Free Zone Or Mainland- How to Make a Right Decision?

UAE company formation in Free Zone

Over the years, there have been several changes in the landscape of setting up a company in Dubai. Allowing 100% foreign ownership of companies in the mainland is probably the biggest change.

If you’re having trouble deciding on the location of your new business, here are the pros and cons of establishing your business in the mainland vs a free zone:

Mainland (Pros)

If you start business in Dubai mainland, you are free to choose from the activities regulated by the Departments of Economic Development or DED. The allowed or approved activities may differ from each emirate. There are currently 2000 economic activities to choose from in Dubai. However, you need to know that while 100% ownership, you may still be required to appoint a UAE local sponsor.

Mainland (Cons)

Establishing your business in the mainland means you need to go through and submit the requiremeģnts from various government agencies. If you’re not careful about hidden charges, as well as higher prices for services and establishments.

Freezone (Pros)

UAE Freezone company formation may be more suitable for your business since free zones in the UAE are strategically placed based on their focus industry. This helps create opportunities to grow your network by working closely with individuals who work in the same field.

Some designated areas in the free zone are treated as “outside the state” meaning they won’t be charged with value-added tax for the import of goods, with a few exceptions. If you are not familiar with the laws and legal process, it is highly recommended that you hire PRO services Dubai to assist you with legal processes and probably help you familiarize important laws and changes that may affect your business or investments.

Freezone (Cons)

Businesses operating in free zones often have to make do with the limited space that is available in the free zone. Lease or rental spaces are also more expensive compared to spaces for rent in other locations.

Whether you need advice on which location is more suitable to your needs or you need legal advice for your growing team in Dubai, Austria Business Center offers a range of business solutions and office spaces for rent to meet all your business needs.


    Jumeirah Bay X2 Tower (3rd Floor)
    Email: office@austriabc.com
    Phone: +971 (0)4 427 3600

    Jumeirah Bay X2 Tower (3rd Floor)
    Email: office@austriabc.com
    Phone: +971 (0)4 427 3600

    Jumeirah Bay X2 Tower (16th Floor)
    Email: office@austriabc.com
    Phone: +971 (0)4 437 5700

    Opal Tower
    Email: office@austriabc.com
    Phone: +971 (0)4 427 3700