Dubai Airport Freezone also know as DAFZA) is one of the leading free zones in the UAE, strategically located next to Dubai International Airport. It offers a conducive environment for businesses to excel , providing numerous benefits such as 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and world-class infrastructure. This article dives into everything you need to know about DAFZA, including its benefits, registration process, facilities, and much more.

DAFZA Overview


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Dubai Airport Freezone, known as DAFZ or DAFZA, is a free trade zone in Dubai. It was set up in 1996 and is located next to Dubai International Airport. This tax-free zone supports over 20 business sectors, such as logistics, IT, aviation, telecommunications, engineering, food and beverage, jewellery, and cosmetics. It hosts over 2,500 businesses and 20,000 professionals who use its business-friendly laws and top-notch facilities.

About The DAFZA Community:

  • Establishment: Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) was established in 1996 as part of the UAE’s plan to develop economic free zones.
  • Growth: It is one of the fastest-growing free zones in the region.
  • Businesses and Professionals: Over 2,500 companies and 20,000 professionals operate here.
  • Facilities: Offers world-class infrastructure, smooth logistics, full business ownership, and complete business registration.
  • Support: Provides professional support for visa acquisition and business setup.

Benefits of Setting Up Business in DAFZA:

DAFZA offers numerous advantages that make it an ideal choice for businesses:

  • 100% Foreign Ownership: Entrepreneurs can fully own their businesses without needing a local partner.
  • Tax Exemptions: Companies in DAFZA are completely exempt from corporate and personal income taxes.
  • Repatriation of Profits: Businesses can transfer all profits and capital back to their home country.
  • Strategic Location: Dubai International Airport’s proximity allows easy global access and efficient logistics.
  • Modern Infrastructure: Offers up-to-date office spaces, warehouses, and advanced IT infrastructure.
  • Business Support Services: Provides comprehensive support services, including licensing, visa processing, and business consultancy.

Business Licenses Available in DAFZA:

DAFZA offers six types of business licenses to investors:

  1. Trade License: Allows trading activities such as import, export, re-export, distribution, and storage of certain products.
  2. Service License: It is made for service-oriented businesses, such as IT services companies.
  3. Industrial License: For light manufacturing, industrial activities, packaging, and assembling.
  4. E-Commerce License: Permits the trade of goods and services over the Internet.
  5. General Trading License: For trading general items, including import, export, re-export, storage, and distribution.
  6. Talent Pass License: Allows individuals to freelance in the media, technology, or education industries.
  7. Dual License with DED: Enables DAFZA companies to apply for a DET (formerly DED) license without needing physical office space on the mainland, allowing operations from DAFZA premises.

Wondering what’s a DET license? The options for starting a company in Dubai usually fall into three main categories: mainland, offshore and free zone. To get a Dubai mainland license trade license, you need to go through the Dubai Economy and Tourism (DET) department. DET is responsible for issuing trade licenses for businesses in Dubai Mainland.

A DET license is required to conduct any business activity in Dubai mainland. You can only perform the activities listed in the trade license. Any activities not included in the DET license can result in fines and other penalties.

For Service and Dual License, consultation with a registered agent is required to select the right category.

How to Set Up a Business in DAFZA?

Setting up a business in DAFZA is simple and straightforward:

  1. Choose Your License: Select the appropriate license type (Trade, Service, Industrial, E-commerce, General Trading, Dual License, or Talent Pass).
  2. Choose Your Company Type: Options include a Freezone Company (1-50 shareholders), a Public Limited Company (PLC), or a Branch (no share capital required).
  3. Choose Your Space: Decide on office, warehouse/industrial, or cold storage space.
  4. Submit Application: Fill in the form and submit it with the necessary documents (passport copies, business plan, bank reference letter).
  5. Approval and Payment: Once approved, make the required license and office space payments.
  6. Sign Lease and Collect License: Sign the lease agreement and receive your business license.

