Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ) Business Setup Assistance

Looking to set up a company in Dubai Airport Free Zone, one of the most prestigious and advanced free zones in Dubai? Way to go! Get ready to be deluged with the benefits and possibilities that the free zone oozes. Home to more than 2000 registered businesses from over 20+ sectors and various industries with 20,000+ professionals, DAFZ is one of the most preferred free zones in the UAE. The Easy-breezy business setup process, business-focused regulatory & tax environment, full business ownership, full repatriation of earnings, a range of world-class facilities, remarkable logistics system, unparalleled ecosystem bustling with various service providers and cost-effective office space solutions for big small businesses. Rapid clearance and fast processing of paperwork is no biggie for the strategically-positioned DAFZA to boot. Offering direct access to all the necessary government departments and private entities needed to incorporate and run a business in Dubai, DAFZ’s one-stop-shop model ensures that businesses don’t have to go anywhere else looking for business formation support. And you know what’s every more pleasing? The reduction in DAFZA business setup costs by up to 65%. What else an entrepreneur wants to thrive?!

Why DAFZ Business Setup?

Dubai Airport Free Zone, called DAFZ for ease, was incepted in 1996 as part of the government’s strategic plan to have an investment-driven economy to provide an ideal setup for businesses of almost every type – from education to aircraft and spacecraft to agricultural, flowers & plants to jewellery. Regarded as one of the fastest-growing free zones in the Gulf and the Middle East, DAFZ has no dearth of unified business solutions for local and international investors alike. Nestled within the boundaries of Dubai International Airport, DAFZ is a treat for your senses if you are planning to start a business related to logistics and import-export activities. The airport services featured by DAFZA allow transport directly to 240 locations the world over. With Business Park and Industrial Park, DAFZA can offer a wide selection of office space options such as fitted offices, co-working spaces, executive suites and warehouses to accommodate your business needs. DAFZ’s Business Centre offers suitable space to organise a smorgasbord of activities your business needs from time to time such as interviews, board meetings, training, seminars, product launches or motivational speeches. DAFZA also provides visas and healthcare cards for family and staff of member investors. Life of investors is easy in DAFZ with myriad in-house services including a 24/7 customs office, notary, banks, and telecommunication providers. And the slashed business formation cost is all the more reason why you would want to consider DAFZA for your first or next company. Let’s have a glance over the advantages of setting up a company in DAFZ.

  • Bespoke business set-up service packages, tailored to your business needs
  • Highest level of personalised customer service
  • Dynamic, seamless procedures zeroed on your specific requirements
  • One-stop shop for a wide range of business needs
  • 100 percent exemption from import and export duties
  • 100% repatriation of profits
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • No personal income and corporate taxes
  • Strategic location
  • World-class amenities
  • Logistics center
  • No currency restrictions
  • Online customer service
  • 24 hours operation if needed
  • Fast and efficient cargo clearance services
  • One-stop-shop administration services
  • Innovative office solutions
  • Security services: 24/7 security with CCTV surveillance, entry permits, car park leasing, comprehensive safety systems (including fire alarms, smoke and heat detectors, automatic sprinklers and emergency lighting), certified fire safety training
  • Availability of service providers within the free zone premise such as Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Etisalat, du, Travel agencies, Visa Services, etc.
  • Information & Communications Technology – Telecom services, Telephone line & services, Etisalat & du connectivity and IT support packages & integrated solutions
  • Dedicated government service centers such as Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, Directorate of General Residency and Foreign Affairs, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Chamber and Emirates Post
  • Direct access to government services such as Visas (Including employment visas, visit visas and dependents’ visas), Family sponsorship, Visa transfer, Employment contracts, etc.
  • Interiors and facilities management – In-house interior design services, Turnkey solutions (from fit-outs to furnishings) with convenient payment plans, fit-out and retrofit activities approvals, Housekeeping and building maintenance and HVAC, central cooling systems & emergency power
  • Leasing and licencing services – Incorporation & registration of a new FZ establishment or a branch of a foreign company, Freezone licencing and Office lease agreements
  • Time-efficient and cost-effective business formation with easy registration process. In 2018, DAFZ revisited and reduced registration, licence, and staff visa fees for new investors by 65%, 33%, and 20%, respectively. Establishment card issuance fees was also cut by 17%, while fees for Board Resolution and MOA issuance was waived

DAFZA Business Licence Types

DAFZA grants following types of licences depending on the chosen business activity:

  • Trade Licence: For conducting trading activities, including import, export, re-export, distribution and storage of specific products. You may also go for an E-commerce licence to be able to trade goods and service online.
  • Service Licence: For providing services specified in the licence.
  • Industrial Licence: For carrying out light manufacturing activities, packaging and assembly.
  • General Trading Licence: For trading in general activities, including import, export, re-export, storage and distribution.
  • Dual Licence with DED: For those DAFZA-registered companies that are interested in acquiring another trade licence from DED (Dubai Department of Economic Development) to operate out of DAFZA with mainland companies as well, without having a physical office setup onshore.
  • Talent Pass licence: For those individuals who wish to carry out their freelancing activities within the media, technology, or education industries. The holder of Talent Pass licence is entitled to the benefits such as a visa entitlement and the possibility of leasing a smart office.

DAFZA Company Formation Process

Establishing a company with DAFZA is simple and effortless, as the free zone authority requires minimum paperwork and duration. Here are the key steps to set up a business in a free zone.

