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Dubai Airport Freezone

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Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (popularly known in abbreviated form as DAFZA) is a free economic zone in Dubai.[1] Providing customized office and warehouses with business setup and operational services, DAFZA allows two types of company formations: FZCO company, which is similar to a limited liability company that can operate within the Free Zone, or a Branch of an existing company. It is located in the free zone area of the region, adjacent to the Dubai International Airport, Dubai, UAE.

Dubai Airport Free Zone
TypeDeveloper and Operator
HeadquartersDubai, United Arab Emirates
Area served
Key people


Established in 1996, DAFZA came into being as a part of Dubai Government’s strategic plan to be an investment driven economy and today, it is one of the fastest growing free zones in the region, contributing 4.7 per cent of Dubai's GDP (gross domestic product). Located adjacent to Dubai International Airport in the free-zone area of Dubai, UAE, DAFZA allows international investors a complete tax-free business setup and execution of services, along with complete foreign ownership and no currency restrictions.
Spanning over an area of 696,000 square meters, DAFZA facility includes 13 buildings and 256 warehouses. Currently, DAFZA, houses 1,600 companies from across the globe with sectors including; electronic and electrical, IT and telecommunications, pharmaceutical and cosmetics, engineering and building materials, aerospace and aviation, logistics and freight, food and beverage, jewellery, precious stones and luxury items.[2]

Free Zone business licensingEdit

Companies operating at Dubai Airport Freezone follow the freezone’s regulations for registration.

The following licensing options[3] are offered to the companies willing to set up their businesses in DAFZA:

  • Trade license
  • Service license
  • Industrial license
  • General trading license[4]


Services that are provided by DAFZA:
1. Business Setup Services:

These services include:

  • Leasing and Licensing
  • Visa Services
  • Dedicated Government Service Centers.

2. Business Operational Services: include:

  • Interiors and Facility Management Services
  • Information & Communication Technology
  • Security Services
  • Other facilities (food court, retail area, travel agencies and more).

3. DAFZA Online Service Portal: An online service portal.

Activity GroupsEdit

DAFZA has divided the business activities into various groups for better classification while proceeding to setup the business. The groups are as follows:[6]

  • Education
  • Banks, Finance & Credit
  • Investment
  • Insurance
  • Restaurants, bars and canteens
  • Railway
  • Aircraft and Spacecraft
  • Petrol/Crude Petrol, Oil & Natural Gas
  • Environment
  • Electronics & Electrical Group
  • Legal Services
  • Business and management consultancy Services
  • Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy
  • Other Service / Trade Activities (Subject to Approval)
  • Transport, Shipping And Storage
  • Travel Agent
  • Motor Vehicles & Auto Spare Parts
  • Agricultural raw materials and live animals and Plants
  • Foodstuff and Beverages
  • Textiles, Clothing and Footwear
  • Stationary and Books
  • Advertising
  • Houesehold & Furniture Trading
  • Jewellery
  • Sports Equipment
  • Perfumery, Medicines, Beauty
  • Spectacles & Contact Lenses
  • Metals & Metal Ores
  • Building Materials
  • Agricultural, Flowers & Plants
  • Chemical
  • Waste Trading
  • Bags, Packaging Material & Paper Trading
  • Equipment & Machines


The benefits of setting up a business in Dubai freezone are many, here are the few prominent ones: [7] [8]

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • 100% exemption from corporate, personal and income taxes
  • 100% free transfer of funds, and no foreign exchange controls
  • Exemption from all import and export duties
  • Low freight charges
  • Inexpensive workforce, and easy recruitment procedures
  • Efficient communication procedures and single-window administration
  • Liberal government policies and legal framework
  • The timely and streamlined immigration process
  • Sponsorship and visas for an affordable skilled workforce
  • Freehold offices available for sale or lease
  • Ready to move offices, factories, and warehouses
  • Flexibility to operate 24/7
  • Easy business setup and licensing procedures
  • Unique industry clustering and purpose-built infrastructure
  • 3-Year residence visa in UAE
  • No restrictions on hiring employees


DAFZA products include:

  • Customizable Office Solutions[buzzword]
  • Package Solutions[buzzword]
  • Executive Suites Office Packages
  • DAFZA Warehouses and Light Industrial Units.

