Dubai Maritime City (DMCA) Free Zone

In Dubai, multiple international trades are performed via sea route. The emirate has a separate free zone named Dubai Maritime City dedicated fully to maritime activities. This free zone actively participates in industry initiatives that promote the development of a safe investment environment. Also, it continuously improves its logistics and infrastructure to benefit the marine sector. 

Benefits of Using a Business Setup in DMCA Free Zone

The advantages of setting up a business in Dubai are:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • No restriction on the repatriation of capital or profits
  • Total tax exemption on corporate and personal income
  • Exemption from all import and export duties
  • Availability of qualified professionals, with easy recruitment procedures
  • Cost-effective 
  • Access to educated, multicultural workforce
  • Excellent corporate infrastructure
  • Ample financial incentives
  • Companies can operate 24/7 in the free zone
  • Business-friendly climate and excellent logistics
  • Supportive administration process
  • Customer inspection can be done on-site

Types of Legal Entities for Your Business in Dubai

DMCA offers the following legal entities for business:

  1. Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

A FZE is allowed to start a business with a single shareholder.

  1. Free Zone Company (FZC)

Under a FZC, a maximum of 5 shareholders are allowed.

  1. Branch Office

A branch office is a company or organization which is separate from its main office but is not a separate legal entity.

Available License in DMCA 

Dubai Maritime City Authority provides several types of business licenses which are necessary for the business setup in dubai, which are as follows:

  1. Commercial License

A company or individual willing to carry out general maritime activities must obtain a commercial license from the authority.

  1. Maritime Commercial License

Companies carrying out maritime activities and individuals engaged in recreational activities in Dubai waters can apply for commercial marine licenses.

  1. Marine Craft Crew License

This type of license is given to foreign and local companies to build and use watercraft following international standards.

  1. Maritime Operation Services License

The holder of this license is allowed to engage in operating waste management in seawaters.

  1. Maritime Education and Research License

A maritime education and research license is for companies in the field of education and research in maritime affairs.

How to Set up a Business in DMCA Free Zone?

Setting up a business can be done easily with the assistance of business setup consultants in Dubai. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Get the Initial Approval

Fill out the business application form to move forward with the business setup in Dubai. 

  1. Register the Company

In the next step, register your business in Dubai by submitting proof of registration.

  1. Submit the Documents

Next, submit all the below-mentioned documents required for your company formation in Dubai.

For a New company formation in Dubai

  • Initial approval for the activities
  • Personal data sheet of each shareholder and manager
  • Copies of the resume and passport of the manager and shareholders
  • Lease agreement documents if it is compulsory to have a physical business/office address in the country for company formation in Dubai.
  • Attested and notarized Memorandum and Articles of Association from the UAE Embassy at the place of origin
  • A lease document stating a suitable minimum office space for your business
  • Notarized and attested Power of Attorney appointing a legal advisor to act on your and shareholders' behalf
  • Certificate of registration or incorporation and business license of your existing company must be attested and notarized by the UAE Embassy (for corporates)
  • Proof of the registered address of your company

For a Branch Setup

  • Copy of passport and resume of the manager and shareholders [the manager must be a university degree holder]
  • Application for initial approval
  • Initial approval sheet for the business activities performed by each shareholder and manager
  • Attested and notarized Memorandum and Articles of Association of your existing main branch at the place of origin
  • Trade name reservation for the new business
  • Agreement of lease for the new branch. It is compulsory to have a physical office space in UAE with a minimum space of 60 square meters
  • Certificate of registration or license of your existing company, duly attested and notarized by the UE authority.
  • Attested and notarized Power of Attorney appointing a legal representative acting on behalf of your shareholders
  • Board of resolution of your existing company directors, showing interest in opening a new branch (only for corporate shareholders)
  • Company brochure of your main branch (applicable for corporate shareholders).
  1. Pay the Required Fee

Once you submit all the documents, you must pay the specified fee to continue with the company setup in Dubai.

  1. Collect the License

In the last step, you can apply for a business license. Obtaining a license can be tricky, so to make the process easier, seek the assistance of business setup consultants in Dubai.

Business Setup Worldwide offers professional advice on setting up a business in Dubai. We assist our clients in finding new business prospects with local government officials and choosing the best kind of free zone to fit their particular company model. Contact us if you're considering launching a company setup in Dubai.


1. For how many years does tax is exempted for ex-pats in DMCA?

50 years.

2. What needs to be done when tax is due for foreign investors?

The existence of a double taxation agreement between the UAE and their home countries must be confirmed.

3. What does a marine business license entail?

Companies that conduct naval operations and individuals that enjoy leisure activities on Dubai's waters must possess maritime commercial permits.