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Differences Between A Mainland And Free Zone Company In UAE

Differences Between A Mainland And Free Zone Company In UAE

In the UAE, Mainland companies and Free Zone companies are two different types of legal entities that businesses can choose to set up.


Here are the main differences between mainland and free zone companies:


Mainland Companies:


* A Mainland company is registered with the Department of Economic Development (DED) and is subject to the UAE Federal Law No. 2 of 2015, which governs the commercial companies in the UAE.

* Mainland companies must have a UAE national as a sponsor or a partner, who holds at least 51% of the shares in the company.

* Mainland companies can do business anywhere within the UAE and with any company in the UAE or abroad.

* Mainland companies are subject to UAE corporate tax, which is currently set at 30%.

* Mainland companies must pay customs duties on imported goods.

* Mainland companies are required to rent an office space in the UAE and have a physical presence in the country.

* Mainland companies are required to obtain employment visas for their employees.


Free Zone Companies:


* A Free Zone company is registered with a specific free zone authority and is governed by the regulations of that free zone.

* Free Zone companies can be 100% foreign-owned and do not require a local sponsor or partner.

* Free Zone companies can only do business within the free zone or with companies outside of the UAE.

* Free Zone companies are generally exempt from corporate tax for up to 50 years.

* Free Zone companies can import goods without paying any customs duties.

* Free Zone companies are not required to rent a physical office space and can operate out of a virtual office or a shared workspace.

* Free Zone companies can apply for special free zone visas that allow them to employ foreign workers without having to go through the usual visa process.

In summary, Mainland companies offer more flexibility in terms of location and business activities, but Free Zone companies offer certain tax and customs benefits. It is important to consider these differences when deciding which type of company to establish in the UAE.


List of Mainland Areas in UAE


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is made up of seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah.

Here is a list of the mainland areas in each emirate:

1. Abu Dhabi: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi Island, and the Western Region.

2. Dubai: Dubai City, Jebel Ali, Al Quoz, Al Barsha, Deira, Bur Dubai, Dubai Marina, and many other areas.

3. Sharjah: Sharjah City, Al Nahda, Al Majaz, Al Qasimia, and many other areas.

4. Ajman: Ajman City, Masfout, Manama, and Al Hamidiyah.

5. Umm Al Quwain: Umm Al Quwain City, Falaj Al Mualla, and Al Rafaah.

6. Ras Al Khaimah: Ras Al Khaimah City, Al Rams, Al Nakheel, and Al Hamra.

7. Fujairah: Fujairah City, Dibba Al Fujairah, Al Bithnah, and Al Aqah.

Note that these are not exhaustive lists, and there are many other smaller towns and areas within each emirate.


List of Free Zone Areas in UAE


The UAE (United Arab Emirates) has a number of free zone areas, which are designated economic zones where foreign investors can establish their businesses with certain benefits and exemptions. Here is a list of some of the free zone areas in the UAE:

1. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

2. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

3. Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)

4. Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

5. Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)

6. Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC)

7. Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP)

8. Dubai Media City (DMC)

9. Dubai Internet City (DIC)

10. Dubai Studio City (DSC)

11. Dubai Outsource City (DOC)

12. Dubai Production City (DPC)

13. Dubai Science Park (DSP)

14. Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech)

15. Dubai South (formerly Dubai World Central)

16. Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone (DUCAMZ)

17. Dubai Textile City

18. Dubai Maritime City

19. Dubai Flower Centre

20. Dubai Auto Zone

21. Dubai International Academic City (DIAC)

22. Dubai Design District (d3)

23. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone)

24. Hamriyah Free Zone (HFZA)

25. Ajman Free Zone (AFZ)

26. Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ)

27. Fujairah Free Zone (FFZ)

28. Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)

29. Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD)

30. Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

31. TwoFour54 Abu Dhabi

32. Masdar City Free Zone

33. Dubai Airport South

34. Dubai Logistics City

35. Dubai Techno Park

36. Dubai Industrial Park

37. Dubai Wholesale City

38. Dubai Free Zone Authority (DFZA)

39. Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)

40. International Humanitarian City (IHC)

Each free zone offers unique advantages and incentives to investors, so it's important to research and compare them to find the best fit for your business needs.

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