyah Industrial Zone

Hamriyah Free Zone enjoys many such advantages, including access to the UAE and GCC markets. For any investor aspiring to set up a business in the UAE free zones, access to different markets is essential, which is what Hamriyah provides.

3. Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)

Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai is one of the most competitive locations to set up your business and grow. Everything at Jebel Ali Free Zone has been designed with the unique needs of trading and manufacturing companies in mind. It has manifested itself as a globally renowned industrial and commercial hub, attracting crème de la crème investors from the Middle East region, Europe, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, America, and other countries owing to its unique value-added propositions.

Benefits of Business Setup in JAFZA

  • A customized platform for worldwide connectivity
  • Connections with a network of business leaders with a history of success
  • Access to abundant energy makes this place cost-effective for businesses to conduct production operations
  • Presence of ready-made factories, convention centers, warehouses, on-site residential complexes, and pre-fitted offices
  • The smooth operating environment created around simplifying your operations, all within the vibrant market of Dubai that supports business development while offering one of the most desirable places to live

Other than being one of the world’s most efficient sea-air hubs, the different characteristics that make JAFZA Dubai free zone an ideal location for business formation are:

  • No paid upfront share capital requirement
  • Land, warehousing, and office space available
  • Access to a consumer market of over two billion
  • Facilities like the convention center and on-site residential complexes

4. Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD)

KIZAD is intrinsically linked to Khalifa Port, one of the world’s most advanced deep-sea ports and the region’s first semi-automated port.

KIZAD empowers businesses with excellent access to markets through a world-class transportation infrastructure with multimodal connectivity by road, ports, rail, and air networks. Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone (Khalifa Port FTZ) is most suitable for trade, logistics, and manufacturing.

Advantages Provided by KIZAD Free Zone to Businesses are -

  • Speedy procedures of document screening and provision of license and certificates
  • Zero personal and corporate tax
  • 100% repatriation of business profits and capital
  • Prebuilt office and warehouse facility
  • Industrial synergy

KIZAD has a primary objective of attracting and encouraging foreign investors. This free zone is among the best spots for starting your industry or business firm.

5. Ajman Freezone (AFZ)

Ajman free zone is strategically located at the Arabian Gulf entrance and is well placed to serve Eastern and Western markets. Ajman’s proximity to Dubai and Sharjah provides easy accessibility to the two international airports and four ports. The Free Zone is home to over 1400 companies approximately. Some of its features include -

  • Economic wage structure and easy access to the vast workforce
  • Total elimination of all service charges and hidden fees
  • Lease period up to 20 years
  • Types of company activities include manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging, distribution, import/export, storage services

Benefits of Business Setup in Ajman Free Zone are -

  • Companies in Ajman Free Zone enjoy total exemption from customs duty for goods and services
  • Ajman Free Zone Authority has set business-friendly laws for companies
  • Ajman Free Zone has pre-built offices, smart offices, and warehouses to facilitate companies
  • Companies enjoy land leasing for 20 years, renewable for another 20 years
  • The energy supply is abundant and cheap

Across various Freezone, the business incorporation process varies, and in stock, there is a requirement of some paperwork, document submission, clearance certificates, etc. Also, based on business activity, there are specific regulations too.

Hence, for setting up your business in the UAE, the best is to team up with a registered business consultant like Commitbiz. The seasoned business consultants would better assist you with the different processes and complexity and result in a hassle-free business setup of your dream company.

Contact us today for more information.


Why do foreign investors prefer freezone for trading in UAE?

 Foreign investors choose free zones in the UAE because the freezone provide:

  • 100 percent foreign ownership

  • Zero income tax

  • Full profit repatriation

  • Simple business formation

  • Flexible office space

Why is the UAE freezone suitable for shipping business?

The UAE freezone is suitable for shipping because it does not require any share capital.

What types of licenses are required for businesses in the Ajman free zone?

 The types of licenses required for businesses in the Ajman free zone are, 

  • Trading License

  • E-commerce License

  • Professional Services License

  • Industrial License

  • National Industrial License

  • Offshore License

Which is the best free zone for trading, logistics and shipping business?

Ajman freezone is the best free zone for trading, logistics and shipping business.

Why is Ajman freezone considered the best fit for the trading, logistics and shipping business?

Ajman freezone is the best fit for the trading, logistics, and shipping industries because it offers investors quick business setup and license issuance. 


What are the services provided by Ajman freezone for trading, logistics and shipping business?

The services provided by Ajman freezone for trading, logistics, and shipping business are,

  • High-quality business support infrastructure.

  • Multi-purpose smart warehouses of various sizes.

  • Access to the Ajman Port and other major Seaports.