DIFC non-regulated firms can now also operate in Dubai mainland

business setup in dubai

The free zone of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai Economy (earlier known as DED, that is Department of Economic Development) to allow non-regulated companies (non-financial companies) to obtain a dual license that authorizes them to operate also in Dubai mainland.

Indeed, the companies established in UAE free zones are formally not allowed to operate in the mainland, unless through a local agent/distributor (for example when it comes to selling products outside the free zone area), but they benefit of several advantages that are not of mainland companies.

Thanks to this agreement, DIFC non-regulated companies are now able to expand their operations and to offer their products/services to a wider range of customers.

DIFC and Dubai Economy will coordinate with each other, exchange data and carry out joint inspections for ensuring better compliance to the normative, preventing fraud and increasing customer protection.

This initiative is in line with DIFC’s 2024 strategy of having 1,000 financial firms registered in its free zone by 2024, with balance sheets of $400bn and with a workforce of 50,000 units.

To know more information or to setup business in Dubai International Financial Centre, click here.


Mara Di Marco
General Manager, UAEstablishment