DAFZA Industrial Park, an industrial zone by DA. DAFZA Industrial Park is located in Al Qusais near to Dubai International Airport.[9]


  • Dubai Blink: Contributing to Dubai 10X Initiative, DAFZA launched its Dubai Blink Project, which focuses on being the world’s first e-commerce platform for free zone companies by utilizing artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and virtual business licences.[10]
  • FZ Exchange: Free Zone Exchange (FZ Exchange) initiative enables free zone companies to become public shareholding companies, list themselves in the financial market to increase their capital, enhance their activities and create a stable environment for foreign investments in Dubai and UAE.[11]
  • Internal Launchpad Program: Includes an electronic platform for suggestions, business incubator and a contribution platform of skills and expertise, aimed at developing an "innovative environment".[12]
  • The Global Gateway to Halal Industry: Guidebook entitled, ‘Dubai: The Global Gateway to Halal Industries’ was launched at an exhibition in Europe to encourage international investors to invest in the biggest halal food & beverage market in UAE.

A step by step guide on trading and investment in the halal industry of UAE, the guidebook was published in both Portuguese and Spanish languages.[13]

  • Developing Innovation Systems for Government Services: Purpose of the initiative is to promote innovation and cooperation between free zones and the government sectors to ease foreign investments in Dubai.[14]
  • Digital Intelligence Initiative: The initiative focuses on establishing an integrated and sustainable digital system, based on three main axes: operational model of ICT management, modernization of the IT platform, and ICT services.[15]
  • Smart Office Initiative: The initiative serves as an interactive platform for international companies to explore the local and regional market and to study available investment opportunities driven in by Dubai's leading position in the global economy.[16]


Key achievements of DAFZA up till now:

  • Won the 'Best Technology Award' for its Smart E-Gate Pass program during the 30th session of Ideas UK.
  • [17]
  • DAFZA's efforts in sustainability earned it a Platinum Certification from Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) in the 'Operations Maintenance of Existing Buildings' for its main building.
  • [18]
  • Received Golden Certification from the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design for the Project of Developing the Building 8W within 'DAFZA Square'.
  • [19]
  • Presented with the 'Emirates Energy Award' in the Golden Category from the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.
  • [20]
  • Granted, 'The Best Smart Initiative Award 2016' during the 'Big 5' awarding ceremony.
  • [21]
  • DAFZA and DAFZA Industrial Park were among the 20 free zones selected by the Cabinet Decision No. (59) of 2017, to be considered as designated zones.
  • [22]
  • During the World Government Summit 2018, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council announced the approved projects, that included DAFZA’s Dubai Blink and the Free Zone Exchange Project to be implemented over the next 24 months.
  • [23]
  • Earned a Platinum Certification from Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) in the operations of existing buildings.
  • [24]


Dubai CommerCity: A joint venture between DAFZA and the Wasl Asset Management Group. The project focuses on the growing e-commerce market around the world, providing international companies and investors with a platform for smoothly carrying out e-commerce activities in the region. Spanning over an area of 427,000 square meters, Dubai CommerCity includes office spaces and logistics units and is located in Umm Ramool, Dubai, UAE.[25]
Halal Trade & Marketing Center (HTMC): DAFZA and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) launched HTMC, which is a global business development centre focused on the Halal economy opportunities for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of halal economy products and services.[26]

External linksEdit

  • Dubai CommerCity[27]
  • DAFZA Industrial Park[28]
  • Dubai: The Global Gateway to Halal Industries[29]
  • Halal Trade and Marketing Centre (HTMC)[30]
  • [31]



  1. ^ DAFZA. Official Website Retrieved 27 February 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "About Us". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  3. ^ licensing options
  4. ^ "Business Setup". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Business Setup Services". DAFZA. Official Website.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Business Setup". Flyingcolour.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Warehouse Products". DAFZA. Official Website.
  10. ^ "News blink initiative". DAFZA. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Operational Performance". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Internal launchpad". DAFZA. official website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Halal Initiatives". DAFZA. official website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Innovative Schemes". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Digital Intelligence initiative". DAFZA. official website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Smart Office". DAFA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Best technology Award". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Sustainable Efforts". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  20. ^ "EMIRATES ENERGY AWARD 2015 WINNERS" (PDF). Retrieved 27 February 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ "The best smart initiative". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  22. ^ "Key Achievements". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Key Achievements". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  24. ^ "Key Achievements". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  25. ^ "Dubai CommerCity". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  26. ^ "HTMC". DAFZA. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Dubai CommerCity". Dubai CommerCity. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  28. ^ "DAFZA Industrial Park". DAFZA Industrial Park. Official Website. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  29. ^ "HALAL Industries". DAFZA. OFFICIAL WEBSITE. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  30. ^ "HTMC". DAFZA. OFFICIAL WEBSITE. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  31. ^ "Dubai Airport Free zone Official web page". Official Website. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  32. ^ "About DAFZA". The Dubai Government. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  33. ^ "About Dubai Airport Free zone". Retrieved 2015-10-27.