Jebel Ali Free Zone Company Formation (JAFZA)

Why Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)

Established in 1985, Jebel Ali Free Zone is the oldest, one of the most popular and massive industrial free zone of UAE. It is located in the west of Dubai and spread across an area of 48 square kilometers. Known as Dubai’s gem – JAFZA has turned Dubai into a global trading powerhouse i.e. a unique trade ecosystem that reduces cost, while enabling new opportunities for growth. Foreign investors and companies choose to set up their business in Jebel Ali Free Zone due to its rich infrastructure – surrounded as it is by the essential amenities and transport links.

Jebel Ali free zone authority JAFZA is responsible for incorporating new businesses in the free zone. The business setup in JAFZA is free from of red tape and restrictions and investors are provided with an environment which is most conducive for growth. JAFZA’s strong commitment to service excellence has qualified it to attain ISO 9001:2000 Certification in 1996, making it the world’s first ISO certified free zone.


Jebel Ali free zone links east and west with unrivaled connectivity that facilitates trade. It is located next to Jebel Ali Port which is world’s largest man-made port in the Middle East.

Jebel Ali Port

  • Premier gateway for over 90 weekly services connecting 140 ports around the globe,
  • Has an air-sea corridor and provides first class service
  • Has a capacity of 19.5 million containers annually
  • Named ‘Best Seaport in the Middle East’ for 21 consecutive years by Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards

Furthermore, JAFZ is 30 minute drive away from Dubai International Airport that connects over 200 global destinations. It is also well connected through extensive road network and is just 35 km away from Dubai city.


In a span of 30 years, JAFZA has grown from 19 member company base in 1985 to nearly 7300 companies today which include more than 100 Global Fortune 500 enterprises. Some of the biggest global firms such as Unilever, Samsung, Honda, General Electric, Panasonic, Nestle, Toshiba and many more have setup their regional headquarters in Jafza to serve the wider Middle East region including West Asia, CIS, Africa and South Asia.

Having a dynamic base for 7300 companies from over 100 countries, Jafza provides over 135,000 jobs and attracts more than 20% of the UAE’s foreign direct investment.

JAFZA classifies business formation types upon number of shareholders.

1. Multiple Shareholders

Free Zone Company (FZCo) – entity with 2 to 50 shareholders. Shareholders can be individuals, non- individuals (companies) or combination of both. FZCo is essentially a Limited Liability Partnership within the Free Zone.

Public Listed Company (PLC) – entity with 2 to 50 shareholders. Shareholders can be individuals, non-individuals (companies) or combination of both.

2. Single Shareholder

Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – entity with one shareholder (can be individual or company). It is essentially a Limited Liability Company within the Free Zone.

3. Branch of a Foreign or Local Company

An established business can set up its branch office in Jebel Ali. It will be fully owned by the parent company, operate under the same name and will conduct the same business.

License types offered in JAFZA

License Category Nature of Activity
Trading LicenseFor trading activities
Industrial LicenseFor industrial and manufacturing units.
Service LicenseFor service-based businesses
E-Commerce LicenseFor buying and selling of goods and services over electronic networks via any electronic means
National Industrial LicenseSupports manufacturing units with 51% local ownership requirement
Innovation LicenseFor businesses conducting R&D activities in order to develop new products and services
Offshore RegistrationFor setting up offshore company with limited liability

Benefits of Business Setup in JAFZA

  1. 100% foreign ownership
  2. No corporate tax for 50 years (can be renewed after completion)
  3. No personal income tax
  4. Complete repatriation of capital and profits
  5. No duties levied on imports and re-exports
  6. Onsite Customs
  7. Businesses allowed to deal in all forms of currencies
  8. No restriction on hiring foreign employees
  9. Investors can mortgage their business premises to a bank or financing company
  10. Complete facilities for all your UAE business setup needs i.e. availability of land, warehouses, showrooms, personalized development solutions, offices, retail outlets, a business park and even on-site residences

How Can KWSME Help

KWSME has been facilitating SMEs as well as Multinationals for their company formation in JAFZA. Our business support services help our clients in utilizing the world class features and logistic infrastructure of the free zone and present a right atmosphere for their business to flourish in the tax haven.

Contact us for our assistance in your business setup in Jebel Ali Free Zone.

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