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Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)

About Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)

Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) started in 1996 within the boundaries of Dubai International Airport (DXB) and is considered as one of the most developed free zones clustered around an airport in the Middle East. DAFZA spans over an area of 696,000 square meters, and its facilities include 13 state of the art buildings and nearly 300 warehouses.

DAFZA leverages its proximity to Dubai International Airport as its key selling point, where more than 150 airlines connect over 220 destinations across six continents. The airport is the preferred air logistics hub for the wider GCC and plays an integral part in international trade in Dubai.

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The Basics

If your business is based on flying goods in and out of Dubai, then this free zone is ideally suited for you. You can make use of special facilities that cater to international air freight. The free zone is also located in an area that gives it easy access to most parts of Dubai.

In terms of industrial units, the authority has developed the DAFZA Industrial Park, which is in Al Qusais, just 5km from Dubai International Airport. They offer a unique multi-client warehousing model allowing flexibility in storage, meaning clients can also make use of flexible leasing options in a shared warehouse space.

DAFZA hosts a variety of multinational corporate firms with approximately 1600 companies incorporated within its zone. Some of the world’s most recognized brands such as Red Bull, Rolls Royce, Transguard, Boeing and DHL – have set up their Middle Eastern base in this free zone.

The costs to incorporate within this free zone and leases at its state-of-the-art buildings tend to steer away small and medium-sized businesses. The free zone, unlike many others, strictly enforces the requirements of having paid up capital in a bank account to incorporate. In recent years, the free zone has strived to reduce some of its fees to become more competitive with other free zones in the United Arab Emirates.

In accordance with its drive to cater to customer needs, DAFZA provides a full range of supplementary business support services, such as employee sponsorship; online transaction processing; government services; banking; communications; housekeeping; catering; health care; travel arrangements; and car rentals.


A business in DAFZA Free Zone can operate under these types of licenses:

Commercial License

Encompassing trading activities;

Industrial License

Encompassing industrial or manufacturing activities;

Professional License

Encompassing professional services;

Documents Required to Start a DAFZA Company in Dubai

Here is a current list of documents required:

  • Application form;
  • Specimen signature of all parties involved in the business;
  • Passport copy of all shareholders and company officers;
  • Visa copy of all shareholders and company officers (if applicable);
  • Business plan;
  • Personal bank statements from all shareholders;
  • External approvals (if applicable);
  • Share capital deposit letter from a bank (if applicable);
  • If an industrial license, technical and environmental assessments might be required;
  • If a foreign shareholder has an existing UAE residence visa, a NOC from the sponsor is needed;
  • If a company, instead of an individual holds the shares, they need to be notarized and attested.

Timeframe for DAFZA License

DAFZA companies take approximately a month to incorporate. If your business activity requires approvals from external ministries, then the time frame can take longer. DAFZA continues to consolidate as many of the external approvals through a single-window operation, therefore the timeframe on these approvals is continuously improving.