What is a Freezone?

There are several Free zones in the UAE. Click here for list of free zones.Opens in a new tab.

Each Free zone is an autonomous body and acts as an official labour sponsor. These Freezones operate outside the Federal Law or Laws of Ministry of Labour. One of the prominent objectives of Freezones is to cut the red tape that usually exists in a bureaucracy and reduction of taxes.

Bureaucracy is almost non-existent in UAE but Freezones with their absence of Government intervention, encourages Foreign companies to set up shops and hence contributing the overall development of an economy. As far as employment is concerned, I could bet that almost 40% plus of the total work force in the UAE serve in the Freezones.

Therefore, Freezones form an important part of UAE. Please note that Freezones can only sponsor your Labour sponsor. For residence sponsor would still be your company.

Prominent Freezones in UAE are JAFZA, DIC, DMC, Academic City, Khalifa City, and so on.


Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.

37 thoughts on “What is a Freezone?

  1. Hi Deepak, I am currently employed in DSO Free zone for 15 months now with 3000 salary, unlimited contract. If I resign and served the notice period as per in the offer letter and found a new job which could be either
    a) in another free zone (outside DSO)
    b) in a company governed by MOL
    Will I get labor ban? Should I look for a higher rate paying company as per my skill (in my visa it state as Secretary).

    Thank you Deepak.

  2. Dear Deepak,

    I trust you are doing well.

    Need your consultation in respect to my job.

    A company from DAFZA offered the job offer of HR Manager, when I was in Bahrain and they gave me visit visa to join with them.

    Till now they have not processed my employment visa, am very much frightened that they will process my visa or not since am entering my last month of my visit, since entered UAE on October 28th, 2016,

    Also they hold my Original passport with them hence request your suggestion or opinions as how to take this forward.

    Looking forward to receive your earnest response.

  3. Please I need to knw, as a free zone staff, am I entitled to an offer letter?
    I have worked with my company for almost 8 months now but no offer letter and they pay me by cash.
    The company am working with now is not the company that is in my visa and I have residence permit for 3yrs.
    So pls I want to knw if the company in my visa SBK HOLDING is a free zone company.

  4. Please I entered uae with an employment visa with a company: SBK
    but I was brought to another company called the SECURER
    Since 14th of april 2015 to december, the company have not given me any offer letter and have been paying me by cash but til today they have not paid me 2 months salary .
    Please what do I do?

  5. Hi,

    I am trying to obtain a copy of the company regulations and employment regulations for the Meydan free zone. I can’t seem to located them anywhere. Do you know where I can find a copy?

    1. Michele,
      Sorry, I am not actually aware of this.
      I will try and find it.

      Be part of a community at Emirates Diary Forum. Browse, ask a question at the latest feature of Emirates Diary. Visit: http://forum.emiratesdiary.com

  6. Dear Mr Deepak,

    I am a engineer & working in UAE since April-13, My company issued me a operator visa. Now i want to apply for driving license in abu dhabi to open the file i asked my company to issue me a NOC regarding the same.
    My company issued me NOC but they inform me that i can not open a file as they are not accepting the applications from the persons with operator visa.

    Kindly guide me how can i apply & what is the process.

    N. Islam
    [email protected]

      1. Hello Deepak,

        Hope you are doing well !?

        I am a degree holder (B.sc Interior design) working on a Archive clerk visa and planning to switch my job after completion of 1 year.
        Will i face Ban if new company hires me on a package of minimum 8,000, What if my visa is renewed with new designation (Interior designer) ?

        Current salary – 6,000
        Contract type – Unlimited

        1. Ankush,
          Yes labour ban is automatic.
          You could avoid: http://emiratesdiary.com/uae-tips/types-bans-uae

  7. Hi Deepak.
    I was working in the Abu Dhabi in ZoneCorp (ICAD) area , My contract was unlimited so when i got a better offer from other company i given my company 1 month notice period , After finishing notice period they told me work for 4-5 days more for hand over , I worked for them that 5 days and Hand over my job there. After that now more than 1 month going to finish they have not make my visa cancellation or my last 2 month salary. I have called them they are just telling me after 3 days 4 days like that only . Now i have approach the MOL Abud Dhabi, My question is here can i demand for 1 month more salary for making of delay of visa cancellation as i am jobless and paying for food ,rent from my own pocket.

    1. i dont think you can ask for one more month salary. Ask you employer to cancel your visa asap.

