These 20 UAE free zones are the only ones exempt from the VAT

uae free zones exempt from vat
Jebel Ali Free Zone is one of the free zones exempt from the application of VAT.

There are many good reasons why opening a business in an UAE free zone is more convenient than in the mainland.

Enjoying the full company ownership, complete corporate and personal income tax exemption, full repatriation of capital and profits and zero taxes on import and export, are some of the specific benefits of the free zones in the UAE.

In twenty of these free zones there is one more advantage that will definitely affect the decision of many companies (new and existing) on where it is better to establish their business in the UAE.

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has, indeed, designated twenty free zones in the UAE that will be exempt from the application of the Value Added Tax (VAT), which came into effect in the country starting from January 1st, 2018.

Those free zones are specifically located in proximity of port, airport, industrial areas and they will benefit of the tax exemption to ease the trade and industrial activities.

According to the UAE’s VAT law, goods may be also transferred between designated zones without being subject to the VAT if they are not used or altered during the transfer process, proven that the transfer is undertaken in compliance with the rules for customs suspension for GCC Common Customs Law.

The list of the UAE free zones exempt from VAT is as follows:


Abu Dhabi

Free Trade Zone of Khalifa Port

Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone

Khalifa Industrial Zone


Jebel Ali Free Zone

Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone (DUCAMZ)

Dubai Textile City

Free Zone Area in Al Quoz

Free Zone Area in Al Qusais

Dubai Aviation City

Dubai Airport Free Zone


Hamriyah Free Zone

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone


Ajman Free Zone

Umm Al Quwain

Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone in Ahmed Bin Rashid Port

Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road

Ras Al Khaimah

RAK Free Trade Zone

RAK Maritime City Free Zone

RAK Airport Free Zone


Fujairah Free Zone

Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ)


Planning to setup a business in UAE free zones? Get an initial free consultation by writing to


Mara Di Marco
General Manager, UAEstablishment