United Arab Emirates: JAFZA Company Formation

Last Updated: 4 July 2017
Article by STA Law Firm
Most Read Contributor in United Arab Emirates, September 2018

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.

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