Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)

The Jebel Ali Free Zone is a trade catalyst that is home to more than 8,600 companies from 100 countries, including Fortune 500 companies.

Jafza – An important part of Dubai’s economy

The Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (Jafza) is one of the world’s leading free trade zones. The Free Zone, a DP World company, was established in 1985 to promote trade and container handling in the port of Jebel Ali. Today it is one of the largest free zones in the world and the most efficient logistics centre in the region. Jafza is located in Dubai between Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport and offers the best multimodal connectivity.

Jafza accounts for almost 23.9% of total foreign direct investment. The Free Zone contributes 23.8% of Dubai’s GDP and maintains the employment of more than 150,000 people in the United Arab Emirates. In 2018, Jafza generated a trade turnover of USD 93 billion.

Jafza is the leading business centre between Asia, Europe and Africa, the fastest growing manufacturing and consumer market in the world. With over 30 years of experience, Jafza focuses on long-term customer relationships. Jafza forges alliances with global investors by providing them with world-class infrastructure and support.

Jafza’s quality-oriented value-added services and incentives enable its customers to access enormous business opportunities in the region with ease and efficiency.

JAFZA – License types

  • Trading licence: for carrying out trading activities
  • Trade licence: For the execution of manufacturing activities
  • Service license: For the execution of service activities
  • e-commerce licence: buying and selling goods and services over electronic networks by electronic means
  • National Industrial Licence: To carry out manufacturing activities in which at least 51% of the ownership rights are nationals of a GCC country.
  • Innovation licence: To develop new products and services
  • Offshore registration: establishment of an offshore limited liability company

JAFZA – Types of companies

Free Zone Company (FZCO)

  • FZCO is basically a limited liability company in the free trade zone. The company’s obligations are limited to the company’s assets. The personal assets of investors are protected and limited to the amount invested in the company.
  • Shareholders may be individuals, companies or a combination of both.

Free Zone Facility (FZE)

  • An individual shareholder may establish a Free Zone Establishment (FZE) within JAFZA.
  • The Shareholder may be a natural person or legal entity. An FZE is essentially a limited liability company within the Free Zone, which means that the shareholder’s obligation is limited to the assets of the company and personal assets are protected and limited to the amount invested in the company.

Public company listed on the stock exchange (PLC)

  • PLC is a limited liability company with two or more shareholders.
  • PLC is basically a limited liability company within the Free Zone, which means that the liabilities of the company are limited to the paid up capital.
  • PLC has a different legal status from the shareholders and has the powers, rights and privileges of a natural person.
  • PLC may invite the public to subscribe for its shares and must list its shares on a stock exchange in accordance with market rules and regulations.


  • A branch is considered to be a legal person of its parent company.
  • Any company established outside the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone may establish a branch within JAFZA.
  • The branch should be 100% owned by the parent company, operate under the same name and conduct the same business.