Dubai South Free Zone: The City of You

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Dubai South (previously named ‘Dubai World Central’ or “DWC”) is a 145 sq. km purpose-built airport city under development in Dubai right next to Jebel Ali Sea Port. It will be an economic zone supporting various activities like logistics, aviation, exhibition, humanitarian aid, residential and other related businesses around Al Maktoum International Airport with the planned annual capacity of 12 million tons of cargo and 160 million passengers. The construction area is two times the size of Hong Kong Island.

The Dubai South Free Zone stands beside the Emirate’s second airport, the Al Maktoum International (IATA: ‘DWC’) and Dubai Expo 2020, under the umbrella of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, an entity of the Government of Dubai.

The key industries at Dubai South are aviation and logistics. Both industries leverage two unique strengths:

  • the central geographical position Dubai enjoys between the world’s developed and emerging markets,
  • and Dubai South’s multimodal capabilities that enable cargo movement over sea, land, and air in record times.

But aviation and logistics are just the beginning. Dubai South is building a comprehensive economic Free Zone platform, one that supports virtually every type of business and industry. Around 4,100 companies currently operate at Dubai South.

The Licenses available in Dubai South Free Zone:

  1. Industrial License: the holder of this license is allowed to carry out some light manufacturing activities
  2. Logistics License: the holder of this license is allowed to carry out some logistic services
  3. Trading & General Trading License: For import; export, distribution and storage. You can also sell your products on the mainland market through a local distributor.
  4. Service License: related to the services specified in the License. Possibility to offer your service all over the country
  5. Education License: educational and social services; educational and training, and educational consultancy services.
  6. Commercial License: the holder of this license is allowed to carry out specified commercial activities out of the UAE, or in the UAE through the local distributor

Largest commercial aviation facility

The now operational Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai South is currently expanding to become the world’s largest commercial aviation facility. Once complete, its five A380-compatible parallel runways will have capacity to fly 220 million passengers and 16 million tons of cargo per year.

Dubai South is well connected to the rest of Dubai. It is easily accessible by car and the metro line. It is situated approximately 35 minutes from Dubai International Airport, and 30 minutes from Downtown Dubai. Dubai South is directly served by two arterial roads: The Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (E311) to the west, and the Emirates Road (E611) to the East. The free zone is also connected to Sheikh Zayed Road (E11). Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) operates daily bus routes to Dubai South.

The Dubai South Free Zone offers a wide range of facilities:

  • Flexi desks/flexi offices
  • Permanent desk
  • Fully furnished offices
  • Warehouses
  • Plots of land

For some business activities, an attested degree or professional experience related to the field may be required. Also, it is not permitted to combine non-related business activities under the same license.

Advantages of Business Setup in Dubai South Free Zone:

  • 100% foreign ownership (you don’t need a local sponsor)
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • No visa security deposit is required
  • No corporate or personal income tax
  • A wide range of business activities are available
  • Direct physical access to both Jebel Ali Sea Port and Al Maktoum International airport
  • Strategic location on Sheikh Zayed Road, connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and within close proximity to Dubai Logistics Corridor

DWC Free Zone is a good option if you are looking to set up a business in Dubai at an affordable price with quick access to Al Maktoum Airport and Jebel Ali port and next door to Abu Dhabi.


For more information about DWC, visit the Free Zone page here or call +971 58 514 2021

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