Business setup in Sharjah: 4 major free zones

Sharjah, the country’s capital for culture and heritage, is the third-largest Emirate in the country and the only Emirate that stretches on both the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman coasts. 

The Emirate has consistently contributed to the UAE’s economic boost, recording increased overall GDP growth of AED 97.5 billion in 2018 from which 91% of total GDP comes from the non-oil sectors according to Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD). Such continuous growth and competitiveness make business setup in Sharjah an attractive feature to investors and entrepreneurs. And not to mention its improved public services and business policies.

Also read: How to get a restaurant license in Dubai

If you choose to set up a business in Sharjah, you should know that there are four major free zones in the Emirate where you can get your trade license. Aside from the standard free zone benefits like 100% foreign ownership, zero corporate and personal tax, and 100% repatriation of capital and profits, each of these free zones have further offerings that drive business growth.

 

4 Major free zones for business setup in Sharjah

 

1. Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone 

Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) is the world’s first free zone solely dedicated to the publishing and printing industry. Formed in 2017 and managed by Sharjah Book Authority, SPC offers two types of licenses for businesses: commercial or service. The free zone has the following advantages: 

  • No currency restrictions
  • A wide array of activities related to the publishing and printing industry
  • Licensing of startup companies, subsidiaries, and branches
  • Business facility options of unfurnished furnished offices and warehouses
  • International and regional connectivity via sea, land, and air transport links
  • License issued in 24 hours

 

 

2. Hamriyah Free Zone Authority

Thanks to its geographical advantage, Sharjah serves as a global gateway being the only Emirate with ports on the coasts of the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The establishment of Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah has then paved the way to one of the thriving sectors in the UAE today–industrial. It is the country’s second-largest industrial free zone and the UAE’s primary hub for oil and gas companies. Hamriyah Free Zone offers the following advantages:

  • Strong land, air, and sea connectivity
  • Licensing options include commercial, service, and industrial
  • Purpose-built office, warehouse, and factory units
  • Access to the UAE and GCC markets
  • Low-cost energy
  • 24-hour security within the Free Zone
  • Special VAT advantages 
  • Onsite labour accommodation
  • Access to a 14-metre deep port and 7-metre deep inner harbour
  • Business setup in less than 1 hour

 

3. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF)

Because of its versatility and global connectivity, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF) is home to all kinds of businesses with world-class facilities that cater to companies of all sizes. It is adjacent to Sharjah International Airport and therefore provides the most efficient road and air transport links to access both local and international markets. There are three licensing options in SAIF––commercial, service, and industrial––with the following advantages:

  • 25 years lease extended to a similar period
  • 6-8 hours of sea-air transfer
  • A choice of location and plots in different sizes pre-built
  • Global air links across the world via Sharjah International Airport
  • Tax exemption for all import and export
  • License issued in 24 hours

 

4. Sharjah Media City (Shams) 

Despite facing initial setbacks with immigration during the early phase of the free zone’s formation in 2017, Sharjah Media City (Shams) is the fastest-growing media free zone in the UAE today. Shams aims to be a world-class hub for the media industries that champion creative and innovative entrepreneurship in the region. Entrepreneurs can benefit from the following advantages: 

  • Wide range of business activities available on the same business license
  • All company documents issued within days
  • Shareholders are not required to be physically present in the UAE to incorporate a new company
  • Allocation of up to 6 visas on a shared desk facility
  • Ability to appoint Corporate Directors and Corporate Managers for your company
  • All company documents issued within days

Just like the rest of the seven Emirates in the UAE, Sharjah provides a conducive environment for different types of businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs like you. Business setup in Sharjah can’t get any easier. What you need at this point is to work with a business setup firm that will ensure the successful incorporation of your company in the Emirate. Decisive Zone’s company formation specialists are the experts in the field, providing unbiased professional advice on all types of licensing options in the UAE.

About the author:
Abdul Manan Shaikh | General Manager

Abdul Manan Shaikh | General Manager

Manan is bridging management and employee relations by addressing demands while developing strategies and initiatives aligned with the overall company's strategy.
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