How to Legally Open a 100% Ownership Business in Meydan Free Zone


Connect with our team to start your business !

When foreign investors seek to enter lucrative new markets, they are all faced with red tape that is often a challenge to step over. Most of the time, this red tape comes in the form of a local partner to hold the reins. When you consider the UAE however, the region’s progressive stance has enabled for a more welcoming environment.

Up until recently, business owners from abroad seeking to set up shop in the UAE also encountered ownership restrictions. An Emirati partner was required to hold a majority stake in such ventures. A recent change in such policies has brought about ripples of change throughout the business landscape in the region. Now, foreign investors are granted 100% ownership of their business.

With a tidal wave of innovative entrepreneurship soon to wash waves of prosperity over the UAE, several free zones have been set up across the region to accommodate this influx. Meydan Free Zone, being one of the world’s largest and most advanced Digital Free Zones[2], is the ideal place to springboard your entrepreneurial journey in Dubai.


Located in the heart of Dubai, Meydan Free Zone is more than a hub for business. It is, in fact, a melting pot for entrepreneurs who wish to grow in a dynamic and future-forward environment. Thanks to several advantages and unbeatable offerings, Meydan Free Zone has become one of the most attractive choices for foreign investors.

Strategic Location in Dubai, Access to all major DXB roads in 10 min

Located just 10 minutes away from Dubai International Airport, Meydan Free Zone offers unbeatable connectivity to global markets. 

State-of-the-Art Infrastructure[3] 

Innovation is nothing without efficiency, and Meydan Free Zone’s bleeding-edge infrastructure has been set up so that your business can thrive in a conducive environment. 

100% Digital Freezone

Meydan Free Zone’s purpose-built platform and portal means that its digital secure services can be accessible from anywhere at any time, ensuring that your business operates ahead of the game in terms of technological advancement.

Diverse Business Activities

With over 1500 business activities, Meydan Free Zone caters to several industries including e-commerce, management consultancy, and general trading.

Community FZ

You’ll find schools, clinics, restaurants, parks, and recreational facilities inside Meydan Free Zone, all coming together to create a thriving urban environment for work and play.


If you’re an entrepreneur with a vision, Meydan Free Zone will help you thrive, no matter which industry you are in. Here is a list of the key sectors present in this free zone:


Meydan Free Zone, with its state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and seamless global connectivity, will enable you to tap into over 30 local and international e-commerce giants. 

Management Consultancy

With over 3500 business activities across various sectors operating within Meydan Free Zone, the demand for professional consultancy services is sky-high. If you’re a management consultant, you’ll be able to tailor your consultancy services to meet the needs of your clients.

General Trading

Meydan Free Zone’s strategic location makes it the ideal location for general trading companies. Such companies are also guaranteed a bank account within IBAN that is issued instantly. 

Technology and Innovation

If you are a startup in the tech industry or a business that is driven by innovation, Meydan Free Zone can be your playground. With an award-winning digital customer platform that provides everything that is needed to thrive in this digital age, your business will be well on its way to taking the world by storm. 

Tourism and Hospitality

Meydan Free Zone is located near luxury hotels and attractions that are known the world over. It is no surprise that Meydan Free Zone supports ventures that are in the tourism and hospitality sector.


Establishing your business in Meydan Free Zone is cost-effective and comes with the advantage of flexibility. Go through this guide that walks you through the process, equipping you with all the information you need to get up and running.

A. Preparing for Business Registration

Documents and Requirements – Before proceeding further into the registration process, you’ll need to gather clear copies of your passport and the passports of your partners and shareholders. 

B. Company Registration Process

The Registration Procedure

Choose Your Company Name – Your company name should be unique and compliant. Meydan Free Zone will assist you with understanding the UAE’s guidelines for company names. 

Define Business Activities – Once you have outlined your business activities, do your due diligence to ensure that it aligns with the approved list published by the UAE’s various Municipalities and Departments of Economic Development.

