Dubai is the UAE’s leading and most prominent emirate, fueling around 45% of the country’s logistic needs. Other states are also notable players in this regard, but Dubai dominates the rest of the jurisdiction due to its exceptional infrastructure and geostrategic position.
Its geolocation and business-friendly infrastructure make it a perfect supply and logistics gateway. Dubai shares its geostrategic location with some of the biggest economies and serves as a gateway between the European and Asian markets. The emirate is easily accessible by air and water routes from neighboring GCC, Asian, and African countries. The average flight time from Dubai to Europe is around 8 hours which further increases its significance as a transit hub for notable airlines and couriers.
Dubai Logistics City free zone is the perfect avenue for foreign investors and entrepreneurs who want to set up their logistics business in Dubai. By initiating your business in Dubai Logistics City, you can take advantage of the plethora of opportunities this free zone offers for further logistics and supply chain activities such as freight forwarding, containerization, and packaging.
This blog post will help you discover how to set up a business in Dubai Logistics City and what opportunities and privileges you can expect from company formation in Dubai Logistics City. Let’s discuss this in detail.
How to Setup Business in Dubai Logistics City?
The steps below lead you to the company formation in Dubai Logistics City. These steps are mandatory to unlock your new business avenue in the free zone. Let’s discuss them one by one in detail.
Step 01 – Choose Your Business Activity(s)
Find and finalize your desired business activity before applying for your free zone company registration in Dubai Logistics City. The legal structure of your company, approvals from concerned authorities, and the type & cost of the trading license in Dubai Logistics City all depend on your chosen business activities. Your business activities can determine the format, scale, and nature of your operations in Dubai Logistics City.
The overall business registration process that leads to trade license issuances may vary slightly based on your business activity(s). Therefore, it is recommended to partner with an experienced business formation services or consultancy provider to help you at each stage of company formation in Dubai Logistics City.
Step 02 – Register Your Tradename
The next step is to choose a tradename for your business setup in Dubai Logistics City. Your tradename must obey the rules and regulations set by concerned authorities. For instance:
Your tradename must align with UAE’s religious, ethical, and moral values
It doesn’t reflect an association with any religious group
It must be unique and free from any words or phrases reserved for government organizations or authorities.
Before applying for the tradename reservation, it is recommended to check its availability on the e-services portal of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). Then create your account on the DED portal and apply for your tradename reservation. The fee for a tradename reservation in Dubai is AED 600.
Step 03 – Apply For Your Free Zone Trade License
As we have discussed earlier, the nature of your business activities determines your trade license category. The documents and approvals required for a trade license in Dubai Logistics City remain unaffected, apart from some additional requirements for particular business activities.
You can choose from the following categories of trade license in Dubai Logistics City free zone based on your selected activities:
To avoid any delay and choose the suitable license category, it is recommended to seek assistance from a professional business formation services provider. The Dubai Department of Economic Development is the central regulatory authority that approves and issues your trade license in Dubai.
Step 04 – Setup Your Office Space or Logistics Facility
Choosing a spacious corporate office space or logistics facilities like a storage compound, warehouse, or packaging/labeling facility is mandatory to run the day-to-day operations of your logistics business. You need to provide the Ejari Certificate (rental contract) before getting the final approval for the company formation in Dubai Logistics City.
Furthermore, consider the number of employee visas you will apply for before renting or purchasing a workplace facility for your business. As per the UAE corporate law, you are allowed one employee visa for 800 sq feet of office space of your free zone company. You can choose from a variety of different-sized furnished or non-furnished office spaces or inventories for your company formation in Dubai Logistics City.
Step 05 – Get Final Approval
Once you receive your trade license, your business is legally eligible to operate in the UAE. Until you get there, you must secure your trade license in Dubai Logistics City by fulfilling all the documents and steps discussed above. Now, you are all done, and it’s time to experience the remarkable privileges of Dubai Logistics City and start contributing to the world’s most prominent economy.
The following section will inform you about all the documents and approvals you need to secure your trade license and register your business in Dubai Logistics City.
Requirements for Company Formation in Dubai Logistics City?
Company formation in Dubai Logistics City is a lengthy but straightforward process that includes some mandatory documents and approvals from concerned authorities. The prerequisites and documents necessary for the final approval of your business include the following:
Initiate a business registration application with the DED
Provide your business’s memorandum of association
Getting Free Zone Trade License
Submitting an application for an establishment card to the Ministry of Labor (issued by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The documents required with the application include:
Original Emirates ID
Passport of UAE sponsor/shareholder (in case of shared partnership in Mainland – Shared partnership is not Obligatory after 2020)
Old Immigration card
A valid Trade License
Copy of Passport with valid visa page of all partners for Free Zone Company
Confirmed, and potential employees must be registered with the Ministry of Labor, with the documents required as under:
Note: Some additional approvals and documents are required for particular business activities.
