Dubai South free zone (ex. DWC)

Overview of Dubai South free zone

Dubai South Free zone was founded in 2006 and it is a front runner among all Dubai free zone company setup options. It is one of the newest and most speedy developing authorities.

Dubai South enjoys easy access from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Location is strategic free zone is based next to Al Maktoum airport (DWC airport). It opens wide opportunities for trading operation through air cargo.

The free zone is located in front of Expo 2020 pavilions. It expects huge flow of people for business and leisure purposes.

The location is easily accessible by car and the metro line.

Dubai South will be a designated place for business and a new residential community with all facilities. It makes this place a preferred location for business setup in Dubai.


Dubai World Central free zone offers a full range of facilities:

  • flexi desks
  • flexi offices
  • permanent desks
  • smart fully furnished offices
  • executive offices
  • warehouses
  • plots of land

The business center offers phone answering and mail receiving services.

All offices are fitted out and the rent includes utility fees. Average cost of the rent is 1,300-1,600 AED per sq meter per year.

Business activities 

Dubai South has a wide list of business activities.They are available in the following groups:

  • Commercial
  • Service/Consulting
  • E-commerce
  • Manufacturing
  • Freelance permit

Some business activities for Dubai South business setup might require an attested degree or experience in similar field.

It is not permitted to combine non-related activities or commercial and service (consulting) activities under the same license.

If you cannot find your business activity in Dubai South free zone, you should take into consideration DMCC company formation. It offers almost all of the activities used by the Department of

Economic Development but in a free zone area.

Dubai South free zone costs

Dubai World Central offers one of the lowest Dubai freezone company setup costs.

Dubai South free zone cost (AED):

PackageVisa slotsPrice, AED
Smart desk230,900
Smart office340,900
Permanent smart desk245,900
Permanent smart office386,000
Executive office1 visa per each 9 sq meters1300-1600 per sq meter per year

Executive office 1 visa per each 9 sq meters 1300-1600 AED per sq meter per year

Immigration and visa related fees have to be paid separately.

Business setup

Company formation in DWC Dubai equires personal presence of company owner(s).

It is obligatory for the signature verification. If visit is not possible, it can be done with Power of Attorney legalized in the UAE embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

You can get a Power of Attorney template from business setup company in Dubai.

Registration consists of a few steps:

  1. Pre-approval
  2. Visit for signatures verification
  3. Lease agreement signing
  4. Payment
  5. Licensing

In order to prepare for the registration you need to have:

  • Passport copy
  • Residential address
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail
  • Company name options and business activities

UAE Residence visas

Cost of resident visas in Dubai South are very reasonable.

Visa costs in Dubai South (AED):

 Viza fees, AEDMedical checkup, AEDEmirates ID, AED

In case the applicant is in UAE when his visa application is made, the cost will be higher 3,500 AED per application.

You will need to make a health insurance before the visa stamping into your passport. The lowest cost for basic insurance is 600-800 AED.

Visas of company owners or employees will be valid for 3 years. There is no Investor designation for the shareholders of the company.

Renewal of Dubai South license

Company renewal will cost slightly less than incorporation. Starting from the second renewal you will need to provide audit reports on an annual basis.

In order to renew your company you need to provide the payment and signed lease agreement for your facility for the next year.

Renewal can be done by your agent without your visit to UAE.


Free zone offers wide list of possible amendments:

  • name change
  • activity change
  • shareholder/manager/director/secretary change
  • Upgrade of facility

Some of them will require a personal visit to the free zone or a Power of Attorney.

Liquidation of Dubai South business

Company liquidation doesn’t need personal presence of the owners and the government fee will be about 4, 000 AED.

It takes about 1 month to cancel a Dubai South free zone company.

Before the liquidation the following steps have to be made:

  • Cancellation of the visas
  • Termination of lease agreement
  • Closure of the bank account
  • Clearance from Customs in case you had a trading activity in the license

Dubai business setup consultants opinion

Dubai South free zone a great solution for those who wish to have a company in Dubai for a reasonable budget.

It is an option representative for high risk nationalities to open the business and get resident visas for themselves and their families.

This free zone can accommodate those companies who will do cargo trading through Al Maktoum Airport or JAFZA port, which is nearby.

We recommend it to those companies who are ready for the wide step in UAE market or for those who require it due to immigration reasons.


  • The most cost-efficient Free Zone in Dubai
  • Part of Expo 2020 site
  • Low cost of the resident visas
  • High risk nationalities have good chances of getting security approval
  • Designated Free Zone
  • Fitted offices at low cost (1600 AED per sq meter per year including utilities)
  • Metro access - coming soon
  • Adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport
  • Business center services (phone calls pickup and forwarding, meeting rooms, correspondence receiving)
  • Residential area around the Free Zone




Trading / Service license + Flexi desk no visa AED 32,396 $8,900download breakdown
Trading / Service license + Flexi Desk 1 visa AED 38,595 $10,600download breakdown
Trading / Service license + Flexi Desk 2 visas AED 44,794 $12,300download breakdown


Trading / Service license + Flexi desk no visa AED 40,272 $11,050download breakdown
Trading / Service license + Flexi Desk 1 visa AED 46,471 $12,750download breakdown
Trading / Service license + Flexi Desk 2 visas AED 52,670 $14,450download breakdown
Trading / Service license + Flexi desk 3 visas AED 58,868 $16,150download breakdown





  • - Passport
  • - NOC from sponsor for UAE visa holders
  • - Description of business
  • - 1 photo
  • 1 week- Pre-approval
  • 1 time- Visit DWC for documents signing
  • 1 day- 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 South 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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