Trade License Application – When applying for that all-important trade license, provide details about your business, shareholders, and proof of address and identification. Meydan Free Zone is recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Residency or Investor Visa – After your MOFA-recognized license is granted, the next step is to apply for your residency or investor visa. This will include preparing documentation and submitting yourself to various health checks.

C. Licensing and Permits

Obtaining the Necessary Licenses

With several licensing options starting at just AED 12,500, the specific package you choose at Meydan Free Zone will depend on the requirements of your business. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes all Meydan Free Zone business licenses. Licensing costs may vary based on factors such as the size of your business, premises, and the number of visas required.

D. Office Space and Infrastructure

Choosing the Right Location and Setup

Meydan Free Zone offers many options for your very own office space. Some of these include shared offices or individual offices with majestic views of the racecourse and Burj Khalifa. Before picking the right space for you, consider your budget, and needs, and then choose the ideal location within the free zone to set up your operations.

E. Visa and Employee Sponsorship

Hiring Employees and Processing Visas

The employees you hire must be sponsored through Meydan Free Zone [5]. Once again, submitting the required documents and adhering to UAE’s visa regulations is essential.  Meydan Free Zone can guide you through the entire process.

Meydan Free Zone’s pay-as-you-go business model, allows you to start with low costs and gradually scale your business as needed. Your dedicated Meydan Free Zone account contact will provide the expert guidance required and support you throughout the process. 


All businesses that operate within Meydan Free Zone must stay compliant with legal requirements as the zone is committed to maintaining a fair, efficient, and transparent business environment.

Sponsoring Visas – After obtaining your visa, you can also sponsor the visas of others, such as your dependent spouse, children, parents, and domestic staff.

Businesses will have to adhere to international and domestic initiatives aimed at combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and ensuring economic substance. To succeed in this dynamic landscape, businesses must align with key regulations:

Economic Substance Regulations (ESR)

Understanding Economic Substance – Given that the UAE is a no or low-tax region that attracts businesses that seek to minimize tax liabilities, the UAE has introduced Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) to address tax evasion and income shifting. These regulations require companies engaged in certain activities to demonstrate a substantial presence within the UAE.

Assessment of Relevant Activity – To determine if your business conducts a relevant activity and earns income from it, conduct an internal assessment. If required based on the jurisdiction and specific activities, initiate the Economic Substance process. This typically involves submitting an Economic Substance Notification followed by an Economic Substance Return.

Annual Obligations – Compliance with ESR is an ongoing commitment. Businesses must repeat the process annually, ensuring they meet the requirements and deadlines specified by the relevant authorities. The notification deadline and other essential information are typically shared through official documents.

Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO)

Understanding UBO – Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) refers to the natural person who ultimately owns or exercises effective control, directly or indirectly, over a customer or a transaction. Identifying the UBO is crucial to prevent money laundering and maintain transparency.

Importance of UBO – Knowing the UBO helps prevent money launderers from concealing the source of illicit funds and the identities of those involved. Failure to verify UBOs can facilitate money laundering, negatively impacting the economy.

Anti Money Laundering (AML)

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is the process by which criminals hide the source and ownership of funds obtained through illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, embezzlement, and cybercrime. To use these funds for both legal and illicit purposes, they must appear to come from legitimate sources.

AML Compliance

Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions in Meydan Free Zone are obligated to comply with anti-money laundering laws. This includes implementing the requirements set forth by the Ministry of Economy. Key steps for AML compliance include:

  • Appointing an expert compliance officer to oversee AML efforts.
  • Utilizing official government websites to access the most up-to-date local lists issued by the UAE Cabinet.
  • Subscribing to email subscription services to receive relevant updates, including the UNSC consolidated lists and local lists.
  • Registering for the goAML program, an integrated platform used to file Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and/or Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).

In Conclusion

Meydan Free Zone allows foreign investors to live their 100% ownership dream, with undisputed control over their companies. Without a local partner, their visions can be executed without hindrance. Couple this together with tax benefits and swift profit repatriation and you’ve got a very attractive offering for business owners. 

Meydan Free Zone’s expansive support system will lend an expert hand throughout the entire setup process of your business, paving the way toward prosperity without complexities.