What is a flexi-desk?
Many people who want to start a business in UAE are wondering what flexi desk means. Flexi desk is typical to the UAE name of a shared office, which has to be assigned to any company upon its registration.
If you are doing business setup in Dubai or any other emirate, flexi desk office will come as a part of your company registration package by default.
Other names of flexi desk can be the following: hot desk, flexi office, smart desk or business center desk. Such a desk is a minimal requirement of UAE government to any company that is registered in the UAE.
Is it possible to open a business without flexi desk?
You cannot start a business in the UAE without at least some kind of a physical facility - that is why flexi desk is obligatory.
In case you want to rent an executive office, flexi desk requirement will be waived and you will not have to rent it. The condition of a physical space for your company will be fulfilled by the office.
There are some free zones, for example, SHAMS, which can register your business without such flexi desk. But in this case, your company won’t be eligible for a UAE residence visa and may have trouble with bank account opening. All the banks require each business to have some “tangible” place from where it operates.
Flexi desk can also be used for Mainland company registration. Whereas previously it was required that a Mainland company rents an executive office, nowadays it is also possible to register a business with a flexi desk. It can be rented from any of the multiple business centers across Dubai.
How can I use flexi desk?
Each free zone sets its own rules about desks usage. For example, flexi desk DMCC is allowed to be used a few hours per week, but the location of the desk may seem inconvenient - in the end most people do not use them at all.
DWC free zone made a very convenient business center and it is one of few zones where the desks are being really used. There is also a limitation on the number of hours, but it can be extended.
Ajman free zone does not have any timing limits. Each desk is dedicated to a certain company and can be used daily during working hours. At the same time, most desks stay empty, because business owners prefer working from home or a Dubai based co-working space rather than traveling to Ajman.
Sharjah Airport International Free Zone also has no limitations of desks usage. The zone has 8 buildings dedicated to flexi desk facilities and there is always room for everyone.
Where can a flexi desk be located?
A flexi desk is always situated at the premises of the free zone where the business is being registered. You cannot setup a company in Sharjah, but have a flexi desk in Dubai. Officially, the desk will always be at the same place where the company is domiciled.
There are some exceptions such as Ras Al Khaimah free trade zone authority. Its desks and offices are located not only in Ras Al Khaimah Emirate but also in Abu Dhabi. You can opt for either of the two locations, but Adu Dhabi will be slightly more expensive.
A Fujairah based free zone IFZA also offers desks and offices to its companies in a different place - the location is in Dubai itself in the area of Motor City. If you are planning to use your desk, this is one of the best offers you can find in the market.
Do all free zones offer flexi desk facilities?
No, there are a few zones that do not have such a facility at all. These zones are:
- Dubai Silicone Oasis
Some other zones officially have the flexi offices in their offers, but it’s almost impossible to get them because they are fully booked. An example of such a highly demanded place would be JAFZA.
We visited various free zones and checked their flexi facilities and business centers. Here are the most updated photos of the flexi desks in different locations: