United Arab Emirates: JAFZA Company Formation

Last Updated: 4 July 2017
Article by STA Law Firm

Construction of the Arc De Triomphe Paris took nearly thirty years until its inauguration by the French King, Louis-Phillippe in 1836. How much time in your view would it take to construct a metropolitan city that boasts international investors into the heart of desert barren lands? From National Geographic to Discovery and from NY times to the Times, Dubai undoubtedly reached its pinnacle and became the target of global paparazzi by driving investors worldwide into the region. Dubai offered them with world-class infrastructure, zero taxation, seamless connections to major ports worldwide, state of the art road, rail and air network, and right to own 100 percent shares within free zones! One of the first free zones of UAE – the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) gained massive success, thanks to careful and detailed planning, clear procedures, coherent regulations for which this modern and up-to-date free zone body continues to attract millions of investors every month desirous of or considering JAFZA company formation. JAFZA is today the world's largest free zone since it was established nearly two decades back.

Being the largest and the oldest also makes this freezone a lot more experienced regarding what-to-offer. For this reason, the free zone is today home to global Fortune 200 firms, fast moving consumer goods industry, manufacturing and after sales service undertakings, as well as service-oriented businesses. Well framed laws and regulations, strategic location, largest possible seaport access, availability of land and other resources, and its proximity to the new Al Maktoum International Airport bring all the desired accolades to this modern day free zone. JAFZA has had a clear vision of growth, and its management has introduced appropriate changes in its regulations. Besides other key factors, the free zone has also taken into consideration - segregation of land parcels, identified land parcels relevant to the particular industry sector, determined the appropriate JAFZA license fee packages. JAFZA also provides pre-built warehouses including labor accommodation, cold storage facilities, enhanced and full-time security, besides other commercial and corporate services.  

There is practically no business segment to whom JAFZA does not offer its outstanding services. JAFZA is home to world's leading pharmaceutical firms, research and development firms, importers and exporters of vegetables, fruits, and perishable commodities, e-commerce, and IT firms, companies engaged in general trading, steel suppliers, and global conglomerates.  Investors may opt for a limited liability form of entity, free zone establishment, industrial or national industrial license in addition to a service form of license.

JAFZA has always attracted (and, continues to attract) investors from practically every part of the world. Although being the oldest and largest free zones in Dubai, JAFZA has room for millions of applications desiring to be part of the JAFZA community. Visitors are required to apply for Jebel Ali Free Zone Gate Pass, and it is important that this is availed in the first instance to avoid any delays. JAFZA also houses ready to use offices where investors can commence their operations without the hassle of setting up their furniture, equipment, and fixtures. JAFZA also provides residential facilities, labor camps, cold-storage facilities, and lands. Please visit our Free Zone page to learn more on the business setup in JAFZA, JAFZA cost of formation, JAFZA land prices, warehouse costs and related features. It is indeed safe to suggest that all that glitters is, in fact, gold when speaking of investment climate that floats over Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

JAFZA has served as the regional operating base to numerous companies to utilize the industrial opportunities and commercial markets of the Middle Eastern region. JAFZA has provided international entities and domestic investors with easy access to the region with their high-end infrastructure and an investor-friendly business environment. The Jebel Ali Free Zone authorities have laid down a transparent company formation process to reduce the documentation requirements and legal formalities so that investors can initiate their operations at the earliest. However, investors are advised to comprehend the particular business category and license that suits their operational needs before commencing the company formation procedures. The table below has jotted down certain procedural and legal aspects of company formation in JAFZA to provide a clear understanding of the free zone's rules and regulations:



Different types of legal entities

       i.           FZCO - free zone company with 2 to 50 shareholders;

     ii.           FZE - free zone establishment with a single shareholder;

    iii.           PLC - public listed company with 2 to 50 shareholders; and

    iv.           Branch of a company outside the free zone.

Different licenses available

Trading license, service license, industrial license, national industrial license, e-commerce license, innovation license and offshore registration.

Why choose JAFZA?

The ideal location of the free zone, specific licenses and dynamically expanding in-house free zone market, dedicated traders' market and modern state of the art infrastructure.

Who should choose JAFZA?

The diversity of companies in JAFZA is one of its top attractions. JAFZA houses companies from various sectors such as light manufacturing, service providers, and agricultural sector businesses. Although, the free zone is the first choice for investors that intend to conduct import and export operations.

Other options available to investors

DAFZA (or Dubai Airport Free Zone) provides investors with similar facilities and business types. The location of DAFZA near to the Dubai International Airport has provided aviation and import-export companies with direct access to the global air routes. Although, JAFZA has grown to be a premier free zone due to its the state of the art infrastructure and diverse licensing options.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.