Where to Setup a Company in Dubai?

Over the last three decades, Dubai has transformed itself from being an oil-dependent economy to the business hub of the Middle East. The major industries in Dubai are real estate, tourism, financial services, and aviation. 

These and many others are accentuated by the presence of sundry free zones in the emirate. When it comes to setting up a company in Dubai, you can go for either a mainland company or a free zone. 

Free zone companies have the benefits of no tax, 100% foreign ownership, and full repatriation of capital & profits. Whole free zone companies are bound to certain predefined geographical areas; mainland companies can be set up anywhere outside these free zones.

How to Set Up a Business in Dubai?


Here is a list of locations you can consider for business setup in Dubai.

Free Zone Company

The major free zones in Dubai are:

  • Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) is located in the Jebel Ali area at the far western end of Dubai. It is the world’s largest free zone, especially suited for manufacturing and trading companies.
  • Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) is located at the Dubai International Airport and is ideal for aviation & aerospace, IT, telecommunications, electronics, logistics, and luxury goods industries.
  • For setting up a company in the media industry, Dubai Media City (DMC) is the place to be. It is a hub for news agencies, advertising companies, and broadcasting firms.
  •  Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a global financial hub, housing multiple financial institutions and multinational companies. It has its own independent judicial system, regulatory body, financial exchange, and legal framework.
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is located near the Dubai International Airport and is ideal for technology companies in Dubai.
  • Dubai Healthcare City (DHC) was established to meet the growing demand for healthcare services in the UAE. It has several clinics, hospitals, outpatient medical centres, and home to thousands of licensed medical professionals.

Mainland Company

A mainland company in Dubai can carry out business across the UAE, but permits a maximum foreign shareholder equity capped at 49%. The most favorable places to establish a mainland company in Dubai are:

  • Business Bay Business Bay is centrally located, near Burj Khalifa, and spans an area of over 7 square kilometers, known for hotels and resorts. It has a well-connected network of roads and witnesses heavy footfall. Many international corporations have their offices in Business Bay, and this place is ideal for opening a company in the hospitality industry.
  • Sheikh Zayed Road Sheikh Zayed Road cuts across the centre of Dubai and is also one of the most scenic public places – decked with high-rise buildings on both sides of its highways. It has the Emirates Towers and Dubai World Trade Centre on it and is known for containing a plethora of office spaces.
  • Deira is the oldest part of Dubai, housing the majority of the laborers here. Employing a workforce for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is very convenient at Deira. Furthermore, this place is known for its plenteous gold souks.
  • Al Quoz Located between Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road, Al Quoz is the manufacturing hub of Dubai since it has many warehouses and relatively low land cost.
  • Al Qusais Located near Deira, Al Qusais has spacious apartments with low rent. It is divided into a residential and an industrial region. It is in close proximity to the Dubai International Airport and the neighboring city of Sharjah, and suitable for starting a logistics business.
  • Bur Dubai Located along the Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai is known for its textile industry and computer accessories business. One can find many expats from Asia here, in addition to several dainty restaurants and cafeterias.

Setting up a business in Dubai promises several lucrative prospects, given the city’s commitment to economic diversification and sustainable development. And indubitably, location is the most important factor to keep in mind while starting a company here. Commitbiz supports companies globally to set up their business in Dubai, through services like business incorporation, registration, accounting, bookkeeping, and legal advisory. Our team of business consultants has years of expertise in company formation in Dubai, which can aid your business in gaining a robust foothold in this growing economy. Contact us for business setup services in Dubai, and we’d be glad to assist you.


What does the average Dubai Mainland license cost?

The average cost is around AED 10000 (US$ 2722.50)

What is the average time required for getting a UAE residence entry permit?

It’ll require around 5-7 working days.

What is the average Golden Visa price in UAE?

AED 650 (US$ 176.96) if you’re opting for a 5-year plan. And AED 1150 (US$ 313.09) for 10-year plans.

What is the average time required for registering a Dubai mainland company?

Around 4 weeks.