Umm Al Quwain Free Zone is a newly formed Free Zone which started operation in the early 2014. Previous also known as Ahmed Bin Rashid Free Zone (ABRFZ). Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone is one such Free Zone located 50 minutes away from Dubai International Airport in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain.  It can be accessed easily from the old Emirates road. Umm Al Quwain Free Zone has been operating as an independent free zone. The new free zone promising to grow rapidly in the next few years because of the advantages it offers mainly to those looking for economical set up and running costs as well as variety of licenses.

Like other free zone companies Umm Al Quwain Free Zone company can be owned 100% by the foreign owners- a company or individuals, it is tax free and can import into Free Zone duty free. This means that the Umm Al Quwain Free Zone companies engaged in international trade can release their goods and keep them as stocks meant for re-export without payment of customs duties. Umm Al Quwain Free Zone Company can freely do business internationally. Like other free zones Umm Al Quwain Free Zone Company can sell goods in the local markets by using the services of a local trader. Service companies can deliver services from inside the Free Zone into UAE and to other countries.

Commercial Trading License

Allows the client to import, export, distribute, consolidate and store items specified in the license. This is limited to 3 different product lines or 10 similar product lines.

General Trading License

Allows the client to import, export, distribute, consolidate and store items of a diversified, unlimited and unrelated number of products (multiple products).
Government Fees

License Type Amount
Commercial Trading License (New License) AED 20,500
General Trading License (New License) AED 27,500
Commercial Trading License (Renewal) AED 18,500
General Trading License (Renewal) AED 25,500

3 different activities or 10 similar activities allowed per license, please contact us for the list of activities

Company Immigration Card – AED 1,350 (renewed annually)

You can secure a trading activity as well as a consultancy activity all on one license.

