Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

Updated on January 30,2020
Rate this article
based on 3 reviews  


Dubai Maritime City Free Zone (DMC) is a member of the Dubai World Group, which is one of Dubai’s newest free zone sand encompasses six districts. Foreign investors wanting to open a company in Dubai are advised to take into consideration DMC as it offers numerous advantages and several types of companies to choose from.

Foreign investors who want to open companies in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone can rely on our company formation agents in Dubai who can guide them or handle the incorporation procedure on their behalf.

Dubai Maritime City Free Zone districts

DMC incorporates six districts:

  1. the Industrial Precinct that is the ship repairs center of the free zone and the home for more than 100 workshops and warehouses;
  2. the Academic Quarter that includes engineering, transportation and naval science classes;
  3. the Marina District that includes restaurants, shopping centers and other entertainment services;
  4. the Harbor Residence includes accommodation facilities and land plots for real estate development;
  5. the Harbor Offices is the DMC’s business center;
  6. the Maritime Centre is the main attraction in the DMC as it was set up to serve as the international network for maritime companies.

Find out from the video below how to open a company in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone:

Types of companies in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

Company registration in Dubai Maritime City is possible for foreign investors and they can choose to open:

The characteristics for setting up a company in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone are the following:

  • free zone establishments require at least one shareholder, while free zone companies require at least two and at most five shareholders;
  • the minimum share capital for a Dubai FZE is 1 million AED and 500,000 AED for a Dubai FZCO; the share capital must be fully paid upon incorporation;
  • both types of companies require at least two directors and a maximum number of five directors and a manager who must be a natural person,
  • the shareholder or shareholders must live in the free zone or appoint a representative through power of attorney.

Documents required for company incorporation in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

In order to set up a company in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone, the company’s articles of association must be submitted together with a statement issued by the management board with the resolution for the incorporation of the company, passport copies and powers of attorney for the company’s directors, manager and secretary, a specimen signature and bank letter stating the share capital has been deposited.

In order to incorporate a branch office, the articles of association of the parent company must be submitted along with a passport copy, specimen signature and a power of attorney for the company’s manager. A statement issued by the company’s management board with the resolution for establishing the branch office will also be required.

Activities completed in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

The creation of a company in Maritime City Free Zone is the same as in any other economic zone of Dubai, however, it is important to note that the activities that can be completed here are different. Also, the establishment of a business here depends on the selected structure.

Most of the activities that can be completed in this free zone are related to the maritime industry. The documents required to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate in DMC are issued by the Dubai Maritime City Free Zone Authority (DMCA).

In order to obtain a maritime activity license which is the main business permit that can be obtained in DMC, the following requirements need to be respected:

  • the DMCA will issue annual permits for companies seeking to complete such activities based on the approval of a license;
  • a copy of the existing free zone license is required for companies in other free zones seeking to operate in DMC;
  • a copy of the business license issued by the Dubai Trade Register is also required.

Another license that can be obtained by those who operate companies in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone is the marine crafts inspection license that can set up various facilities in which they can conduct activities like inspections of cargo vessels. These companies can complete activities such as technical inspections, draft reports and manuals for companies operating vessels in accordance with the DMCA’s requirements.

Foreign investors who want to operate in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone can also set up various types of water entertainment businesses. They can operate jet ski renting companies and businesses for the rental of equipment. These need to comply with the following requirements:

  •  they need to create emergency response plans and train employees;
  •  they must ensure the maintenance of the maritime equipment;
  •  the must keep a schedule of destinations, crafts and information about the clients;
  •  they must set up in place regulations for the safe use of the equipment.

It is also possible for companies registered in DMC to organize various events related to water sports.


If you want to set up a business in DMC Free Zone, our Dubai company formation consultants can help you apply for the necessary licenses and permits in accordance with the activities you want to complete.

Licensing in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

There are several types of licenses for company incorporation in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone:

  • maritime services license,
  • management license,
  • education and research license,
  • yacht manufacture and repair license.

The most recent types of licenses introduced by the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) are marine crafts, maritime operation services and commercial licenses.

The marine crafts license allows foreign and local companies to build and use vessels in accordance with international maritime standards.

The maritime operation services license was enabled for companies operating in the waste management industry. These companies can supply integrated waste management, air emissions, and ballast water solutions.

The commercial license is granted to both companies and individuals involved in general maritime activities which do not require special permits.

Taxation in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

One of the main reasons for which foreign investors choose to open companies in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone is the taxation system which is mainly made up of exemptions for up to 50 years. However, it is useful to note that in the case of foreign shareholders and employees in DMC companies, taxation could be imposed in their home countries. When it comes to the repatriation of profits generated by the companies held by foreign investors, these are tax-free.

In order to find out if any tax is due in the case of foreign investors, one must verify if any double tax treaty is in place between the UAE and their home countries. Another aspect to consider is that in the case of branch offices operating in the banking sector, taxation will occur irrespective if the company is registered in a free zone or Dubai mainland.

Our company registration agents in Dubai can offer more information on the taxation of companies in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone.

Hiring employees in DMC Free Zone

The UAE is known for relying on expats when it comes to the workforce and this is also available for those opening free zone companies in Dubai. However, in free zones such as Dubai Maritime City, the employment permit issuance for foreign workers is completed through a fast-track procedure.

Those who want to set up companies in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone and hire foreign employees can obtain more information about the procedure from our local advisors.

A few facts on Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

Dubai Maritime City is the only specialized maritime hub in the UAE which is why it attracts specialists in this field from all over the world. In numbers, Dubai Maritime City Free Zone:

  • spans over 249 hectares between Port Rashid and Dry-docks World;
  • hosts small and large workshops with sizes between 260 square meters and 884 square meters;
  • hosts warehouses of 510 square meters for the storage of spare parts and materials;
  • has 84 square meters showrooms and 64 square meters shops for those who want to complete retail activities.


Advantages of establishing a company in Dubai Maritime City Free Zone

The Dubai Maritime City Authority provides employment visa services and companies can also benefit from:

  • tax exemptions on profits, capital gains,
  • full foreign ownership of the company,
  • no customs duties for trading activities,
  • administrative support,
  • tax free repatriation of the capital and profits.

If you want to open a company, you can contact our company formation agents in Dubai and ask all the relevant details about foreign investments.