  • Ascertain the type of business activity and trade licence accordingly: Determine the licence type that covers all the desired activities
  • Determine the type of legal entity: Decide the legal form your business would take up. Whether Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC) aka Free Zone Company (FZ Co.) or Free Zone Establishment (FZE). Existing local and foreign companies can also establish a branch of their company in DAFZ.
  • Select a trade name: Give your business a perfect name that is in line with the UAE standards. The proposed trade name must not violate the public morals or the public order of the country and must be followed by the legal form of the company, for example (LLC, FZE, DMCC etc.). Also make sure the chosen name has not been previously registered and is compatible with the required type of activity and legal status. And most importantly, it should not contain names of any religion, or governing authority, nor names or logos of any external bodies.
  • Initiate the business licence application: Check with DAFZA what are the supporting documents and gather and then submit them all along with the completed licence application form to request the initial approval followed by the trade licence required to operate the desired business activities.
  • Find an office space and sign the lease agreement: Choose the office your business needs amongst the various options DAFZA offers, such as Flexi-desk spaces and Executive offices. Apart from innovative office spaces, DAFZA also presents Warehousing and industrial space and Cold storage.
  • Attain pre-approvals, register your business and collect your licence: DAFZ-licenced companies are governed by the rules of DAFZA. The necessary approvals can be requested from the authority by providing the documents required by them. These documents may vary depending on the type of business activity and the type of company. Below is a general guideline of steps and documents required for approvals.

Initial approval

To start the process, attaining the initial approval is the first and foremost step. Be prepared with the following documents for the same:

  • Completed application form
  • Business plan
  • Copy of existing trade licence/registration certificate (if you are an existing company, applicable for local company only)
  • Coloured passport copies of the company’s shareholder/s and the appointed Manager/Director for the new company
  • Specimen signature of the company’s shareholder/s and the appointed Manager/Director for the new company
  • 2 years’ audited financial reports for corporate entity or certificate of reference from a personal bank of the individual shareholder
  • NOC from current sponsor (for individuals)
  • Unit title deed
  • Letter of Intent
  • Registry Identification Code Form (RIC) for Manager/Director (Original and notarised)

If you are a freelancer, submission of below-mentioned documents might suffice:

  • Application for registration
  • CV
  • Bank reference letter
  • Registry Identification Code Form (RIC) (Original and notarised)


Collect your initial approval, pay registration fees and licence fees and submit the following documents:

  • Completed application for registration
  • Board Resolution appointing Manager/Director (Notarised & attested)
  • Power of Attorney given to Manager/Director (Notarised & attested)
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (Notarised & attested)
  • Specimen signature of Manager/Director (Notarised & attested)
  • Passport-size photo of Manager/Director against white background
  • Share capital information

Licensing & Visa Process

  • Lease agreements will be prepared by the DAFZA
  • Then trade licence will be dispensed
  • Visa processing will begin

Meet your DAFZA business setup specialists in Dubai at Adam Global

DAFZA company formation is without a doubt easy, but it still needs you to jump through hoops until you receive your trade licence. You might feel the need of expert advice in Dubai while taking crucial decisions during the course, such as determining the business deciding the legal structure of the company, choosing the business name, selecting an appropriate company formation plan, leasing the right office space, etc. Our Dubai business advisors are happy to assist you at every stage of the business set-up process in Dubai. With our qualified Dubai business setup consultants by your side, you don’t have to worry about any of the paperwork or legwork involved in the process. Feel free to book a free consultancy with our business formation specialist to know how you can benefit from Adam Global while setting up your business in DAFZ.


What is the process of DAFZA company formation?

The process of registering a company with DAFZA is easy and pretty straightforward. Just three steps and voilà!

  • Step 1: Choose the type of trade licence you want in line with the intended business activity
  • Step 2: Choose the type of company you wish to form under DAFZA
  • Step 3: Choose a workspace that squarely fits in your business needs
What are the required documents to obtain initial approval from DAFZA?
Paperwork for DAFZ Business Setup

Below given is the list of documents required for registering a company with DAFZA:

  • Duly filled-in online pre-approval application form
  • Business plan
  • Personal bank statements of last 6 months
  • Original bank reference letter
  • Passport copies of shareholder/s, manager, director, secretary and other officers (if applicable)
  • No Objection letter for manager (if he/she is a resident of the UAE and UAE employment visa-holder)
What are the steps after getting the initial approval to obtain the trade licence from DAFZA?

After receiving initial approval, the applicant is required to submit the following documents to the licencing authority:

  • Owner’s declaration regarding company formation in DAFZ and guarantee full financial commitment (Notarized and attested)
  • Manager’s Power of Attorney, Director’s Power of Attorney and Secretary’s Power of Attorney, whichever is applicable
  • Notarized and attested appointment of legal representative (if applicable) and his/her passport copy
  • Specimen Signature – template to be provided by DAFZA and should be signed in DAFZA’s presence
  • Signed commercial rental agreement
What types of office spaces DAFZA offers?

Dubai Airport Free Zone offers ‘Office Packages’, ‘Smart Desk Office Packages’ and ‘Executive Office Packages’.

What is the minimum share capital requirement to incorporate an FZ Co. in DAFZ?

Under Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, you can form an FZ Co. with a minimum share capital of AED 1000. Each share should be in the denomination of AED 1000.

What is the cost of DAFZA business licence?

For most of the business activities, DAFZA business licenses cost AED 15,000.

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