SHAMS - Sharjah Media City Free Zone

Overview of Sharjah Media City Free Zone Authority  

Sharjah Media City or simply SHAMS free zone is located in Sharjah the nearest Emirate to Dubai.

SHAMS company setup is a relatively new way of business setup in UAE.

Emirabiz team, being business setup consultants in Dubai has been awarded by SHAMS certificate of appreciation.

Offices in SHAMS

SHAMS company formation entails getting a facility in this free zone.Flexi-desk does not come as a part of the setup package by default.It is recommended to have it for the sake of getting through compliance of the banks.

Overall, SHAMS facilities are the following:

  1. Shares desk (flexi-desk)
  2. Dedicated desk
  3. Shared office
  4. Dedicated office

Company activities

It is known as the Media Free Zone, but the business activities are not related only to media sector.

In fact, activity list is very broad and includes:

  • Trading
  • Professional services
  • Holding and other types
  • Social media influencer

There are more than 120 activities in total. You can combine multiple activities in your license. SHAMS free zone company setup can satisfy the companies with any business activities.

SHAMS free zone license costs

SHAMS Sharjah Media City is an affordable free zone. The fees start from 5,750 AED for a zero visa package. If you need to get a visa in your company, you must rent a flexi-desk at lease and pay for visa allocation 1600 AED.

Cheapest company setup costs (AED) in SHAMS free zone Sharjah:

Type of licenceCost, AED
Trading or service license with zero visas quota11,500
Trading or service license with 1 visa quota13,420

The fees increase according to the number of visas your company is eligible for.

SHAMS company formation

Company registration can be done fully remotely no matter if you are in UAE or abroad, your company can be registered in a week’s time.

The documents you need to provide:

  • Passport copy
  • Phone number
  • Email

Sharjah Media City free zone allows the youngest age of the company shareholders you can own a business starting from the age of 19. This is a great benefit not available in any other Free Zones. Company employees can be as young as 18 years old, which is also quite unusual in comparison to other Free Zones.

All the documents of the companies are electronic you can print them out anywhere and may not worry about losing the originals. The documents can be always verified through SHAMS web-site to make sure they are authentic.

Sharjah Media City residency visas cost

SHAMS has one of the most flexible system of visa allocation you can have a company eligible from zero up to 6 visas.

Another way to get multiple visa slots in Sharjah would be Hamriyah free zone visa.

On top of that, you can upgrade your package at any time.

SHAMS visa costs (AED):

 SHAMS fee, AEDMedical checkup, AEDEmirates ID, AED

All visas are valid for 3 years.

When you apply for a resident visa under SHAMS free zone license, you need to get a health insurance or sign an undertaking letter that you are intending to do it within the next 10 months.

Company renewal

Company renewal just like the setup can be done remotely. Audit reports are not required by the authority.

Renewal fees are the same as setup fees. Audits reports are not required.

If you do not renew the company on time, monthly penalties will start accumulating. The fine after the first month is 1,100 AED. The following months will cost 100 AED each.


Sharjah Media City is quite straightforward with any amendments. The costs for the majority of them is 2,000 AED and personal presence is not required.

Amendments of the license will be free during the renewal.

Sharjah Media City company liquidation

Liquidation of a company in Sharjah Media City Free Zone authority takes about 3 weeks.

The price of the liquidation is 2,000 AED.

Business setup experts opinion

SHAMS is a great option for start-ups and developing businesses you most probably will be able to find a business activity, suitable to your needs.

Costs and visa slots are a good bargain as well.

Alternative option business setup within the Dubai Emirate would be a DTEC formation of a company in this media related free zone.


  • Flexible visa packages - from 0 to 6 visas
  • Rare business activities not available in other Free Zones
  • Low cost of the business registration and maintenance
  • General trading and E-commerce activities under zero visa package - low cost
  • Minimum age of shareholder - 19 years old, employee - 18 years old
  • Business activities are designed as per the United Nations standard ISIC 4 (used in customs all over the world)
  • No annual audit




Freelance package no visa AED 7,325 $2,050download breakdown
Freelance package 1 visa AED 21,657 $5,950download breakdown



Trading / Service license no visa AED 12,350 $3,400download breakdown
Trading / Service license 1 visa AED 27,332 $7,500download breakdown
Trading / Service license 2 visas AED 34,833 $9,550download breakdown
Trading / Service license 3 visas AED 42,334 $11,600download breakdown
Trading / Service license 4 visas AED 49,835 $13,700download breakdown
Trading / Service license 5 visas AED 57,336 $15,800download breakdown
Trading / Service license 6 visas AED 64,837 $17,800download breakdown





  • - Passport
  • - Latest utility bill as address proof
  • - Passport size photo
  • - UAE entry stamp copy
  • - Description of business
  • 1 day- Company name and activity
  • 3-5 days- Company establishing
  • 1-3 weeks- Establishment card
  • 1 week- Entry permit
  • 1 day- Medical Check-Up and Emirates ID
  • 4 days- Visa stamping

Top 10 questions about SHAMS 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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