  • Company documentation (Trade Licenses etc.) are issued from UAQ FTZ and Visas are issued from Umm Al Quwain Immigration. Please note the registered address for your new company will be in Umm Al Quwain, as per what will appear on your Trade License and what will feature on your company stamp and furthermore should be used on all official company correspondence i.e. contracts, invoices etc.
  • Companies registered with UAQ FTZ are permitted to carry out their business activities within the Free Zone or outside the UAE. Should the company wish to conduct business activities within the UAE, they should either establish a local branch office or transact through a local commercial agent or local distributor.
  • If any of the Shareholders and/or Directors cannot personally be present in the UAE to open the company Bank Account, an attested Board Resolution and/or Power of Attorney from all of the absent Shareholders and/or Directors will need to be submitted in order to complete the bank account opening procedure
  • The minimum salary required to sponsor dependents in Umm Al Quwain is AED 3000.
  • The original trade license will be required to be submitted to the Free Zone at the time of renewal.
  • To be eligible to apply for an investor visa you need to hold a minimum of 75 shares in the company.
  • The Free Zone does not issue a labor card
  • You will be required to settle upfront in full any pending instalments at the time of cancellation of your license. Furthermore you will need to pay AED 5,000 to cancel the Trade license and up to AED 2,000 to cancel each employment visa and related dependent visas under the company. Please note the above is applicable providing all cancellations take place during the Trade License validity period – should any of the above take place after the Trade License has expired, late fees will also be incurred.
  • A license should not be cancelled if it still holds corporate bank accounts in the UAE and abroad, as well as if the company has outstanding loans, creditors, and it holds assets in the UAE and abroad.
  • You will not be able to simply let your Trade License or visas lapse, you will be required to cancel the company license and cancel the visas under the company as well as cancel any related dependent visas.
  • In addition to the relevant late renewal penalties imposed by the Free Zone, the cancellation fees also apply to expired licenses.
  • The company Immigration Card needs to also be renewed annually; should the company Immigration Card not be renewed, a penalty of AED 1500 will be applicable for the first month after expiry and AED 200 per subsequent month.
  • You will need to cancel all dependent visas before you will be allowed to cancel your own visa.
  • The company immigration card needs to also be renewed annually; should the company immigration card not be renewed, a penalty of AED 1,500 will be applicable for the first month after expiry and AED 200 for every subsequent month.
  • If you would like to amend your Trade License i.e. to add or remove shareholders the amendment fee is AED 5,500. Furthermore all shareholders (Buyer & Seller) are required to visit FTZ to sign the amendment documents in presence of the free zone official.
  • Visa applicants holding Sri Lankan, Ethiopian, and Indonesian passports will need to carry out a medical in their home country and have the results attested by the UAE Consulate in their home country as well prior to applying for their visa.
  • License pre-approval can take up to 30 working days or more depending on the nationality and place of birth of the applicant and is valid for 10 working days once granted.
  • Visa transfers aren’t permitted, even if it’s from another Free Zone.
  • In order to maintain your UAE residency, you will need to enter the country at least once every 180 calendar days.
  • Your residency visa and those of your employees and dependents are valid for 2 years and Investors are valid for 3 years.
  • To enter the port or free zone area you will need a free zone entry permit and in order to obtain this you will need to have a visa under the company
  • Visas will not be able to be cancelled unless all traffic fines have been paid.
  • Shareholders above the age of 60 are required to take an “Investor” position on their visa.
  • In order to be a shareholder and/or Manager and/or employee for an UAQ, you will need to be over the age of 21.
  • If any of the shareholders or the manager is an Emirati National, we will need a copy of their ‘Jinsiya’ and their Emirates ID Card.
  • When sponsoring dependents, the documents provided to immigration i.e. birth certificates and marriage certificates will need to be attested by the UAE Embassy in the country of residence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai and then legally translated to Arabic. Please contact us for further clarification on this procedure.
  • Women will be able to sponsor dependents (spouse, children, housemaid etc.) provided they can prove their eligibility to Umm Al Quwain immigration to sponsor the dependent.
  • Neither stepchildren nor adopted children nor children out of wedlock can be sponsored by the respective stepparent/adoptive/biological parent.
  • Hand-written NOC’s will not be accepted; all NOC’s should be typed.
  • If you are carrying more than 1 passport, please ensure you inform a CREATIVE ZONE representative of the same. Furthermore please note that you will be unable to travel on your 2nd passport (the one not submitted towards your visa process) whilst your visa application is in process.
  • If your normal passport which holds your valid UAE residence visa has run out of pages and/or expired, you will not be permitted to enter UAE on a temporary passport. You will need to wait till your new normal passport has been issued and then travel carrying both your new passport as well as your previous passport which holds your valid UAE residence visa.
  • Once you completed your change of status you will NOT be able to travel outside of the UAE until your passport has been stamped with your residency visa.
  • If you have visited Kish, Queshm or Iran at any time within the last 6 months, you will have to wait 6 months from the date of your departure from Kish, Queshm or Iran before you can apply for your UAE residency visa.
  • If the application for your entry visa is rejected as a result of not clearing ‘security approval’, you will be ineligible to apply for and secure a tourist visa in the future. This does not apply to nationals of the 48 countries who are granted visas on arrival.
  • If you have overstayed on your current UAE visa (visit visa, visa on arrival or cancelled residence visa); you will need to exit the country in order for your new entry visa to be issued, your new entry visa will not be issued in country.
  • If you are a national of one of the Schengen countries (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain etc – please contact us for a full list of the same) you will be granted a 90 day visa on arrival to the UAE which is not extendable. Please note however that once you exit the UAE, you will need to stay out of the country for a period of 90 days before you can re-enter on another visa on arrival.
  • Hand-written passports are not accepted; all passport copies submitted should be electronic/typed passports.
  • In order to be a shareholder or Manager of a company or apply for visas (both for the entry visa and when the passport is submitted for residency stamping) your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months. Furthermore you should hold a standard/normal passport, travel documents are not permitted nor are ‘non-commercial’ passports.
  • Please contact us for the requirements and a list of the permitted nationalities that are able to apply for visas as ‘housemaids’.
  • Restrictions currently exist for passport holders from the following countries to obtain employment/investor visas on the company (they can however still obtain visas as spouses or children): Bangladesh, Iran (also to act as company shareholder) and Israel (also to act as a company shareholder).
  • In order to secure a customs code (import/export code), the Manager on the License must have a valid UAE residency visa.
  • If your place of birth is Algeria, Iran or Israel or any other restricted nationalities but carry a passport from a different country, you can apply for an employment/investor visa however will be subject to visa pre-approval.
  • If your place of birth and/or nationality on your passport is from any of the following countries you will be required to carry out a visa pre-approval: Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigerian, Somalia, and Yemen. Please contact us for up to date information as the list can become subject to change without prior notice.
  • If your place of birth and/or nationality on your passport is from the following countries and if you do not have a UAE residence visa you will not be permitted to apply for the trade license: Turkey, Libya, Lebanon, Sudan, Kenya, Iran, Algeria, Yemen.
  • ‘Visa applicants who were formerly on Servant/Maid visa will have to provide an attested high school or degree certificate for the employment visa to be processed, approvals however are dependent on the Immigration department and there is a risk of rejection.”
  • For Pakistani and Afghani nationals, you will need to collect your medical result in person. Prior to collecting your medical result, you will be required to take a vaccination for polio.
  • The timeframe as to the issuance of your Emirates ID Card is not something we have control over and cannot be expedited by us – it is at the discretion of the Emirates ID Authority. The current timeframe for the issuance of Emirates ID Cards is 10 to 15 working days after your residency visa has been issued.
  • Please note that if you have never held a previous driving license in the UAE, you will need to visit Umm Al Quwain to either transfer your overseas driving license (if applicable) or take your driving lessons and test.
  • The words ‘Gas’, ‘Group’, ‘Capital’, ‘Medical’ or ‘Limited’ are not permitted as part of the Company Name, nor are the names of Cities or Countries. Furthermore, numerical characters are also not permitted to be as part of the company name i.e. ‘1 FZE’ is not allowed however ‘One FZE’ is allowed. In cases you would like to use initials in the company name ‘ABC FZE’ is not allowed however ‘A.B.C. FZE’ is allowed.
  • Whilst UAQ FTZ accommodate a wide range of business activities, similar to what is offered by Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), however certain activities aren’t permitted i.e. “Commercial Brokers”, “Insurance Brokers” and “Tobacco Trading.
  • For visa applications, male applicants should have a minimum age 21 and the female applicants should have a minimum age 30. The maximum age limit for both is 60 years old.

