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A Free Trade Zone (FTZ), also known as a Free Economic Zone (FEZ), a Free Economic Territory (FEt), or a Free Zone (FZ), is one or more areas of a country where tariffs and quotas are eliminated, and bureaucratic requirements are reduced in order to attract businesses by floating the incentives for doing business there.

Free trade zones have been shown to be a successful and valuable strategy for developing new markets and increasing international trade earnings.

The majority of free trade zones are in developing countries. They are special zones where traditional trade restrictions such as tariffs on imports and exports do not apply, and where bureaucracy is often reduced by outsourcing to FTZ operators. Companies might look for the most suitable covered place for their needs.

As an added incentive, tax discounts may be offered to businesses that establish themselves in the Free Trade Zones.

Typically, these zones are established in underdeveloped areas of the country, with the logic that the zones will attract employers, resulting in more employment and cashflow in that area.

List of Free Zones in the UAE

Abu Dhabi

1. Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)
2. Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM)
3. ADPC – Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ)
4. Twofour54
5. Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
6. Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones
7. Masdar City Free Zone


1. Dubai Airport Free Zone
2. Dubai Auto Zone
3. Dubai Car and Automotive City Free Zone (DUCAMZ)
4. Dubai Creative Cluster Authority (formerly known as Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA) provides mandate for the following 10 Free Zones-
a. Dubai Design District
b. Dubai Internet City (DIC)
c. Dubai Knowledge Village
d. Dubai Media City
e. Dubai Studio City
f. Dubai Outsource Zone
g. Dubai Production City (formerly known as International Media Production Zone)
h. Dubai Science Park [formed by joining the Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park (DuBiotech) and the Energy and Environment Park (ENPARK)]
i. Dubai International Academic City
5. Dubai Flower Centre
6. Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
7. Dubai Healthcare City
8. Dubai Industrial City (DIC)
9. Dubai International Financial Centre
10. Dubai Logistics City
11. Dubai Maritime City Authority
12. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre or Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone
13. Dubai Silicon Oasis
14. Dubai Techno Park
15. Dubai Textile City
16. Economic Zones World
17. International Humanitarian City
18. Jebel Ali Free Zone


1. Hamriyah Free Zone
2. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
3. U.S.A. Regional Trade Center (USARTC) Free Zone
4. Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone
5. Sharjah Media City Free Zone


1. Ajman Free Zone
2. Ajman Media City Free Zone

Ras Al Khaimah

1. Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) [formed by merging RAK Investment Authority Free Zone (RAKIA) and Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ)]
2. Ras Al Khaimah Maritime City
3. Ras Al Khaimah Media Free Zone


1. Fujairah Free Zone
2. Fujairah Creative City

Umm Al Quwain

1. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ)

Activities allowed in UAE free zones