Best Places to Start a New Business in Dubai Mainland & Free Zones

This articles covers the best places to start a new business in Dubai Mainland and Dubai Free Zones. It will further explain the advantages of setting up business in Dubai Mainland and Free Zone.

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best places to start a new business in dubai

Best Places to Start a New Business in Dubai

Dubai, a bustling metropolis synonymous with business innovation and economic growth, has firmly established itself as a global hub for entrepreneurs and investors. For those looking to embark on a business journey in this dynamic city, identifying the best places to start a new business in Dubai is crucial. This comprehensive guide delves into the top locations within both Dubai Mainland and Dubai Free Zones, elucidating their unique advantages and why they stand out as prime choices for business establishments.

Best Places to Start a New Business in Dubai Mainland

Dubai Mainland is the entire region that the Dubai government has approved for use as a commercial business location. This area offers direct access to the local UAE market and is preferred by those seeking a robust presence in the local economy. 

Here are the best places to start a new business in Dubai Mainland:

1. Business Bay 

A central business district with a cosmopolitan ambiance, Business Bay is ideal for businesses aiming for a prestigious address and access to a diverse clientele. It offers state-of-the-art infrastructure, close proximity to the Dubai International Financial Centre, and excellent connectivity to other parts of the city.

2. Deira

As one of the oldest parts of Dubai, Deira is renowned for its traditional souks and commercial vibrancy. It’s a fantastic option for companies in the trading, retail, and hospitality sectors. Its accessibility, coupled with a diverse consumer base, makes it a lucrative spot for new ventures.

3. Sheikh Zayed Road 

This iconic stretch is a symbol of Dubai’s rapid development, housing numerous multinational corporations and local businesses. Its strategic location, impressive skyline, and seamless connectivity make it a prime location for businesses seeking high visibility and a prestigious address.

Advantages of Dubai Mainland

The Dubai Mainland offers a plethora of advantages for businesses, making it an attractive destination for both local and international entrepreneurs:

  • Strategic Location: Dubai Mainland enjoys a central location, offering easy access to various parts of the city and international markets. This strategic positioning is perfect for companies aiming to make a significant impact in the Middle East and beyond.
  • Diverse Business Opportunities: The Mainland is open to a wide range of business activities, from retail and services to manufacturing and logistics. This diversity allows entrepreneurs to explore various sectors and find their niche.
  • Direct Access to the UAE Market: Unlike Free Zones, businesses in Dubai Mainland have unrestricted access to the larger UAE market, allowing them to conduct business anywhere in the country without limitations.
  • No Currency Restrictions: Businesses in Dubai Mainland benefit from no currency restrictions, facilitating easier international trade and financial transactions.
  • Ability to Bid on Government Contracts: Companies on the Mainland can bid for lucrative government and semi-government projects, which can be a significant source of revenue.

Best Places to Start a New Business in Dubai Free Zones

Dubai Free Zones are unique economic zones that provide international investors with advantages in customs duties and tax breaks. These zones are designed to promote international business through easier start-up processes, labor and immigration procedures, and other legal services. 

Here are the best places to start a new business in Dubai Free Zones:

1. Dubai Internet City (DIC)

Tailored for IT and technology enterprises, DIC offers cutting-edge infrastructure, a collaborative environment, and a thriving community of tech innovators and entrepreneurs.

2. Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) 

Perfect for manufacturing, logistics, and trading companies, Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) provides unrivaled access to one of the world’s largest ports, Jebel Ali Port, and offers a wide range of facilities and services specifically designed for industrial and trading companies.

3. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) 

Renowned as a global commodities trading hub, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre is ideal for businesses in gold, diamond, tea, and other commodities trading. It offers excellent infrastructure, a strategic location, and a range of services tailored to the needs of commodity traders and related businesses.

Advantages of Dubai Free Zones

Dubai Free Zones are designed to cater to specific business needs and offer a range of benefits:

  • 100% Foreign Ownership: Entrepreneurs can enjoy complete ownership of their business without the need for a local sponsor, which is a significant advantage for international investors.
  • Tax Benefits: Free Zone companies benefit from tax exemptions, including no personal income tax, corporate tax, and customs duties, which significantly reduce operational costs.
  • Full Repatriation of Profits and Capital: Businesses in Free Zones can repatriate 100% of their profits and capital, providing financial flexibility and security for foreign investors.
  • Superior Infrastructure: Free zones provide modern amenities such as high-tech meeting rooms, sophisticated office and storage areas, and sophisticated connectivity.
  • Hassle-Free Setup and Operations: Free Zones provide streamlined procedures for business setup, including quicker registration processes, easy licensing, and minimal paperwork.


Starting a new business in Dubai offers a world of opportunities, given its strategic location, robust economy, and investor-friendly policies. Whether you opt for the dynamic and versatile environment of Dubai Mainland or the specialized, streamlined operations in Free Zones, Dubai provides a platform that can be tailored to suit various business models. With its continuous innovation, supportive infrastructure, and global connectivity, Dubai continues to affirm its position as a leading destination for starting and growing a business.


Dubai is known for its favorable tax conditions, such as exemptions from company and personal income taxes, which makes it an attractive destination for business owners globally.

Foreign entrepreneurs can own 100% of certain business activities in Dubai Mainland, although it traditionally requires a local sponsor who holds at least 51% of the business. However, recent reforms are increasingly allowing for greater foreign ownership.

Even though Arabic is the official language, English is frequently used in business communications, making it easier for international entrepreneurs to navigate the business landscape.