  8. Hi, i am searching for a job. My qualification is diploma in tool and die making and post diploma in product and tool design.i have one year industrial experience.so any one can help me find these kind of job in any free zone

  9. Hi, i am searching for a job. My qualification is diploma in tool and die making.And after that I done post diploma in product and tool design.i have one year industrial experience .now I am looking design job. So any one can help me find these kind of job in any free zone. Pls inform me through my [email protected]

  10. Hi, i resigned from my company after serving 2yrs and 2mos,under,unlimited contract.. But the companybis asking me to an amount of 8600 for the expenses during my recruitment. My salary is just 2500. Is this right? I already complaines to labor department but the company arranged with them and telling that they will impose a ban on me.. Pls help me on this as my last day is 14 sep.

    1. Is this mentioned in your contract that you are supposed to reimburse any recruitment expenses. If no, this seems illegal. You may contact MOL in this regard.

  11. Hi,

    Hired last 20 Aug 2014. Serving my probationary period. Now i want to resign in my job because im a registered nurse by profession licensed by the health authority of abu dhabi but my current company put in my visa as health care technician and the salary is low for my qualifications. Will i face labor ban if i quit to my company and look for a better one? Im on a limited contract directly hired from my country. With the expenses of getting in uae shouldered by my current employer.

  12. Im fayaz working as a store associate since november, i got a new offer but the thing is, still i havent complete my one year, is it possible to change my company without any ban..

  13. Hai,

    I am an optometrist practicing in abudabi for the past 7 months.i cleared my Haad Exam Recently and waiting for license.my contract type is unlimited and My labour card itself shows in clerical post. now i am planning to relocate to sharja or fujaira.Is there any Ban is for optometrist?

    1. You may get a labour ban for six month considering your labour card shows clerical post. If you have an attested certificate showing your profession degree i dont think there may be any problem

  14. Hello Deepak,

    I got a job in a free zone company 1 in JLT. The company has issued 2 months employment entry visa to me, but I don’t want to join company 1 as I got a better offer from company 2 based in other free zone. I have asked company 1 to cancel the visa, but they are asking me to pay a huge amount.

    Kindly help me on the following queries:

    1. How much is the employment entry visa fees for a visa valid for 2 months and issued by a free zone? How much should I pay company 1 for visa cancellation?

    2. I haven’t join company 1 and I am still in my home country, can I get any ban?

    3. Should I ask for NOC from company 1?

  15. Hi,
    I quit my job within a month due to personal emergency reasons in ma home.nw iam under 6 months ban. Is it possible fr me to apply jobs in dubai free zones? Did dey ask for NOC? also pls refer me whether the ban is only applicable in dubai r in sharjah even.

  16. Hi I got a worry about the new law as of the 1st August 2014. Plz can u tell me if its true u can now resign from my company after I have done one year with them?

    1. You can leave but you need to have a better offer so that you can avoid ban

  17. hi i am currently working in a famous fastfood for 3 months i have a plan to resigned because of low sallary before i leave the company i need to pay 45days of my salary of aed 1150 including the airfare to sent me here at uae.i plan to apply to freezone area it is possible without ban?

  18. hi Deepak,

    am working in a company as accoutant, but whn i joined in this company owner told me that u have 1 leave in a week.. but now he is asking to work on that leave day … if i didnt agree he will cancel my visa.. please help me wat to do … if the cancellation happend i will be banned for 6 months as per law.. or if i get any NOC from my current employer .. can i wrk any other company??? please help

    1. if you are working in a freezone …they have the right to ask employee to work on leave days also.
      Better to check with the freezone authority

  19. Hi Deepak, I’m an employee of Dubai Silicon oasis, I would like to apply for driving license, I’m currently in Abu Dhabi, I would like to open my driving license file in Abu Dhabi, and would like to take all my classes in Abu Dhabi, is that possible please ?
    BR // Adnan

  20. Hi i am currently working in a company in Dubai since last 6 Years. Last year my company asked me to sign on a document where they had written that we are not entitled to work or start our own business in the same industry or with the Competitors for 2 years after leaving this company. If we do so they will charge us a huge amount which almost my 10 years of my salary in my current company as a penalty. Now i am planing to work in a company in Jebel Ali Free zone. Please let me know if there will be any problem if i take this job.

    1. Hi Mat, I guess I may have to pass your question….Sorry. Please consult legal experts and lawyers.

  21. i am kumar i got job offer from Cafaro company in dubai airport free zone thru consultancy…pls confirm is this company is really located in Dudai AP freezone…

    1. I could not find this company in DAFZA. However, do a thorough due diligence. Also could you let me know the agency which placed you here?

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