Dubai Maritime City (DMCA) Free Zone

Dubai Maritime City (DMC) was established in the year 1883. This Dubai free zone is involved in the entire maritime industry, trade, and commerce. Strategically located between Dubai's Drydocks World and Port Rashid, it has been attracting the interest of global traders ever since its inception. This iconic city aims to capitalize on Dubai’s strengths and place Dubai as a global maritime hub. DMC is the premier strategically-built maritime zone spanning over 560 acres that has been established to look after the needs of the maritime sector as well as to provide a cutting-edge environment for the global maritime community. It acts as a platform for networking and integration of the various maritime businesses and facilities, and grants a distinctive touch the entire maritime community.

Since the majority of world economy is dependent on sea trade, DMC is actively involved in undertaking industry initiatives that support the creation of a secure investment environment, making it a cutting-edge international maritime hub. It keeps enhancing its infrastructure, logistics and tertiary services for the benefit of the maritime industry. To develop a safe and progressive maritime sector, DMC is devoted to adhere to international marine laws, while building strategic partnerships with various government agencies and private businesses.

DMC is an exceptional incorporated cluster that covers industry, infrastructure, and regulation – all together to augment the role of maritime industry development. Furthermore, it is the only specialized maritime cluster in UAE and GCC that covers all marine industry needs under one roof e.g. marine suppliers, engineering and technical expertise, ship repair, yacht manufacturing. Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the main regulatory body of DMC, was created in 2007 to develop, promote, and monitor maritime activities.

DMC is a multipurpose free zone whose structure is made up of 6 strategic locations:

1. Industrial Precinct

A hub for ship repair facilities, yacht repair, and manufacturing, yacht charter, as well as workshop units.

2. Dubai Maritime City Campus

A centre for universities relating to marine studies.

3. The Maritime Centre

The core of the free zone which serves as an international hub for maritime business.

4. Harbour Office

An office space for maritime business.

5. Marina District

A place for entertainment and other recreational activities.

6. Harbour Residence

A zone for a residential facilities.

Benefits of Setting Up a Business in Dubai Maritime City

Dubai Maritime City provides the following benefits to businesses:

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

Types of Legal Entities in Dubai Maritime City

1. Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

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

2. Free Zone Company (FZC)

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

3. Branch Office

A branch office is the one which is legally dependent on its parent company, so it is allowed to start a branch office with the name of its parent company.

Types of Licences Available in Dubai Maritime City

1. Commercial License

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

2. Maritime Commercial License

Companies carrying out maritime activities and individuals engaged in recreational activities in Dubai waters are entitled to have maritime commercial license.

3. Marine Craft Crew License

This type of license is given to foreign and local companies to build and use watercraft in accordance with the international standards.

4. Maritime Operation Services License

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

5. Maritime Education and Research License

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

How to Set Up a Business in DMC?

To set up business in Dubai Maritime City, a company or an individual requires to follow the procedure set by the DMCA:

  1. Application for Initial approval
  2. Submission of company registration proof
  3. Copy of the manager’s CV and passport has to be submitted
  4. Personal data sheet of the owner/shareholder
  5. Submission of the document with prescribed fees
  6. After the completion of these steps, collect your license

Documents Required to Set Up a Business in Dubai Maritime City

For a New Company Setup

  • Initial approval for the activities
  • Personal data sheet of each shareholder and manager
  • Copies of résumé and passport of the manager and shareholders
  • Lease agreement documents [it is compulsory to have a physical business/office address in the country for company formation in UAE]
  • Attested and notarized Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA) 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/or 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 résumé 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 (MAA) 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)

Why Us?

Dubai Maritime City is indeed a lucrative location option when it comes to business setup, from the standpoint of infrastructure, facilities, connectivity, workforce, tax savings and business milieu. This free zone is the right place to set up business for any person who is associated with maritime industry in Asia, as it follows up-to-date best practices in the maritime business line. All DMC facilities are composed of environment-friendly and high-security standards ensure maximum safety for investor's assets and business structures. Business Setup in Dubai Maritime City free zone is bound by a set of mandatory rules and procedures pertaining to business licensing, registration, taxation, employment, etc. The process for company incorporation becomes easy if you are aware of the local regulations, and how to get connected with the relevant authorities. Calling up a right business partner helps you set up business with ease, as they take care of the entire incorporation responsibility.

Business Setup Worldwide is a business advisory firm that provides expert guidance on starting a new venture in any part of the world. We help our clients identify new business opportunities, understand legal procedures, network with local authorities, and identify the right type of free zone to suit the business model. We can help you minimize your business liability when setting up your dream business in DMC. We have the resources and expertise to handle everything you need for business setup here. Our team has comprehensive knowledge of local affairs, and will help you handle documentation/paperwork formalities, strategize your business plan, and evaluate the structure that best suits your business requirements without any hassles. Contact us if you’re thinking of starting a business in Dubai Maritime City – we’d be happy to assist!