Sharjah Media City Free Zone (SHAMS)

About Sharjah Media City Free Zone (SHAMS)

Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) launched in 2017 with a vision to be a leading hub for media and creativity in the UAE. Located just 25 minutes from Dubai International Airport (DXB) and 10 minutes from Sharjah International Airport (SHJ), the free zone is positioned to grow into a significant player in the region.

SHAMS has the most comprehensive range of business activities in the UAE – with over 200 at last count, including consultancy, plumbing, hospitality and publishing. Despite its name, the free zone is not currently dominated by media companies, with most of the companies engaging in commercial trading activities.

As SHAMS is a new free zone, it currently only offers flexi-desk packages which are based within a business centre. A state-of-the-art free zone city is now under construction, and when complete it will directly compete with other media zones such as Dubai Media City or twofour54. You will eventually be able to buy or lease prebuilt offices, warehouses, studios and other facilities.

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The Basics

One of the distinguishing factors of this free zone is that it offers investor visas without a deposit, with up-to six residence visas, through a flexi-desk package. The free zone does not require any annual audits and provides the lowest priced visa-free general trading and e-commerce business licences in the UAE. They also do not mandate a NOC if you have an existing UAE residence visa; thereby negating the need to notify your employer of your intention to start a company.

SHAMS also offers a “Social Media Influencer Package” through the National Media Council (NMC) which allows new media influencers to freely offer their services to a variety of domestic and international brands. Also, you can obtain a holding licence that is specially created to control other companies, property such as real estate, patents, trademarks, and other assets. This license is sold exclusively through SHAMS registered agents.

The free zone offers a variety of concierge services such as dependent visas, car registration, corporate banking, mail management and more to become a one-stop-shop for all your needs. You can take advantage of many of these services via their website.

TYPES OF LICENSES:

A SHAMS company 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 for setting up a company in SHAMS

Since this is a new free zone, the requirements may change as their policies evolve. At the time of publishing, these are the requirements:

  • Application form – includes a list of proposed company names;
  • Passport of all shareholders;
  • Brief business description;
  • A passport size photo;
  • Utility bill issued within the last 90 days as proof of address;
  • If a company, instead of an individual holds the shares, they need to be notarized and attested. If a foreign company holds them, you will need to have them legally translated to Arabic and then attested by the home government, UAE Embassy and UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Timeframe for SHAMS LIcense

Business setup in SHAMS takes less than a week, with all documentation and paperwork completed within two business days.

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