DAFZA - Dubai Airport Free Zone

DAFZA free zone overview

Dubai Airport free zone or DAFZA was established in 1996 and was built as a part of Dubai International Airport. It makes DAFZA one of the primary choices of businesses related to logistics and import-export activities.

DAFZA has a lot to offer to the businesses registered there. Numerous government services are available within the free zone itself:

  • 24/7 customs office
  • Notary
  • Banks
  • Telecommunication providers

It is one of a few free zones in the UAE which provides dual licensing with Dubai Department of Economic Development (Mainland companies registrar). It allows businesses to provide their goods and services to end-users while retaining a hundred percent ownership.


DAFZA has airport services that allow transport directly to 240 locations around the world.

As for the office facilities, DAFZA offers the following:

  • Flexi-desk spaces
  • Executive offices
  • Storage areas
  • Warehouses

All low-cost packages include smart desks that will allocate 1 – 2 visas per license depending on the number of desks rented. If you are renting an office, you will be getting 1 visa slot per every 8 sq meters of the area.

Office rental fees may seem higher than in Dubai Mainland, however, the fees include utilities. Offices are fully fitted and ready to move in. One parking space is included too.

DAFZA office rental fees (AED):

SizePrice, AED
6,65 sqm16,625
25 sqm62,500
50 sqm125,000

DAFZA Dubai activities

Types of licenses available in DAFZA:

  • Trading license
  • Industrial License
  • E commerce License
  • Service License
  • General trading License
  • Dual license with DED

Available activities are spread in various sectors:

  • Investment
  • Insurance
  • Aircraft and Spacecraft
  • Petrol/Crude Petrol, Oil & Natural Gas
  • Legal Services
  • Business and management consultancy services
  • Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy
  • Transport, Shipping and Storage
  • Travel Agent
  • Motor Vehicles & Auto Spare Parts
  • Metals & Metal Ores
  • Building Materials
  • Chemical
  • Waste Trading
  • Equipment & Machines

By the fourth quarter of 2020, the freezone will be launching a new daughter zone called Dubai Commercity. It will focus on the licensing of e-commerce businesses.

Dropshipping business models will also become accessible in the near future. It will make trading through DAFZA highly competitive and convenient. 

Dubai airport free zone company setup cost

Company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone is not among the cheapest ones, but it also has very affordable packages to offer.

The most cost-efficient setup is a company with a smart desk. It will cost 34,655 AED together with the license.

Other types of setup have to be calculated like this:

Office rent + license.

Licenses cost 15,000 AED for most of the business activities.

Overall, Dubai airport free zone company setup cost is almost within the same range as any Dubai freezone company formation.

Business setup in DAFZA

Dubai Airport Free Zone company formation takes about 2 weeks.

Documents required for registration:

  • Business Plan
  • Six months’ personal bank statement
  • Original bank reference letter
  • Passport copies of all shareholders
  • No objection letter from a local partner (In the case of Dual license)

Resident visas

Visa costs in DAFZA (AED):

 DAFZA fees including Medical check and Emirates ID, AEDSalary GuaranteHealth insurance
Applicant outside UAE2,696RequiredRequired
Applicant inside UAE4,196RequiredRequired

All visas allocated through DAFZA are valid for 3 years.


Company renewal will repeat certain costs of DAFZA company registration: license fees + office rent.

You also need to carry out the annual financial audit of your company.

Renewal can be conveniently done without the personal visit of the company owner or general manager if you hire business setup consultants in Dubai.


The most frequently requested company amendments include:

  • Change of manager/director
  • Shares transfer
  • Change of activity
  • Change of company name

Most of the amendments do not require the presence of the company owner and can be done by consultants, specialized in Business setup in Dubai.

DAFZA license liquidation

To liquidate a Company in Dafza the Company shareholders must first provide a notice for Company termination 3 months before the expiration of their lease.

The Company shareholders must appoint a liquidator for cancellation of the company. Usually it would be an auditing company.

Clearance from the following departments must be obtained:

  • DEWA
  • Dubai Customs in DAFZA
  • Emirates post
  • DAFZA digital intelligence department
  • DAFZA Compliance Health and Security Department
  • DAFZA Government Services Department
  • DAFZA Finance Department

The company has to advertise in the newspaper of its closure procedure.

The government cost of liquidation is 6,500 AED. Newspaper advertising, visa cancellation and other expenses have to be paid separately.


Business setup in DAFZA is one of the most convenient for businesses that have a focus on transporting and selling their goods internationally as well as locally in the UAE.

It is a reputable zone, welcomed by the UAE banks.

DAFZA company formation might not seem the easiest, but it is still highly demanded due to its infrastructure and support of its already operational companies.


