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DWC Dubai: Dubai South Free Zone

DWC Dubai
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DWC Dubai, also known as Dubai South Free Zone, is a crucial global trade and aviation center. Located beside Al Maktoum International Airport, it provides businesses with full foreign ownershipt. This article highlights the main aspects of DWC Dubai, such as its licenses, business benefits, and the steps to set up a company there.

Discovering DWC Dubai

DWC Dubai is a visionary project by the Dubai government to establish the region’s most prominent business and aviation hub. It’s an entirely self-sufficient urban masterpiece that fosters business growth and prosperity. Adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport and in proximity to the Expo 2020 site, DWC stands out as a free zone of choice.

Positioned to bridge the air mega port of Al Maktoum International Airport with the bustling Jebel Ali sea port, Dubai South is a gateway to the burgeoning markets of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. The strategic location of Jebel Ali port, recognized as one of the world’s leading ports, enhances DWC’s global reach.

Who is DWC Dubai For?

DWC is a top choice for a range of investors and businesses. It focuses on logistics and aviation sectors, offering over 800 commercial activities, such as:

  • Retail businesses
  • Hospitality
  • Food services
  • Education providers
  • Information technology solutions

DWC Dubai offers vast opportunities for growth and success to those in trade and professional advisory services. Alongside this, many well-known international trading companies have set up their operations at DWC.

DWC Free Zone Business Advantages

Starting a company in the DWC Free Zone brings many professional benefits. Here’s a clear breakdown of what you can expect:

  • Full Ownership: Run your business with complete ownership, ensuring you’re in charge every step of the way.
  • Capital and Profit Returns: Move your earnings and investment freely, with no restrictions.
  • Efficient Setup Process: Set up your company smoothly and affordably.
  • Lease Flexibility: Find commercial leases with terms that work for you.
  • Wide Activity Selection: Choose from a vast array of business activities for your company.
  • Office Options: Find the space that fits your business size.
  • Logistical Links: For your logistical needs, enjoy direct connections to Jebel Ali Sea Port and Al Maktoum International Airport.
  • Easy Paperwork: Benefit from a streamlined process with less paperwork.
  • No Proof of Share Capital Needed: Start your business without showing proof of share capital.

Type of Licenses Available in DWC Dubai

There are many types of licenses available at DWC Dubai, including:

  • Professional/Services License: Perfect for businesses providing professional services, which might need evidence of qualifications or experience.
  • Trading License: This license is for companies engaged in trading activities such as importing, exporting, distributing, and storing goods within the UAE.
  • General Trading License: This license covers a broader range of trading activities, except those involving banned goods.
  • Industrial License: Designed for businesses focused on manufacturing and production.
  • Logistics License: Best for companies in the transportation and logistics industry.
  • Education License: For educational institutions that range from primary schools to higher education, including vocational and online learning platforms.

Each license is crafted to cater to businesses’ varied requirements and ensure they take full advantage of DWC Dubai’s supportive business environment.

Business Activities Available at DWC Dubai

At DWC Dubai, you have a tonne of different activities available. These include the following:

  • Healthcare & Lifestyle
  • Technology & Design
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Manufacturing & Construction
  • Education & Training
  • Food & Beverage
  • Renewable Energy
  • Professional Services

Dubai South Free Zone Business Setup Process

Setting up a business in DWC Dubai is straightforward. Follow this guide to understand the process:

  1. Personal Presence or Legal Representation Required: The business owner must be present for signature verification at the start of the setup process. If you can’t be there, a Power of Attorney certified by the UAE embassy and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs is acceptable.
  2. Pre-Approval and Document Submission: The initial step is to gain pre-approval for your business. Gather and submit necessary documents for authority review and approval, such as business plans, passport copies, and application forms.
  3. Signature Verification: The government must verify your document signatures to ensure all paperwork is legally recognized.
  4. Lease Agreement Execution: Choose a physical location for your business and sign a lease agreement for the space or land in the free zone that fits your business needs.
  5. Payment of Fees: Pay the required government and service fees after signing the lease. These vary depending on your business type and the facilities needed.
  6. License and Permit Acquisition: After completing documents and payments, the last step is to get the licenses and permits you need. These will allow you to conduct your business activities legally in DWC Dubai and start your operations.

Preparing Your Documentation

To make the process go smoothly, gather these essential documents and details ahead of time:

  • Copies of the owner’s passport
  • Home address information
  • Telephone number
  • Email address

Also, think of some potential names for your company and be ready to explain the nature of your business activities in the UAE market.

Financial Considerations

  • Standard Licenses: A yearly fee of AED 10,000 is required for most licenses.
  • General Trading License: This license has an annual fee of AED 25,000, which must be paid in advance.
  • Smart Desk Solutions: Tailored for new businesses, this package includes a license for up to two visas, an establishment card, and rental of a Smart Desk at a total cost of AED 29,960.
  • Permanent Solutions: Packages such as Smart Desk and Smart Office come with more visa options, and the price varies based on the number of visas needed.

Let Us Help You Setup in DWC Dubai

Starting a business in DWC Dubai sounds challenging. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Our skilled team is ready to guide you through each step of the process. We are here to help you meet all the necessary regulations and fully utilize what DWC Dubai offers. For more information about how we can help, contact us today.


What is DWC Dubai?

DWC Dubai, also known as Dubai South Free Zone, is a comprehensive global trade and aviation hub located near Al Maktoum International Airport. It offers full foreign ownership and is designed to support a wide range of business activities, especially in logistics and aviation.

What types of licenses are available in DWC Dubai?

DWC Dubai offers several types of licenses, including:
Professional/Services License
Trading License
General Trading License
Industrial License
Logistics License
Education License

What are the main benefits of setting up a business in DWC Dubai?

The benefits of establishing a business in DWC Dubai include:
100% foreign ownership
Full repatriation of capital and profits
Flexible commercial lease terms
A broad selection of permissible business activities
Streamlined setup and administrative processes
No requirement for proof of share capital

What are the key sectors targeted by DWC Dubai?

DWC Dubai focuses on various sectors such as logistics, aviation, retail, hospitality, food services, education, and information technology.

How do I set up a business in DWC Dubai?

he process involves:
Obtaining pre-approval and submitting necessary documents
Verifying signatures on official documents
Executing a lease agreement for office or land
Paying relevant government and service fees
Acquiring the necessary licenses and permits to start operations

What documents are required to set up a business in DWC Dubai?

Key documents include:
Passport copies of the business owner(s)
Business plan
Application form
Proof of home address, contact number, and email

How much does it cost to obtain a business license in DWC Dubai?

Costs vary depending on the license type:
Standard Licenses typically cost AED 10,000 per year.
General Trading License costs AED 25,000 annually.
Smart Desk Solutions, including a license for up to two visas and other facilities, start at AED 29,960.

Can I represent myself during the DWC business setup process?

You must either be present in person for the verification of signatures or provide a Power of Attorney certified by the UAE embassy and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you are unable to attend.

What are the available office options in DWC Dubai?

DWC offers various office solutions ranging from Smart Desks for new businesses to larger offices for more established companies. These come with flexible terms to suit different business sizes and needs.

How long does it take to set up a business in DWC Dubai?

While the duration can vary depending on individual circumstances and completeness of documentation, the process is streamlined for efficiency, often taking only a few weeks from start to finish once all documents are submitted.

Gilbert Sakr

Do you need help in business setup or looking to start a business in Dubai? Here you will find all the information and business ideas you need for starting your own company in Dubai.

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