Dubai Media City


Dubai Media City (DMC)was launched in January 2001 to establish Dubai as the region’s leading media hub including news agencies, publishing, online media, advertising, production and broadcast facilities.

It is managed by Technology Electronic Commerce and Media group (TECOM), which is a part of Dubai Holding.

TECOM free zone authority manages 11 free zones, referred to as “business communities”. Dubai Media City is one of them.

It provides an advanced infrastructure and supportive environment for media-related businesses to operate globally out of Dubai. It is one of the most prestigious places of company registration in Dubai.


Dubai Media City free zone offers a variety of facilities in different locations such as:

  • Dubai Media City
  • Dubai Studio City
  • Dubai Production City

It means that if you have a Dubai Media City license, your office can be located in any of these 3 locations. 

DMC free zone office costs (AED):

Type of facilitySizePrice, AEDNumber of visas
Business Center - Exclusive DeskDesk35,000 AED + 5,000 AED deposit2
Business Center - Executive furnished office19 sqm97,500 AED + 10,000 AED deposit5
Commercial unfitted office70 sqmFrom 70,000 AED 1 visa per 8 sqm
Boutique unfitted office380 sqm589,000 AED1 visa per 8 sqm
Warehouse/Showroom in Dubai Production City800 sqm440,000 AED1 visa per 12 sqm
  • Dubai Media City Logo Photo
  • Dubai Media City Free Zone

Business activities

Dubai Media City company can have various forms of business activities. Main groups include: 

  • Advertising & Communication
  • Media and Marketing Services
  • Event Management
  • Media and Marketing Consultancy
  • New Media
  • Media Association (Non-Profit) and others.

Freelance permit is also available in TECOM authority under Dubai Media City. Check more details about freelance options here:

The freelance permit offers the ability to operate as a freelance professional. The permit identifies you as a sole practitioner and enables you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a brand name. Dubai Media City freelance visa allows to live in UAE and also sponsor your family. 

DMC formation of a company

This registration process depends on the type of business entity you choose.

Below is a list of the required initial documents: 

  • Business plan
  • Passport

The personal bank statement for the last 3 months for Lebanese and Syrian Nationals is required. 

DMC registration consists of a few stages:

  1. Initial approval - 5 days
  2. Leasing of an office
  3. Payment
  4. Registration - 6 days

Company renewal

Company renewal can be done by your representative if you are not staying in Dubai. 

Procedure of company renewal:

  • Renewal of the office lease 
  • Renewal of the license

After the company renewal you also need to update the bank where you have corporate account about your license extension. You need to take the license to any branch of your bank. Business consultants in Dubai can do that services for you.

UAE residence visas in Dubai Media City

Dubai Media City offers various visa packages. This depends on the type of office space that you decide to go for. Visas can be from 1 visa package to even 100 or more in case of a warehouse. 

Once the business license is issued, the resident visa process is straight forward: 

  • Establishment card of the company
  • Entry permit
  • Status adjustment
  • Medical test
  • Emirates ID
  • Resident Visa Stamping in the passport

For those that would like to sponsor dependents under their visa, the process is quite easy and the following documents are required:

  • Marriage certificate (attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE and should be legally translated to Arabic). 
  • Birth certificate (for your child) - (attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE and should be legally translated to Arabic). 
  • You are required to rent an apartment in UAE. Tenancy contract.

Corporate amendments

Company owners are eligible to make as many changes as they want. The costs vary and depend on the type of amendment that’s being made.

The amendment can be of two different categories:

Registry Amendment:

This includes Company name change, operating name change, parent company name change, adding or removal of Directors, Financial year change.

License Amendment:

This includes Manager name change, Location/Address on License change, Change of business activity/addition of activity within the same segment, removal of an existing segment, removal of activity within the segment, adding new publishing segment, adding new channels. 

DMC company liquidation

If any business registered with Dubai Media City, wishes to cancel their License and deregister the company, they have to approach the Authority to complete the de-registration procedures.

In case you do not renew and do not cancel your license either, it becomes non-operational. Then the Dubai Media City authority will initiate company liquidation by itself.

If you made any refundable deposits to the authority, the refunds will be made upon company deregistration. 

The opinion of business setup experts

As the name suggests, Dubai Media City is home to media-related industries. Media and advertising companies in this free zone have the opportunity to present their products, services and interact with some of the best international marketing, entertainment, and advertising companies and many regional media companies.

It is advisable for those nationalities that are considered as high-risk ones (Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Turkey, etc)  to do Dubai free zone company formation here as they do not encounter difficulties in obtaining resident visas or opening a bank account.

Freelancers and independent media professionals are not left out in this free zone. They have the advantage of registering their freelance permit here with a 1 visa package. They get to enjoy the many business facilities as well as a prestigious office address and location. 

For those that would like to have their business set-up done remotely, Dubai Media City is not the best option as your personal presence is required for company establishment. In this case the alternative option would be will be Ajman Media City (AMC). 


  • Globally recognized free zone which hosts well known multinational IT firms
  • Various office and warehouse facilities across all Dubai
  • Companies from this free zone are welcomed by the banks


Top 10 questions about DWTC 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.


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