Business Setup Cost in Dubai Logistics City
The business license cost in Dubai Logistics City is based on the type of trade license you will apply for. Consult the table below for an idea about the cost associated with different license categories.
Business Setup Cost in Dubai Logistics City
Trade License Category
Particular Trading Activities
Oil & Gas
Oil & Gas
The prices may vary significantly based on the number of employees visas you apply for your free zone company in Dubai Logistics City.
Dubai Logistics City houses various warehouses and empty plots to support logistics and storage operations for industry support. The free zone is intended to strengthen Dubai’s transport and logistics activities while leveraging its geolocation. Undoubtedly, Dubai Logistics City is rapidly scaling the UAE’s logistics capabilities and fueling its skyrocketing economy via various means.
Business Activities Allowed in Dubai Logistics City
You expect business activities related to strategic planning, execution, and control of the supply chain operations for the transit of perishable items, food, or industrial products, manufacturing raw materials, etc. The supply chain operations are two-way between the origin and destination of deliverables. Following are the types of business activities that can be carried out for logistics business in Dubai:
Freight Brokerage – An intermediary between the shipping and cargo company. The transportation medium can be based on air, sea, or land route. It involves dealing with all the aspects of customs and insurance side.
Customs Broker – Handle declarations of goods and taxes at customs for cargo permits.
Warehousing – Activities related to logistics storage, inventory management, packing, etc.
Air Cargo Transportation – Handling all the airport’s operations related to freight, packaging, and fleet management.
Sea Cargo Transportation – Handling all the seaport’s operations related to freight and packaging. It also involves dealing with the necessary processes for leasing freight and container.
Land Cargo Transportation – Handling logistics based on by-road or by-rail medium for the transition of goods between origin and destination.
3PL – 3P or 3rd-party logistics involves activities related to the storage and shipping of deliverables. It includes services related to storage, warehousing, or transportation offered to the clients.
Apart from core logistics operations, some other business activities allowed in Dubai Logistics City include
FAQs About Dubai Logistics City Free Zone Company Formation
What Is Dubai Logistics City?
Dubai Logistics City, or DLC free zone, is the first fully dedicated free zone jurisdiction to support logistics and supply operations in the megacity. The free zone has various supportive features like transportation, accessibility, logistics, supply chain, inventory locations, and other support services.
Embraced as one of the most visionary projects dedicated to logistics around the globe, this strategically curated free zone is located near UAE’s most modern seaports, Jebel Ali. DLC entertains a turnover of around 12M tonnes of air cargo per annum. The free zone jurisdiction is rich with facilities like sports clubs, leisure avenues, restaurants, and malls, covering approximately 21 square km. Another 140 square km of the landscape is dedicated to the aviation community, constituting the 4th largest international airport worldwide.
Do I Need to Have a Local Sponsor to Start My Business in Dubai Logistics City?
Dubai Logistics City is a Free Zone in Dubai that offers 100 percent foreign ownership. Foreign investors and entrepreneurs can create their business setup in Dubai Logistics City without local sponsors or shareholders.
How Many Days Would It Take To Get My License for My Business in Dubai Logistics City?
You can expect to wait approximately 15 – 20 days to get your trade license in Dubai Logistics City. The process involves applying for business registration with a detailed business plan with all business activities, required documents, and approvals from relevant authorities. You can connect with Airzone, and we can help you find the right business formation services provider that makes your company formation journey more smooth and quick.
Can I Transfer My Company From Dubai Logistics City to Another in the UAE?
You are strictly restricted from transferring your company from Dubai Logistics City to another Free Zone or Mainland jurisdiction in Dubai or UAE. Another alternative is to open a branch in your desired Free Zone or Mainland to expand your market exposure. Otherwise, you need to cancel your trade license and apply for business registration from scratch with the concerned authority of the new Free Zone.
Connect with Airzone to get on board with a business formation consultancy provider who can help you with the right suggestion and available alternatives.
How Airzone can help you start a Business in Dubai Logistics City?
The process of company formation in Dubai Logistics City is a daunting task that involves a lot of documentation and approvals from the relevant authorities. Airzone can help you free your burden by letting you connect with its trusted partners and services experienced in business formation and consultancy. You can get on board with our authentic and experienced business formation service and consultancy providers who can help you with:
Residence or work visa issuance for your employees
Airzone has helped various businesses find the right business formation services and create their business setup in Dubai and UAE. Our trusted services can help ensure your presence as a Free Zone or a Mainland business setup in the UAE. Connect with Airzone and create a strong presence in one of the world’s leading economies.
It is recommended to check out the list of free zones in the UAE and make an informed decision to finalize the perfect venue for your business venture in the UAE.
Dubai Logistics City Free Zone Business Setup Costs
Calculate Company Formation Costs for Dubai Logistics City Freezone