Free zone is a particular geographical area in the emirate where 100% foreign ownership is allowed. Free zones do not require partnership with a UAE citizen or with a local service agent.
Dubai Internet City (DIC) was inaugurated in the year 2000 to create a common ground for all information and communication technology (“ICT”) companies. Dubai Internet City is a center built in a free trade zone area under the umbrella of TECOM Investments Holding, which also incorporates Dubai Media City and Knowledge Village all within close proximity to each other. The three are part of Dubai government’s initiatives to make it the global hub for knowledge and innovation.
The Dubai Media City has been specially established for media related businesses while Knowledge Village is a learning community. The area is arranged in such a way as to develop interaction and create plenty of opportunities for networking, exchange of ideas and channel development among all the stakeholders.
The free zone is now home to over 1,600 companies, with some world- renowned IT manufacturing brands permanently making it their base and some others establishing their regional offices in the area. These include some of Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs.
Dubai Internet City has now become the center stage for the IT industry. Thanks to Dubai’s strategic location, the region is now accessible to all corners of the earth. DIC has a very promising, young and talented pools of talent in the areas of technology and communications and continues to attract multitude of talents from all over the world.
The Dubai Internet City Free Zone in the last few years has developed into one of the most favorite spots for international businesses looking for a sustainable and profiting spot for settlement in the emerging indigenous market. DIC has great facilities and world-class infrastructure, an investor-friendly environment, flexible legal structure and an affable ecosystem for global and regional companies and entrepreneurs.
Some of the major advantages of Dubai internet city business setup include:
- 100% ownership
- 100% exemption from customs duty
- Capital Mobility
- Easy Licensing
- Cyber Regulations; and
- Protection of IP
- 0% corporate or personal income tax
- No currency restrictions
- State-of-the-art offices
- excellent retail services
- 24- hour security
The following entities can be legally registered in DIC:
A limited liability company in a free zone can be owned by 1 to 50 individuals or corporate shareholders with a minimum share value of AED 1,000 and a minimum share capital investment of AED 50,000.
This refers to a branch by an applicant who is a UAE resident. It doesn’t have any capitalization requirement.
A branch of a foreign company in DIC can be formed by an applicant who is a foreign national, and such a company doesn’t have any capitalization requirement.
Here are the most common licenses in DIC Free Zone.
A software license in given to any activity related to developing, installing and/or modifying software products of the company or of a third party.
This license is issued for any activity related to developing, installing, modifying, and/or operating networks or providing relevant services designed for operating network-based applications or services for self or for third parties.
An e-commerce license is needed for any activity related to individual services and products to third parties through electronic media such as an internet search engine, portal, website, social media etc. for the purpose of selling goods and services.
An IT service license includes any activity related to development and/or offer of standardized repeatable IT-based services, this may also include security solutions, localization, training, and corporate learning.
This license is for any activity related to development and/or distribution of internet or multimedia content. Other activities may include distributing goods or services via the internet, such as by providing an online platform and acting as an intermediary between multiple companies or multiple individuals. DIC also welcomes others investors for other segments such as general service providers, consultants, property management; and hotel & leisure.
The share Capital of AED 50,000 should be deposited to company bank account or DIC bank account before License of the company is released.
minimum share capital requirement amounts to AED 50,000 (USD 13,698). Share capital needs to be deposited into company’s bank account.
1 year only, as in any other emirate, after which the license needs to be renewed.
DIC requires all companies registered in the free zone to submit audit reports on an annual basis.
Company’s license should be renewed before expiry date to avoid payment of late renewal penalties.
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