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What is the Difference Between Dubai Mainland and Free Zone Visas

what is the difference between dubai and free zone visa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is recognized globally as a business hub, and Dubai, in particular, stands out for its impressive mix of thriving industries, progressive policies, and top-tier infrastructure. Companies looking to set up in Dubai can choose between two distinct environments: the Dubai Mainland and the various Free Zones. These two options come with their unique set of rules and regulations, especially when it comes to visas. In this blog, Choose UAE discusses what is the difference between Dubai mainland and free zone visa.

What is the Difference Between Dubai Mainland and Free Zone Visas

Dubai Mainland Visas

The Dubai Mainland visa, endorsed by the Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai, is tailored for enterprises functioning within the mainland jurisdiction of Dubai, under the purview of UAE Federal Law. A distinctive advantage of this visa type is its inherent flexibility. It permits Mainland companies unrestricted business operations both within the UAE and internationally. Additionally, there’s no cap on the number of visas that a Mainland company can secure, given they meet the necessary office space requirements as stipulated by the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MOHRE).

Free Zone Visas

Free Zone visas, on the other hand, are sponsored by the respective Free Zone Authority where the company is registered. Unlike their Mainland counterparts, Free Zone companies are confined to conducting business within their Free Zone or internationally. The number of visas that a Free Zone company can acquire is directly proportional to the office space leased by the company. The Free Zone authorities have specific guidelines in place to determine the number of visas per square meter of office space.

Step 3: Submit Your Trade License Application and Establish Your Business Location

With your groundwork complete, it’s time to apply for your trade license. You will need to submit your application and all required documentation to the DED or the respective free zone authority. Concurrently, you need to secure an appropriate physical location for your business operations. The location should comply with the specific regulations stipulated by the UAE authorities and should align with your business’s needs.

How Can Choose UAE Help

Choosing between a Dubai Mainland and Free Zone visa depends largely on your business’s needs and goals. If your company plans to conduct business extensively within the local UAE market, a Dubai Mainland visa might be more suitable. On the other hand, if your operations are primarily international or you seek specific benefits offered by a particular Free Zone, then a Free Zone visa could be a better choice.

Navigating through the intricacies of Dubai’s visa systems can be challenging. Fortunately, professional business setup consultants, like Choose UAE, can help guide you through the process. With a deep understanding of UAE’s laws and business environment, Choose UAE can assist in making the right choice for your business, simplifying the process, and ensuring a smooth setup for your venture in Dubai.

We believe that every business is unique, and our experts are here to provide you with tailored advice to align with your business goals. Let Choose UAE be your trusted partner in your journey towards establishing a successful business in Dubai.



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