Set Up a Company in the DIFC Free Zone, UAE

The UAE is a prospering country that is interested in attracting entrepreneurs from all over the world. It has created excellent conditions for business, including pro-business laws, top-notch infrastructure, a benign taxation system, and so on. It has also established a number of free economic zones where it is very convenient to register companies as they provide additional perks to foreign entrepreneurs. All free zones have very helpful administration representatives who will be happy to help you with company formation should any questions arise. This post is focused on Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a recommendable zone in UAE’s best-developed emirate. If you want to obtain more information about company registration in the UAE or assistance, visit for the latest updates.

DIFC: Advantages and Opportunities

DIFC is a large free economic zone with about 1,800 active companies and over 22,000 professional employees. This is the region’s most reputable financial hub trusted by all leading financial companies that is home to the representative offices of 21 large international banks, 9 out of the 10 top global law firms, 7 out of the world’s top 10 insurance companies, and 500 financial companies.

DIFC’s commercial premises occupy 350,000 square meters, and this is one of the largest non-oil contributors to Dubai’s GDP. It is planning to become a global financial hub to provide exclusive business opportunities, an exceptional lifestyle, and a prestigious community of professionals from across the globe.

DIFC is home to many global companies from outside the Middle East, and it serves as a link between Europe, Africa, Asia, America, South Asia, and the Middle East.

DIFC Regulatory Environment

DIFC offers its customers a standardized common legal system, the right to full legal entity ownership, and no limitations on capital or profits withdrawal. There are specific departments in the free zone that promote the active development of DIFC companies and protect its one-of-a-kind legal environment.

DIFC’s legislative system is in line with British common law, and there is a unique set of commercial and civil regulations in place. In addition, financial services are regulated by their own laws. DIFC also has its own judicial system, and its court has exclusive jurisdiction over all commercial or civil disputes within the zone, as well as bodies and companies registered there.

Company Types Available in DIFC

The free zone is open to regulated and non-regulated companies.

Regulated companies are those that render financial services:

  • Insurance/reinsurance companies
  • Banks
  • Capital/asset management companies
  • Capital market companies
  • Islamic finance operators

Non-regulated companies are those that provide professional support services, such as audit, legal, accounting, or consulting companies, international tax advisors, and so on.

However, the free zone is not limited to these companies, and you will find educational institutions, five-star hotels, restaurants and retail chains here.

Financial Company Registration in DIFC


The free zone plays an important role in developing the local market of insurance services. It is active in stepping up local and international presence by promoting the development of reinsurance, Islamic insurance, Takaful, etc.


Trade in North Africa and the Middle East is expected to rise by 131%, giving opportunities not-to-miss to banks in the region. DIFC banks can take advantage of commercial/trade financing banking solutions and an advanced regulatory platform. The structure of investment banking makes it possible for companies to efficiently cater to the region’s growing financial needs.

Capital/Asset Management

The free zone authorities are supportive of specialized investment products, and they have introduced a special regulatory regime to help businesses benefit from investment opportunities available in local and global markets, as well as the largest concentration of Islamic capital in the world.

Capital Markets

DIFC boasts a top-notch infrastructure that will help companies get access to capital management and brokerage services. Dubai Mercantile Exchange and Nasdaq Dubai will also be available to you.

Non-Financial Company Registration in DIFC

Professional Services

The companies that provide financial services are an essential part of the DIFC ecosystem, and you can register the following types of companies here:

  • Consulting
  • Market research
  • Accounting an audit
  • Recruitment
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Corporate services
  • Risk management
  • Education
  • Legal services
  • Information and communication technologies

Corporate Offices

DIFC is ideally suited for private investment companies, holding companies, family offices, and so on. Let’s take a look at what other companies you can set up here.

Holding Company

  • It cannot provide supervision, administration, or management.
  • This is an efficient ownership structure for securities and so on.

Management Office

  • This is a legal entity that provides administration, management, supervision, and strategic direction of local and international operations carried out by the companies.

Private Investment Company

  • This structure is well-suited for partnerships, acquisitions, direct investments, and joint ventures.
  • It is also a good choice for investments in private capital or alternative assets/investment funds.
  • Investments are not restricted by a particular industry and can be made in industrial, commercial, educational, and other sectors.

Special Purpose Vehicle

  • It can only be used by the managers of investment trusts registered in DIFC.
  • It can be set up for particular financial transactions.
  • This structure cannot provide financial services.
  • It possesses the property of respective funds.
  • It provides structures for numerous business types and sectors.

Family Office

  • It can be used to manage the family’s charitable activities.
  • The ownership and distribution of family assets can be managed in a flexible way.
  • It can provide concierge and other non-financial services to family members.
  • The structure’s beneficial owners are required to be family members.

DIFC Company for Retail Business

DIFC wants to provide its visitors, residents, or employees with a dynamic retail environment. Retail clients can benefit from the regulatory environment of the free zone and its close location to residential complexes and large hotels.

DIFC Company: Main Benefits

  • No taxes on employee income
  • No taxes on assets, capital, and income for 50 years
  • Full foreign ownership is possible
  • There are a lot of local and international financial and non-financial companies here
  • You can hire foreign employees without any restrictions
  • A favorable taxation system with numerous double-taxation treaties
  • An extensive range of premises for rent and a well-developed business infrastructure

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