Legal Form of UMM AL Quwain Free Zone companies

  1. FZE Companies – Single shareholder
  2. FZC Companies – Two or more shareholders
  3. Branch Companies – Branch of local company, branch of foreign companies

Documents required for company Incorporation

Document No. of sets required Details
Application form 1 Signed by Applicant
Specimen signature 1 Signed with date by Applicants as mentioned
Articles of Association 2 Initialed (self-attested) on all pages and signed with date on last page by All Shareholders – blue pen
Memorandum of Association 2 Initialed (self-attested) on all pages and signed with date on last page by All Shareholders- blue pen
Service Lease Agreement 2 Signed by the Manager
Passport sized photographs (White back-ground) 2 Of each Shareholder
Passport Copy with UAE entry Visa page copy 1 Of All Shareholders / Director / Manger / Secretary
Latest utility bill copy – showing the name and address 1 Of All Shareholders / Director / Manger / Secretary
Valid ID card copy 1 Of All Shareholders / Director / Manger / Secretary


In order to set up your business in Dubai or UAE, it is advisable to have professional consultant to tackle all the hassles. At Emirates Chartered Accountants Group, our staff will study your requirements and your specific needs. We will ensure that you are registered and setup the company in the area, where you can conduct business within the guidelines of the government. That will ensure you are setup for success and there are no surprises along the way, thus saving you both time and cost. Please feel free to contact us ,

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