Where To Register Your Company: Resources for Entrepreneurs in the UAE
Similar to some of the content in the Wamda Country Info Center for the UAE, this series of articles by Kia Davis offers an up-to-date, comprehensive list of resources for entrepreneurs looking to get set up or expand in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or any part of the UAE. (Also, all companies with an asterisk were founded by entrepreneurs in the UAE). The series includes the following resources:
General Information: Basic information and description pages for all free zones in the UAE. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dubai Airport Freezone: A Dubai free zone that includes the Dubai Enterprise Center, an incubator. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: email@example.com.
Dubai Enterprise Center: A Dubai incubator, open to all industries, and to both expats and Emiratis. Part of the Dubai Airport Freezone. Provides physical space and other support services, such as mentoring and feasibility studies. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dubai Internet City: A Dubai free zone for software, technology, and ICT, managed by TECOM. Anchor clients include Microsoft, Oracle, HP, IBM, Dell, Siemens, Canon, Logica, Sony Ericsson, Schlumberger and Cisco. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: email@example.com
Dubai Knowledge Village: Dubai free zone for universities (mostly foreign), professional training and learning support services. Managed by TECOM. A high number of training and consulants are present. Universities are scheduled to move to Dubai International Academic City. Current anchors include University of Wollongong, University of Middlesex, Hult University. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dubai Media City: Dubai free zone for media-based companies, including print and internet media. Managed by TECOM. Anchor clients include MBC, OSN, CNN, Leo Burnett, and Reuters.
Dubai Silicon Oasis: Dubai free zone and high-tech technology park (e.g. silicon manufacturing) and free zone. Includes integrated living space. Anchor clients include Philips, Fujitsu, AMD, Western Digital, Synopsys, Corning and Schneider Electric. Includes an incubator for entrepreneurs, which includes trade license services and free workspace. email@example.com
Dubai Studio City: Dubai free zone for audio-visual industry - broadcast, film, television and music production industries, Dubai Studio City will be an ultra-modern facility integrating every component under one roof. Spread across 22 million sq.ft., it will include production, post-production, equipment rental, business centre and satellite facilities. Phone: 9714 391 4664 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ENPARK: Dubai, clean energy and environmental technology. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: email@example.com
Fujairah Free Zone: A Dubai free zone. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Media Production Zone: Dubai, graphic art, publishing and packaging. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: email@example.com
Jebel Ali Free Zone: A Dubai free zone, focused on industry, but with some transportation, hospitality, tourism, and trading as well. The first free zone set up in Dubai. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jumeirah Lakes Towers: Part of Dubai Multi-Commodities Center, the JLT Free Zone is open to a wide range of company licenses. One of the few Free Zones with residential housing as well. Hotline: +971 4 424 9600
Ras Al Khaimah FTZ: Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority has created a system of four unique Free Zone Parks that will suit and serve every investor according to their requirements. The Four Parks concept includes the Business Park, Industrial Park, and Technology Park & Al Ghail Park, offering the offices, equipped warehouses & Land facilities. Two promotional offices at the Fairmont Hotel in Dubai and the Twin Towers in Dubai allow you to arrange the paperwork and liaise with consultants without going to RAK. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: email@example.com
RAK Investment Authority: RAKIA is a Government body formed in 2005 with a mandate to promote industry, trade, investment, tourism & infrastructure in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharjah Airport International (SAIF): Free Zone based at Sharjah airport, for IT services, media, consumer durables, light to medium manufacturing industries. Hotline: +971 55 4479550 Email: email@example.com
Creative Zone: An end-to-end Free Zone business setup service that helps entrepreneurs establish new companies, process your residency visas, set up bank accounts, and provides access to office space in a business center located in the heart of Downtown Dubai overlooking the Burj Khalifa. Setup packages start at 16,500 AED; a VIP package can accommodate a Trade License on the same day and a residency visa within 2 weeks. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +971 4 455 8455.
Virtuzone: A privately-owned promotional office for registering companies in the Fujairah Free Trade Zone, for creative companies, and provides virtual office and temporary workspace facilities. Office is located in Dubai JBR. Note: several entrepreneurs have reported serious concerns with Virtuzone, mostly around delays in getting licenses and visas. Phone: +971 4 457 8200
Fujairah Creative City: A business park in Fujairah, designed for individuals and businesses working in the media, consulting, communications, design and technology fields, decreed by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi and operated by Fujairah Media. Creative City offers setup packages to help companies get reigstered and established.
Tas’heel:A government liaison and business establishment company that offers a range of business set-up solutions in Dubai. Tas'heel handles the entire incorporation process from initial approval and signing at the notary public to trade license issuance. They also offer in-house business setup consultancy services, local sponsorship, registered office premises, staffing solutions, free zone company incorporation, phone answering and P.O Box Management services.
SETUP & SETUP TRAINING
Webpreneur Academy: Webpreneur Academy offers training, knowledge, webinars, and live seminars on getting started in online business, including seminars on getting set up. Webpreneur is run by entrepreneur Amir Anzur, who has co-authored a book with Ali Anzar of AskAli.com.
Middle East/North Africa Private Equity Association (MENA PEA): MENA PEA is an online site for the PE industry, but provides a listing of investor companies (including venture capitalists). Also includes resources on setting up in the UAE. Some listings are out of date, but it’s a good starting point for information.
Kia Davis is a mentor, advisor, temporary operating executive, and "Fairy Godmother" for startups, living in Dubai. You can find her on Twitter @kiardavis.