Dubai Design District (D3) Free Zone

Located in the heart of the city, Dubai Design District was launched in the year 2013 by the UAE’s Prime Minister and the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The vision behind launching the Dubai Design District free zone was to build a tailor-made design hub that would foster emerging local talent and provide a home for creative thinkers. It is a global design and fashion hub and taps into the huge potential of the luxury fashion and interior design industry. Also known as D3, the free zone is a home to companies large and small, from local boutique design studios to prestigious global fashion houses. The market plays a key role behind the popularity of D3, with the fashion and design industries booming in the region. As for its geographical location, the Design District Dubai is next to the Business Bay area of Dubai in the center of the city, close to the Dubai Mall, hence very strategically placed.

The Dubai Design District (D3) is regulated by Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, an independent regulatory platform. This free zone is certainly a one-of-a-kind ecosystem that nourishes the up-and-coming brands in fashion, retail and luxury.

Benefits of Setting Up a Business in Dubai Design District Free Zone

  • 0% personal income tax
  • 0% corporate tax for the first 50 years
  • No restrictions on hiring foreign clients
  • No currency restrictions
  • No limit on profits and capital repatriation
  • Ideal for start-ups
  • Simple laws and legal framework
  • Special licensing for design and fashion with freelance permits for artists and designers
  • Designers from all over the world located in one area, collaborating and creating promising opportunities for new talent
  • 100% foreign ownership

Types of Entities in Dubai Design District Free Zone

1. Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC)

This is a wholly owned company or, in simple words, and independent legal entity. This type of entity is required to have at least 1 director.

2. Branch Office of a UAE Company

This is not a separate legal entity and conducts all or some of the operations inherent in its parent company’s business.

3. Branch Office of a Foreign Company

This is 51% locally owned with no prerequisite for a minimum share capital. A branch office may conduct all or some of the operations inherent in its parent’s business.

4. Freelance Permit

Having this type of license offers an individual the ability to operate as a freelance professional. It enables the practitioner to conduct a business under the birth name, as opposed to a brand name.

Types of Licenses Available in Dubai Design District Free Zone

There are 2 types of licenses available in Dubai District Free Zone:

  1. Commercial License
  2. Manufacturing License

How to Set Up a Business in Dubai Design District Free Zone?

There are a lot of investors looking to set up a business in Dubai free zone known for design and innovation-oriented people – the D3 free zone. Besides, who wouldn’t want to join a community that provides space, collaboration and opportunities for creative minds across the region and attracts exceptional talent from around the world? The UAE has been carefully developing a creative ecosystem that surpasses the expectations attached to a typical creative neighborhood. The procedure to set up a business in this free zone is the same as in any of the other free zones. To incorporate a company in Dubai Design District free zone, you need to have any one of the above-mentioned licenses.

Procedure to Set Up a Business in Dubai Design District Free Zone

There are 3 basic steps to get a license in any of the free zones. The only thing that changes with every free zone is the number of documents required. The steps are:

1. Submit the application

You are required to collect an application form to register your business and get the license, after which you should fill the form promptly and submit it to Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

2. Submit necessary documents and make the required payment

The next step is to collect the required documents as mentioned in the form, completely signed and notarized, and submit them to the authorities. They will issue you with a challan mentioning the amount to be paid. Pay the same at the counter.

3. Collect your registration certificate and license

After paying the fees, your registration request will be processed. It will take around 2-4 weeks for the documents to be approved. After the approval, you can collect your registration certificate along with a valid license.

Documents Required to Set Up a Business in Dubai Design District Free Zone

  1. Company registration application
  2. Details of shareholder(s)
  3. Copy of the business plan
  4. Original Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
  5. Board resolution
  6. Passport copy and specimen signature of the manager and the director
  7. No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from residency visa sponsor
  8. Proof of share capital

The cost structure to set up a business in D3 is as follows:

Description Cost in AED
License Fee 15,000
Registration 3,510
Office Space Fee 110 per sq. ft to 165 per sq. ft
Office Deposit Equal to 3 months' rent

Why Set Up a Business in Dubai Design District Free Zone?

Dubai Design District free zone is a place where bohemians can live, work, and play. Where aspiring designers can cut their teeth and learn their trade, where local talent can work along with international designers, artists, and fashion houses. It is, at its heart, a place where creative minds can come together to realize their dreams. For the thousands of artists, fashion designers, and creative minds across the region, there has been a desperate need for a creative living community, and they have gotten it through Design District free zone. Apart from these benefits, other reasons as to why one should set up business in this free zone are:

  • D3 is a world-class business hub
  • It has a full range of business activity options
  • It boasts state-of-the-art, cutting-edge offices to cater to a designer’s need
  • It has facilities for studios and workshops

Setting up a business in Dubai and especially Dubai Design District can be an overwhelming process for the uninitiated, but a business consultant can make this process easier, smooth, and stress-free. We at Commitbiz aim to simplify the business license and business registration process for a company or entrepreneur seeking to start a business in Dubai in an efficient and effective way. Our team of experts, having specialized expertise in executing the legal processes and documentation in Dubai, is fully dedicated to helping in your business setup process at every step. Contact us today, even it’s for a friendly advice.


When was the Dubai Design District launched?

It was launched in the year 2013.

Which independent platform regulates the D3 free zone?

It is regulated by Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

Which type of Dubai Design District license can be obtained here?

We can get the following licenses:

  • Commercial License

  • Manufacturing License.

Which are the permitted entities for incorporating Dubai Design District companies?

The entity types are as follows:

  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company

  • Branch Office of UAE Company

  • Branch Office of a Foreign Company

  • Freelance Permit.

Do we require a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) for company formation in D3 Dubai?

Yes, the NOC is required from the residency visa sponsor.