Selecting the Best Free Zone for Your Software Business
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Choose The Right Free Zone For Your Software Company


American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn aptly said, “Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.”

UAE is a country of hope and progress. The Mars HOPE mission is proof of the UAE’s constant endeavor for innovation and excellence. So it is no surprise that it’s the base of a number of booming business opportunities. When it comes to Software companies, Dubai is the center of the Middle East. Striving for continuous economic improvement, UAE had embraced technology with open arms, and the software, IT, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, virtual reality, fintech, etc. are the emerging sectors to look out for.

Advantages of starting a software company (a start-up, small or middle-sized enterprise) in UAE free zones

  • Stellar technological infrastructure and support services
  • Great Government support to encourage business development and scale-up
  • Business-friendly tax and regulatory conditions
  • Perfect location as UAE acts as the junction of the east and the west
  • With different types of business thriving in the country, there is a high demand for software-related services
  • High internet penetration

Cost break-up for starting a software company

Once one has decided to go ahead with a business venture it is important that one should have an estimated idea of the expenses.

Business start-up cost ●       Company License

●       Establishment Card

●       Business Set-up assistance fee

●       Rent for office premises

Additional fees that might be chargeable at the initial stage ●       Document attestation

●       Special clearance (if needed)

●       Translation (as and when required)

Charges with respect to employees ●       Wages

●       Employee residence visas

●       Employee insurances

Miscellaneous ●       Documents

●       Permit clearance

●       Office set-up (interiors and décor)

●       Technological infrastructure

●       Software testing

●       Equipment, etc.


After expenses, the location of the company is the next most important thing while considering company formation.  The UAE, especially Dubai offers some great options few of which are discussed below.

Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA):

  • The most prestigious free zone, DAFZA also boasts being the most robust and most innovative one.
  • Located near the world’s busiest airport with regards to international travel Dubai International Airport, it provides world-class infrastructure, conference/ meeting halls, business and networking opportunities.
  • DAFZA offers a complete business licensing solution.
  • It allows 100% foreign ownership.
  • It is tax-free and provides investor incentives amongst many other perks.

Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC):

  • Winner of 6 times Global free Zone of the Year by Financial Times Magazine.
  • Ideally located where office spaces are affordable, DMCC offers a number of business opportunities.

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA):

  • A 100% government-owned authority, DSOA offers a perfect place to start and expand a software company without much hassle.
  • The digital park in DSOA provides Flexi desks as well as executive offices for any new companies.

Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC):

  • DTEC is a part of DSOA
  • Provides world-class, high-tech infrastructure for Software companies.
  • Specifically created for Software and IT ventures. It also caters to service-based companies like research, consultancy, marketing, etc.
  • DTEC is the largest tech innovation hub in the MENA region and its 24/7 access, high speed WiFi makes it an ideal location.
  • DTEC also has a start-up incubation center and innovation hub that helps new software companies to scale up.

Internal Free Zone Authority (IFZA), Dubai:

  • Co-branded with DSOA, IFZA offers the lowest-cost start-up package with 1 visa quota.
  • IFZA has great facilities that can be customized as per requirement.
  • It offers state-of-the-art- amenities and high-speed internet required to run great software and IT companies.

Dubai South:

  • Home of Expo 2020, this Free Zone is next to Al Maktoum International Airport and is considered to be the future development area.
  • Its business park offers modern office premises.
  • It offers one of the most competitive business set-up packages: AED 30000 approximately for a business license with Smart desk and 2 visa quotas

Fujairah Creative City Free Zone:

  • A great option outside Dubai, it offers:
  • 100%ownership
  • 100%repartriation of capitals and profits
  • No need to rent office premises
  • One of the most affordable options, a company can be started from AED 10,000.
  • The approval of a business license is quick and efficient.

The awesome benefits offered by the several Free Zones make UAE the perfect country to start software companies. With the Government’s help this is a perfect environment for business owners to venture into new markets.

If you have any query related to setting up a software company in Dubai or anywhere across the UAE then please feel free to contact us at +971 4 4542366 or mail your query at info(at)flyingcolour(dot)com.

*Please note that this article has been published on 03/11/2021 in accordance with the federal policies and updates at the time of writing. For the latest info please talk to our consultant.

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