Dubai Media City (DMC) was established in January 2000, in the reflection of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the UAE, to transform Dubai into a knowledge-based society and economy. As part of this vision, DMC was set up to create a world-class environment for global and regional media companies as well as independent media professionals in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Media City (DMC) is operated under the jurisdiction of Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA), now renamed as Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) and is managed by TECOM Investments, a Dubai based company and a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, which is dedicated towards knowledge and life-improving industries. Companies of every kind in Dubai Media City have been operating with collective synergy, including media and marketing services, printing and publishing, music, film, new media, leisure and entertainment, broadcasting and information agencies.
Dubai Media City offers a supportive platform for media-oriented companies to display their products and services, therefore, since its launch in 2000, more than 1,400 companies have set up their operations in this free zone including global media giants like Bertelsmann, BBC, MBC, CNN, Reuters, CNBC, Forbes, Sony and Showtime, among others.
Why Dubai Media City for Business Setup?
Dubai Media City provides a variety of business clusters for companies to start their operations along with its business-friendly environment, energetic networking atmosphere and top-notch logistic facilities to Dubai Media City companies (media and advertising). Dubai Media City is known as the ideal media hub for the following reasons:
1. Unique Cluster Environment
Dubai Media City offers a unique collective environment where a work campus is dedicated to the businesses falling under a specific industry value chain so that they can interact and collaborate effectively towards a common business goal.
2. World-Class Infrastructure
Dubai Media City offers Metro Ethernet environment, high-speed data, digital voice services, latest technology and community infrastructure at competitive rates to foster cluster growth.
3. Free Zone Status
- Freedom of 100% foreign ownership
- 0% personal income tax and corporate tax for at least 50 years, which is renewable further
- Total exemption on customs duties on import and/or re-export of goods and services
- No currency restrictions
- No need for minimum capital investment
- No restriction on hiring foreign employees
4. Business-Friendly Environment
- Hassle-free and simplified incorporation process
- Streamlined legal framework and business-friendly company laws
- 24-hour visa service
- Single-window operations for all government services like postal services, licensing, registration, visa, traffic, etc.
- Faster immigration process and rapid access to knowledge workers
Business Segments in Dubai Media City
The Dubai government supports forms of business ventures under its jurisdiction and in Dubai Media City, there are business sectors you can choose from:
- Advertising & Communication
- Business Information
- Event Management
- Event Support Services
- Media and Marketing Services
- Media Support Services
- Media Consultancy
- New Media
- Non-Profit Association
Types of Permissible Legal Entities in Dubai Media City
An individual or corporate can register their business in this Dubai Free Zone as one of the following legal entities:
1. Free Zone Establishment (FZE or FZ-LLC)
A business entity with one shareholder
2. Free Zone Company (FZC/FZCO)
A business entity with 2 to 5 shareholders
3. Branch of a Foreign Company
For an applicant of foreign nationality
4. Branch of a Local Company
For a UAE registered corporate person to apply for company setup
For a person wishing to dispense a certain service, falling under freelance permit, under one’s own name
Licensing Options for Dubai Media City Companies
Once you have decided your business segment and type of legal entity you going to choose for your business idea, here are a few business licenses you can opt for:
- Business Information Services License
- Consultancy and Retail License
- Event Leisure License
- Media Marketing Services License
- New Media Media Support Service License
Process of Setting Up a Business in Dubai Media City Free Zone
The main authority responsible for company registration and licensing in Dubai Media City is Dubai Creative Cluster Authority (DCCA). The company registration process might differ from company to company; it depends on the type of entity you choose.
1. Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC)
The procedure for setting up a Free Zone LLC in Dubai Media City is the same, whether you are an individual or a corporate person as shareholder. There is a 3-step procedure which needs to be followed in order:
Step 1: Application for company registration and submission of the following documents for approval to the DCCA
|Individual as Shareholder||Corporate Person as Shareholder|
|Application form for the license||Application form for the license|
|Business plan||Business plan|
|Valid passport copies of the shareholders, manager and director(s)||Valid passport copies of the shareholders, manager and director(s)|
|-||Copy of the certificate of incorporation|
Step 2: Submission of the necessary documentation and making the requested payments. The document lists for FZ-LLC with individual as shareholder and with a corporate person as shareholder are given below:
|Individual as Shareholder||Corporate Person as Shareholder|
|Application for registration||Application for registration|
|CV of shareholder(s)||Company Incorporation Certificate|
|Bank reference letter for shareholder(s)||Certificate of Continuity or Existence or Good Standing|
|Resolution for the incorporation of FZ-LLC||Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) of the parent company|
|No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for the manager from the current UAE sponsor (if applicable)||Resolution for incorporation of FZ-LLC|
|Registry Identification Code (RIC) form for the shareholder(s), director(s) and manager||NOC for the manager from the current UAE sponsor|
|Proof of share capital from a bank or a deposit receipt in trust account||RIC form for the shareholder(s), director(s) and manager|
|-||Proof of share capital from a bank or a deposit receipt in trust account|
Step 3: Signing and collection of all the certificates, license, lease, MOA and AOA
- Sign and collect the lease
- Sign and collect the Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Collect the license and Certificate of Incorporation
2. Branch of a Foreign Company
The steps for setting up the branch of a foreign company are the same as that for an FZ-LLC, but the documents to be submitted in step 2 are:
- Application for registration
- Trade license of the parent company issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED)
- Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) of the parent company
- Resolution for the establishment of the branch
- No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the current UAE sponsor
- Registry Identification Code (RIC) form for the manager
3. Branch of a UAE Company
There is a change in the procedure to set up a branch of a local (UAE registered) company. The steps are as follows:
Step 1: Submit an application form for a license, business plan, and UAE license copy. It should be noted here that companies that have been carrying out their business operations for at least 2 years will qualify for setting a branch.
Step 2: Submit the required documents, select a commercial space, and pay the requisite fee. The documents required here are the same as the ones mentioned for the branch of a foreign company.
Step 3: Sign and collect your lease and license.
4. Freelance Permit
A freelancer is a person who is self-employed and provides service to different companies or firms. A freelance permit allows a freelancer to carry out his or her professional activities without any hassle or government interruption. Here is the procedure to acquire a freelance permit in Dubai Media City:
Step 1: Submit:
- An application form for a license
- Business plan
- Valid passport copy
- Personal reference letters (minimum 3)
- Sample of work or portfolio
to the DCCA.
Step 2: Submit the undermentioned documents, select suitable a commercial space, and then pay the required fee.
- Application for registration
- One's CV
- Bank reference letter
- Registry Identification Code (RIC) form
Step 3: Sign the occupant agreement and collect one's freelance permit.
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