Dubai World Trade Center Free Zone

Overview of Dubai World Trade Center Free Zone

DWTC Free Zone is the newest and the cheapest Dubai Free Zone. It was opened in 2016 in the prestigious area of World Trade Center in Dubai. 

The location is never empty - various exhibitions are carried out on a weekly basis and you definitely can get benefit of such a busy location. 

Apart from that, Dubai International Airport is just 10 min. drive. Various hotels and banks are in walking distance.

Offices and flexi-desks

DWTC free zone offers its clients executive offices and flexi-desks in an iconic Sheikh Rashid Tower. The tower is the very first skyscraper in Dubai, built in 1979. The building hosts Dubai Financial Market.

Flexi-desks are available any time, but offices may be subject to availability due to a very high demand. 

Free zone allows its clients to rent a desk or an office not only at its own premises, but also at one of the business centers in One Central Development. 

It is located within the World Trade Center as well and considered one of the most dynamic and fashionable business destinations of Dubai.

Business activities

DWTC Free Zone has the following categories of business activities:

  • Trading
  • Services
  • Consultancy

A license can have multiple activities - you can go up to 10 or even more as long as the activities are from the same group. 

It does not have any industrial categories. If you are looking for those, you may check RAKEZ free zone instead. 

Company registration costs

DWTC can be proud of being the most affordable Dubai Free Zone. It has 3 packages:

  1. Flexi-desk package for 31,300 AED (including 2,000 AED refundable deposit)
  2. Office package with trading or service activity for 57,300 AED (including 4,000 AED refundable deposit)
  3. Office package with general trading activity for 58,500 AED (including 4,000 AED refundable deposit)

If you rent office from a business center in One Central district, DWTC zone will provide you the license for 19,800 AED. 

DWTC company registration 

Company setup in this free zone usually takes about 2 weeks. It can be done by business consultants in Dubai. Your presence will be required only once for signature verification. 

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport copy
  • CV with your professional background
  • Short business plan describing your activity 

Upon company registration, you will receive:

  • Certificate of registration
  • License
  • Memorandum of Association

In case you require any extra documents, such as certificate of incumbency or certificate of good standing, additional fee of 3,000 AED per document will be charged. 

UAE residence visas from DWTC

The visa costs in DWTC free zone are the lowest across all UAE: 

 DWTC feesMedical checkEmirates ID
Investor visa1,500 AED if applicant is out of UAE
2,720 AED if applicant is in UAE
690 AED370 AED
Employee visa1,500 AED if applicant is out of UAE
2,720 AED if applicant is in UAE
690 AED370 AED

Visa of Investor is available for shareholders who hold more than 50% of company shares. 

All visas are valid for 3 years. 

Company renewal 

Renewal of the company takes place after 1 year from the date of registration. Renewal cost is slightly less than the setup fee - 27,300 AED for the cheapest package. 

Audit is not required. 

In case your company has registered for VAT, you need to provide your tax registration certificate to the free zone when you renew the company. 


Corporate amendments can be done any time after the license is issued:

  • Change of activity
  • Change of trade name
  • Shares transfer
  • Change of manager

Each amendment would have a different price. After it is done, the authority will have to issue a new license for you with the amended information. New license release will cost 1,500 AED. 


If you decide to close your DWTC company, you will have to obtain the following clearance letters:

  • Bank account clearance and closure letter
  • Clearance from DWTC finance department
  • Clearance from DU and Etisalat

You will also have to do a newspaper publication about your company closure in any UAE national newspaper. 

Once everything is submitted, deregistration will take a few days. 

Opinion of business setup experts

Dubai World Trade Center Free Zone is a great option to open business in Dubai for a reasonable fee. 

It is also a free zone chosen by certain “high risk” nationalities, because the resident visa can be granted to them based on a pre-approval. Pre-approval is free of charge, which gives everyone a good chance to try. 

Flexibility with business offices is another benefit of DWTC. You can definitely find a suitable location - whether in the free zone itself or one of the business centers in the same area. 

Alternative solutions are: DMCC free zone or DWC free zone


  • Big choice of affordable office facilities in the center of Dubai
  • Possibility to get EJARI for a flexi-desk contract
  • Wide choice of business activities
  • Option to rent an office in One Central business center instead of the free zone




General Trading license no visa AED 57,450 $15,750download breakdown
General Trading license 1 visa AED 63,132 $17,300download breakdown
General Trading license 2 visas AED 68,813 $18,900download breakdown



Commercial/Professional/Events Management license no visa AED 32,500 $8,900download breakdown
Commercial/Professional/Events Management license 1 visa AED 38,182 $8,850download breakdown
Commercial/Professional/Events Management license 2 visas AED 43,863 $12,500download breakdown

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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