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Dubai Business Setup & RAK Offshore Company Information

DWC Free Zone Business Setup

The DWC Free Zone, formerly known as Dubai World Central, was launched in 2006 with Al Maktoum International Airport at its core. Dubai South is located near major trans-emirate road networks in the UAE, the Jebel Ali Port and the Al Maktoum International Airport and serves as a logistics and trade hub in the region.


  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits allowed  
  • No personal income tax
  • No corporate tax
  • Flexible office solutions such as serviced desks/offices
  • Competitive governmental prices on incorporation and visa
  • Entitled to Tax Residency Certificate
  • No public disclosure of information

Significant features

  • Time to Incorporate- 4-7 working days
  • Tax Rate VAT at 5%
  • Shareholders 1- 3 for companies with shared desk or shared office and 1- 6 for companies with permanent office
  • Residency Requirements - Yes, for Manager only Share Capital AED 300,000
  • Audit Requirement - Yes, must be filed with Registrar at time of license renewal
  • Director 1-3 for companies with shared desk or shared office and 1-6 for companies with permanent office

Eligible Entities

  • Limited liability company as a newly formed entity with single or multiple shareholders
  • Limited liability company as a wholly owned subsidiary of local or foreign company
  • Branch of local or foreign company

DWC Free Zone Company License Categories

  • Commercial License – allows the holder to carry out specified commercial services including general trading and logistics services;
  • Service License – allows the holder to carry out services specified in the License within the DWC Free Zone and elsewhere in the UAE;
  • Industrial License – allows the holder to carry out specified light manufacturing activities; and
  • Education License – allows the holder to carry out educational and social services, educational aid training, and educational consultancy services

Types of Activities

DWC is able to license most of the activities that are allowed by the Dubai Department of Economic Development.

How many activities can i have under one license?

A Free Zone enterprise can have up to 5 related activities in the DWC Business Centre and up to 10 related activities in the Aviation District and Logistic District. A trading activity and a service activity cannot be issued under the same license.

Can i carry out business activities outside of the DWC free zone with my DWC license?

Yes, in limited cases. For example, a company with a service license could provide consultancy services to clients outside of the DWC Free Zone and a company providing logistics services under a commercial license could pick up and deliver (but not sell) products within the UAE. However, trading activities under a commercial license only permit the holder to sell completed products in the UAE market through a local registered distributor or a commercial agent in the UAE.

Residency Visa

A DWC Free Zone Company may apply for shareholder and/or employee residence visas after receiving its license. The residence permit is valid for three years for the shareholders and for two years for employees. The number of visas that may be applied for by the company depends on the size of the office (one visa per 9 sq. m.). A Flexi Office package offers up to two residence visas.

Flexi Office Package and Visas 

  Smart Desk Permanent Smart Desk Smart Office Permanent Smart Office
Activities allowed 3 3 5 5
Visas allowed 2 2 3 3
Hours/ week 5 Exclusive base 5 Exclusive base
Cost of lease facility (AED) 16,900 31,900 26,900 72,000
Basic Company set up Package start from AED 31,000 and include company incorporation expenses and government fees (one-off), licensing, immigration cards and office rental for one year.

If you're interested in setting up a DWC company, do contact us.

Do you wish to stay informed?

Thank you for your interest in Freemont Group, the specialists in company formation, asset protection and legal and advisory . Feel free to contact us with any inquiry you might have. We will provide you with a free initial consultation, and a customized solution for your personal situation.