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A Stepwise Guide to Obtaining a Free Zone Visa for Dubai 

Dubai’s various Free Zones are projected to grow the UAE’s GDP by $68 billion USD. The various free trade zones in Dubai were built to fuel the growth of SMEs, create employment opportunities, and optimize the value of the UAE’s non-oil income sources.

Foreign investors who are looking to start a new business in Dubai, can either choose a Mainland jurisdiction or a Free Zone jurisdiction. 

If you’re looking to set up a business in one of Dubai’s many Free Zones, one of the first things you’ll need is a Free Zone Visa. This visa allows you to live and work in a designated free trade zone in the city. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps required to obtain your Free Zone Visa for Dubai. Whether you’re starting a new business or relocating an existing one, follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to success in no time!

What Is a Free Zone Visa in Dubai?

Dubai offers more than 30 free trade zones as perfect investment hubs equipped with all modern technology, amenities, and accommodation needed for an ideal global business ecosystem.  

A Free Zone visa in Dubai is issued by the authorities of respective Free Zones in conjunction with a trade license package. Entrepreneurs and business investors can apply for Free Zone visas for themselves, their managers and employees, and other stakeholders related to the company. 

One of the attractive incentives for starting a business in Dubai Free Zones is their quick company setup process, fast-track license, and company registration rules. Free Zones offer 100% ownership to foreign owners while allowing them to operate without paying income and corporate taxes. 

What Are the Benefits of a Free Zone Visa in Dubai?

A Free Zone visa offers some remarkable benefits for business owners and entrepreneurs. Here are the most important benefits you get from a Free Zone visa in Dubai:

  • Eligibility to live, work, and travel in the UAE 
  • 100% ownership in the Free Zone business (no need for a local partner)
  • 100% profit & capital repatriation 
  • Zero income & corporation taxes 
  • Zero import & export duty on business activities
  • Rent & lease facilities for business 
  • Apply for a UAE driving license 
  • Ability to travel to international destinations 
free zone visa dubai

How to Get a Free Zone Visa in Dubai? (Step-By-Step)

Applying for a Free Zone visa is very convenient and simple. Here is a step-by-step guide that explains how to apply for and secure your Free Zone visa in Dubai: 

1. Register for E-channel Services

Technology has made it very easy for both businesses and individuals to secure a Free Zone visa in Dubai. 

The visa application requires an AED 2,500 payment after registration is completed on the UAE government e-portal. Airzone can assist you through the application process by connecting you with the ideal visa consultants to manage the application for you. 

2. Get an Entry Permit

An entry permit or temporary visa allows you to enter Dubai and stay in the UAE for up to 60 days. This entry permit allows you to set up your business and complete the various application procedure during this time. 

3. Permit to Visa Status Change

Once you have received your entry permit, it is time to convert your permit into a certified Free Zone visa. Entry permit holders can complete this step by getting their passports stamped by the UAE immigration office. 

4. Medical and Emirates ID Registration

A medical examination and fitness test are necessary to secure a Free Zone visa in Dubai. The authorities request a blood test and chest x-ray too. After test results are received you are eligible to apply for an Emirates ID which activates local government services for you. 

5. Open a Business Bank Account

Once you have your Emirates ID, you’ll be able to open a corporate bank account. The process for opening a bank account in the UAE is quite simple. To open a corporate bank account, you must get in touch with the specific free zone authority for which you want to get a visa.

6. Residence Visa Authorization

The last step of the process is to get the UAE residence visa stamp on your passport. Once the immigration authority has authorized your residence visa you can live, work, and travel within the UAE. 

Document Requirements for Free Zone Visa in Dubai

When applying for a Free Zone visa in Dubai, you will require certain documents to support your application. Here is a complete list of documentation needed for your visa:

  • Copy of your original valid passport
  • Photographs with a white background
  • Your company’s memorandum of association 
  • You Free Zone Trade License
  • Immigration Establishment Card
  • UAE based Bank Statements (3 to 6 months)

Free Zone Visa Cost

Across the various free trade zones in the UAE, the cost of the visa can vary based on the zone. Below are the Free Zone visa costs for Dubai you should expect:

  • Investor Visa – AED 5,075
  • Employee Visa – AED 4,655
  • Medical Exam and Emirates ID Application – AED 1200

If you wish to set up a company in a free zone, we suggest checking out the many business formation guides we’ve covered regarding several free zones in the UAE.


How Airzone Can Help You Set up a Business in Dubai?

If you are planning to start a new business, Airzone can be your ultimate business formation advisor, providing you with all the essential knowledge, insights, and connections to successfully set up a business and secure a Free Zone visa in Dubai.  

Our network of professional company formation service providers can help you to understand the local economic ecosystem, permitted business activities, legal processes, and free trade zone regulations. In addition, our remarkable partner network can help you acquire a Free Zone visa in the UAE in the easiest way possible. 


Dubai’s exclusive Free Zones are quickly becoming centralized global hubs of economic activity. Since the UAE is a strategic gateway to Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, more SMEs, corporations, and startups are looking to establish themselves in the country. 

Dubai offers not just accessible airports and sea ports, amenities, and infrastructure suited for business but also facilitates foreign business through favorable regulations and tax laws. To learn more about a Free Zone visa application for Dubai, get in touch with Airzone today.