Documents Required

The basic requirements are as follows:

  • Passport copies of shareholders
  • Business plan
  • Bank reference letter
  • Company profile
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from current sponsor (if applicable)

Facilities and Services Offered by DAFZA

DAFZA provides state-of-the-art facilities and services to support businesses:

Office Spaces

  • Executive Offices: Fully furnished offices with advanced IT and telecommunication infrastructure.
  • Standard Offices: Customizable office spaces to suit business needs.
  • Flexi-Desks: Cost-effective solutions for startups and small businesses.


  • Light Industrial Units (LIUs): Suitable for light manufacturing and warehousing needs.
  • Logistics Facilities: Advanced logistics solutions to streamline supply chain management.

Business Support Services:

  • Licensing and Registration: Efficient processing of business licenses and registration.
  • Visa and Immigration: Assistance with visa applications and processing.
  • IT and Telecommunication: High-speed internet, telecommunication, and data management services.
  • Consultancy Services: Business setup consultancy, legal advisory, and marketing support.

Properties in Dubai Airport Freezone Area:

  • Customisable Options: Diverse selection, including furnished offices, workspaces, warehouses, industrial units, and retail spaces.
  • Hotel Apartments: Available for rent, mainly occupied by those working in the free zone.
  • Rental Office Spaces Start at 269 sq. ft., fully furnished with IT services, housekeeping, and reserved parking.
  • Warehouses: Available with cold storage facilities; average size is about 3,358 sq. ft.
  • Retail Centre: DAFZA Square Retail Centre offers rental shops.
  • Commercial Buildings: Available for sale for large corporate businesses.
  • Residential Areas: Nearby residential areas offer convenient access to DAFZA via Dubai Metro.

Transportation and Parking Spaces in DAFZA:

  • Road Network: Well-planned to facilitate logistics and freight forwarding companies.
  • Key Roads: Surrounded by Al Quds Street (D91), connected to Al Ittihad Street (E11) and Beirut Street (D62), leading to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (E311).
  • Parking: Sufficient parking spaces are available for visitors.

Public Transportation in DAFZA:

  • Bus Services: Buses 13B, 17, C26, and F08 are available from the central bus station.
  • Key Areas: Buses connect to Wasl Park, Al Nahda 2, Dubai Festival Centre, Al Qusais Industrial Area, and Gold Souk Station

Dafza Location:


Dubai Airport Free Zone – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

DAFZA Contact:

You can contact this number for any queries : (+971) 600 5 32392

Or Email at [email protected] 

DAFZA Working Hours:

Head Office:  Monday to Friday – 7.30 AM to 3.30 PM

Final Takeaway:

Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA) is an excellent choice for businesses looking to establish a presence in the Middle East. Its prime location next to Dubai International Airport, extensive business support services, and favourable economic policies make it attractive for entrepreneurs and multinational companies. By following the setup steps and utilising the provided facilities, businesses can easily establish and grow their operations in DAFZA.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. What is a Freezone?

A free zone is a special area where businesses can operate without typical restrictions that apply to foreign companies. These include not needing an Emirati partner and being exempt from corporate and income taxes.

Q. How many companies are there in DAFZA?

DAFZA has over 1,600 registered companies. Businesses choose DAFZA for its customer-focused environment and innovative facilities that help them achieve their goals. More than 15,000 employees work within the free zone, benefiting from its supportive infrastructure and services.

Q. How many employees does DAFZA have?

DAFZA has over 2,500 registered businesses from over 20 sectors and industries. It employs over 20,000 professionals who benefit from a business-friendly, tax-free environment with total ownership, full repatriation of earnings, and world-class facilities.

About Author

Pragya Banerjee

About Author

Pragya is a content writer with over 2 years of experience who thrives on the power of storytelling. She crafts clear, engaging content that resonates with audiences and transforms ideas into fresh, compelling pieces. When she's not writing, Pragya might be found curled up with a good book, exploring a new coffee shop, or seeking inspiration in nature. This constant curiosity fuels her creativity, allowing her to bring fresh perspectives to every project.