  • Well-developed infrastructure for trading
  • 24/7 customs services and rapid cargo clearance
  • Dedicated logistics center
  • Location next to one of biggest international airports
  • No import duty for the goods kept in the Free Zone
  • Offices and warehouses available



Up to 2 visas (office 6.65 sqm)

Trading license + office 6.65 sqm no visa AED 37,045 $10,150download breakdown
Trading license + office 6.65 sqm 1 visa AED 42,344 $11,600download breakdown
Trading license + office 6.65 sqm 2 visas AED 47,642 $13,100download breakdown

Up to 2 visas (office 13 sqm)

Trading license + office 13 sqm no visa AED 45,920 $12,600download breakdown
Trading license + office 13 sqm 1 visa AED 51,219 $14,050download breakdown
Trading license + office 13 sqm 2 visas AED 56,517 $15,500download breakdown

Up to 2 visas (office 25 sqm)

Trading license + office 25 sqm no visa AED 75,920 $20,800download breakdown
Trading license + office 25 sqm 1 visa AED 81,219 $22,250download breakdown
Trading license + office 25 sqm 2 visas AED 86,517 $23,750download breakdown


Up to 5 visas

General trading license + office 50 sqm no visa AED 197,268 $54,050download breakdown
General trading license + office 50 sqm 1 visa AED 202,566 $55,500download breakdown
General trading license + office 50 sqm 2 visas AED 207,865 $56,950download breakdown
General trading license + office 50 sqm 3 visas AED 213,163 $58,400download breakdown
General trading license + office 50 sqm 4 visas AED 218,462 $59,850download breakdown
General trading license + office 50 sqm 5 visas AED 223,760 $61,350download breakdown





  • - Passport
  • - Latest utility bill as address proof
  • - Passport size photo
  • - NOC from sponsor for UAE visa holders
  • - Description of business
  • - Bank reference
  • - Bank statement of the shareholder
  • 1 week- Pre-approval
  • 1 time- Visit DAFZA for documents signing
  • 1 week- Company establishing
  • 1 week- Establishment card
  • 1 week- Entry permit
  • 1 day- Medical Check-Up and Emirates ID
  • 2 days- Basic insurance (mandatory for visa stamping)
  • 3 days- Visa stamping

Top 10 questions about Dubai Airport free zone company

  • If l register a company in a free zone outside of Dubai, can l live and have a bank account in Dubai?

    Yes, you can have a company registered outside Dubai, but reside in Dubai or any other Emirate. You do not have to live in the same Emirate where your visa belongs to. You can also have a bank account in a Dubai branch of any UAE bank of your choice.

  • Can I open a bank account remotely?

    No, you have to visit UAE personally. It is a requirement of a UAE Central bank which all local banks have to follow. Personal visit is required to make sure that the client is known by the bank.

  • Do banks give debit and credit cards or loans?

    Normally you can get a debit card for your newly opened company if there is only one shareholder. You can also have a credit card, but it will be given against a fixed deposit. As for the loan, it is possible to get it, but you need to show company operations and profits to the bank. Upon checking your company's turnovers and profits, a bank may approve a loan. We recommend applying for it at least after one year of company's operations.

  • Can a free zone company hold its offices outside the free zone?

    Officially an office of a free zone company has to be located only within the free zone where this company was registered. If you need an office in Dubai, you have an option to rent a space in a Business center and use it either a few times per month or daily, depending on the package that you choose. However, the free zone minimum required space (flexi desk) cannot be cancelled.

  • Why do I need a flexi desk or office?

    A flexi desk is an obligatory requirement for any company eligible for resident visas. UAE government obliges to have it because it's the minimum physical office space, that a company who has any individual under its visa must have. Apart from that, flexi desk is helpful for bank account opening. The compliance department of the banks needs to see that a company has some kind of office or at least a small physical seat, where it can be working from.

  • Do we have to pay VAT if our company is registered in the Free Zone?

    VAT obligations of the company depend not only on the place of its registration, but on the place where its business takes place. To start with, VAT comes into picture once your taxable turnover reaches 375 000 AED. Taxable turnover means the turnover which was done in the UAE. If your company is registered in a Free Zone, but the trading takes place abroad (for example you sell goods from India to Africa), that turnover is not considered taxable, because the transactions are taking place out of UAE. It means that you do not have to pay VAT. But if you have a free zone company and import goods to UAE, you have to add 5% VAT to your Invoices and pay VAT. If your company is registered in a designated free and sells the goods to another designated free zone or within the same zone, VAT does not appear.

  • Should I pay any other TAX?

    UAE is free from income tax and corporate tax. It has only imported tax 5% for the goods that you bring into the country and VAT 5% for the trading or service transactions that happened in UAE.

  • Why will a free zone company suit me better than an offshore or a mainland entity?

    Everything depends on your business model and requirements, but a free zone setup is the most suitable for the majority of the business needs. Free Zone company has 100% foreign ownership unlike mainland where you need a local partner or agent, it can be eligible for resident visas, allows doing business both in and out of UAE, more favorable by the banks in comparison to offshore companies, can have a flexi desk space instead of an executive office like in mainland companies. Free Zone is a good way to start a business for reasonable fees and without unwanted obligations.

  • Can you guarantee opening of a bank account?

    We do our best when we setup your company in such a way that would make account opening easier for you. Knowing your background and your business model, we can give you our estimation about the chances of successful account opening. The approval of the account fully depends on the bank. Each case goes to a few departments of the bank where it has to be approved before the account gets opened. If the bank has any questions or needs clarifications, it will contact you directly with the inquiries. The more clear picture about your business you give to the bank, the higher your chances of account opening are. Being a consultancy company, we cannot guarantee opening of a bank account, because it depends on the factors which do not depend on us. However, we do our best to prepare you and your company for smooth and fast account opening.

  • Should I renew my company? When? How much does it cost?

    Yes, the company should be renewed annually. The cost of the renewal is usually less than the setup cost. It depends on your company package. You can get the price by downloading the Estimate from this page. Renewal does not require personal presence of the owner and can be done by your agent. After company renewal, the new license has to be shown to the bank in order to extend the bank account. It is always included into our renewal service.


    your contact details

    to arrange a consultation – personal or remote (by Skype or phone)

  • 30 mins

    in your hands