Business partnership & consultancy in Dubai

Hey all,
This is my first post here so apologies if this is irrelevant.

I was wondering if anyone in here is planning to start a business in Dubai and if so I'd be more than happy to provide 'free' consultancy/guidance on the processes, steps, etc.. out of experience.

I also can partner either as a sponsor or as an active partner or investor depending on the idea/project.


What are Type of companies available in UAE?
What are the benefits to register a company in Free zone and registering outside the Freezone?
Minimum capital require?

Hi Fabrizio,
I'll try to expand my answer for other readers to understand more...

First let me answer the second part of your question: Cost estimates:
From my recent research across different freezones in the UAE, one company license including 1 visa and a rent of a small tiny office space: ~20-40,000 AED. Renewal for second year varies but you can expect something like 15,000AED.

Outside freezones can be anywhere, so let's focus on Dubai for simplicity:
- A small office rent costs 20-40,000 AED
- Registration fees from Dubai Economic Department costs ~5-10,000 AED depends on business activities selected [visit the DED website for exact costs if you like, they have a estimated cost calculator]
- I'm not sure about costs of visas but I think including medical tests, etc.. a visa can cost something like 2,000? If anyone knows better please correct me if I'm wrong.

If you add up the costs are similar for a startup, but once the business becomes larger, generally the Freezone becomes introduces more costs and limitations.

2 main categories of companies in UAE: FreeZone and non-free zone companies.
Advantages of Freezone:
- The number 1 advantage for expats is that you can own a 100% business in a free zone. Otherwise, you must partner with an Emirati.
- Clear set of guidelines
- If products are for export only ouside the GCC countries, export fees can be cheaper from a freezone than from outside the freezone, e (depends on target countries)
- Dealing with one authority for everything: visas, rent, utilities, internet, etc...

Disadvantage of FreeZone:
- Some freezone licenses are limited to a small number of visas, can be to 2 employees only.
- Plenty of freezones in Dubai and UAE to choose from, each has its own prices and business activities they focus on
- Most of the freezones are isolated from the public, so it's not ideal if your target customers are UAE residents.
- Prices are fair for small businesses (office space and 1 or 2 visas). once the space and visa requirements increase, the prices shoot up.

Advantages of Dubai-Land or in general, Outside Freezone Companies
- Freedom to select the place to rent based on the market and target customers
- Freedom to select the budget for rent instead of the fixed package that you get from freezones
- Much wider business activities to select from
- I find it better to be dealing directly with the government when it comes to visas and work permits. In freezones, you deal with the Freezone authority (which deals with the government) so its additional layer. Some authorities simplify the process because they're professional but other freezone authorities can delay things.

Disadvantages of Dubai-Land or Non-freezone companies:
- The number 1 disadvantage is to find an Emirati who has the willingness to partner in a business for any reason other than making easy-money
- The LLC law guarantees the expats' rights in a business partnership but in general, if the expat and UAE national partners didn't get along properly, things can get frustrating (court cases, etc..)
- If its an industrial business that focuses in exporting goods to areas outside the GCC, then sometimes the export fees are larger than some freezones
- While there is high level of integration and online applications in Dubai/UAE, still the business owner has to deal with multiple government organisations during opening a business outside the freezone. For example, if the business is in Dubai: Register the business in Dubai Economic Department then rent a shop/office independently, then deal with immigration for visas, then pay utilities in DEWA and Etisalat/Du independently. As I said, these are integrated service provided but some people focused prefer the "one-stop-shop" of the free-zones, even if it was slightly more expensive.

Overall, in my humble opinion (which is subjective), I see that Freezones are a better option only if:
- You can't find a UAE national partner, or
- If your core business includes exporting goods to far distentions, or
- If you're in a hurry and you want a visa immediately

I wish this helps.

Impressive information. Thank you for your prompt reply. I believe this will help me to get the right direction to move forward towards my goals in UAE life as Entrepreneur.

Best of luck .

Hi ahmed

Me and my friend are planning to set up 4 hair cutting saloon  , starting with 2 this year and 2 next
It would be amazing if you can share your insights on this idea and the set up costs that would be involved

Initially we are planning to start one in ajman and next in sharjah

Also the business will be in the name of our dads, both are above 60 years old.... Does it have any issues? 

This is my first question in this forum so I apologize if am not making much sense :-)


First, welcome to UAE. I wish you and your friend great success.
Unfortunately, yiur question is a bit vague and not specific, but I'll try to help, and please ask more spicific questions if you see needed.
1) Name: i didnt understand your question. if you mean if owning a business at age of 60+, no problems. However, if you want to get a bank loan for setup, the loan would be difficult (but not impossible) to approve at an older age. That's the only issue i see.
2) i just want to remind you that for ownerships of businesses in Shj and Ajman (outside freezones), you need a local sponsor if you are not Emirati. On official papers, the ownership in this case for example will be 51% local partner, 24.5% your dad, 24.5% your friends father, for example.
3) Costs: Rent in Sharjah for example, depends on location [visit dubizzle website to check rent market], put in mind 30-40,000 AED yearly as an estimate. Government & processing fees (1st year) is about 10-15,000 AED.
Im not an expert in the saloon equipment market, but I'd say for decoration and equipment you probably need upto 100,000 setup cost.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you need more specific info.


Hello Ahmed

I did finish up a company last year. I am Amr from egypt. But now I had serous problems in both personal and profession. So I need someone like you to help me . As the first problem that I did everything from Egypt and never been to UAE or Dubai as my company is resisted .
So in all ways I need your contacts in a message please so we can contact even in watts. 

As for the site topic. I face very serious problems.

1st : the warehouse ( storage for un decaying supplies. I am in need for a cheap warehouse. Even if it is far away or in the desert and at any place or any province . How could it cost me. I see really high prices I can't answer too, esp. In the start of my business. As far I was not successful tell now
2: what happen if I didn't pay 10,000 AED in that time for renewable fee, will I lost everything or the company?
3: what can I have or speak too or even have a loan to facilitate my business . Knowing that I don't have a bank account for the company tell now
4: fees to enter a new partner in the company and transferring papers and fees. Would that cost very mush? 

Sorry for a long message

which arab nationalities allowed to obtain trade license per each emirate?
i know ajman for example, has some restriction on some arab nationalities.

Hi Sam,
I highly suspect this information is correct. I never heard of a restriction of doing business based on nationality in the UAE. If you have a good reason to beleive that, then it'd be best to call the Economic Department of the emirate you're targeting to start a business in, and they will confirm.

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Hi dear

I want to thank you first for you tremendous shares with helpfull information and i want to know if you are interessted on investing in abu dhabi ( which is the place that i am living in ) and if you are able to set up a bussines regardless of your city

If the answer is yes please let me know so we can discuss further oportunities .

Best regards

Hi Amargh,
You’re welcome
I hope you found that useful.
I don’t know if i want to start a business in AD or not. It depends on the idea. But to be honest it’s not something i look forward for at this time. How about you tell me what you are thinking of and i either connect you with a friend from AD or i help in what ever possible way.

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