The government of Dubai is preparing to open a new free trade zone for e-commerce called “Dubai Commerce”, which will become a base for online stores and support the region’s status as a leader in global e-commerce. Dubai Commerce Free Zone (DCC) is the first and so far the only territory with an area of about 2.1 million square feet dedicated to the growing e-commerce market in the subregions of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. It cost the government 3.2 billion dirhams of the UAE.
DCC is a facility managed by two state–owned enterprises – Dubai Airport (DAFZA) and real estate firm Wasl. The purpose of its creation is to organize a unique e–commerce ecosystem that helps global as well as regional brands in creating and managing digital businesses.
Overview of Dubai Commerce Free Zone
DCC has exceptional competitive advantages that make it one of the most attractive Free Zones for foreign direct investment in regional markets, as well as a gateway for Dubai and the UAE to access a promising international economic sector. The zone is located next to Dubai International Airport, connected to other areas of the country by local and national highways. It is the hub of the intersection of hundreds of regional trade routes providing easy access to more than two billion people within a two-hour flight radius.
Dubai Commerce is a transition from a traditional economy to a “smart” one based on innovation and technology. Free zone will give impetus to the further growth of the retail e-commerce market in the region, which is expected to grow by 20% in the next 5 years.
DCC has modern office buildings, large warehouses, ideal for investors from all industries. For the convenience of customers, services work here:
- round-the-clock monitoring of e-commerce system specialists;
- providing consulting services, including the development of e-commerce strategy, work with customs authorities;
- performance marketing;
A stable basis for business development is provided by excellent network capabilities, as well as modern infrastructure. It offers world-class cargo and logistics services, which allows you to speed up the delivery of products, minimize the supply chain, and reduce costs.
Dubai Commerce City is:
- easy registration;
- affordable reliable digital entrepreneurship platform that can be integrated into any business model;
- centralized CRM solution that ensures quality of service;
- easily accessible e-commerce ecosystem (payment gateways, marketing agencies, call center support);
- state support for digital entrepreneurship — quick paperwork, approval, visa assistance, customs clearance, banking assistance.
In order to open or expand digital entrepreneurship, an appropriate e-commerce permit will be required. After receiving it, investors will be able to rent a suitable office, sponsor employees, open a bank account. An e-commerce license will allow an entrepreneur to sell his products online, as well as enter local and global markets, which will accelerate business expansion and simplify attracting new customers.
The availability of licenses, pre-agreed partnerships and reasonable cost lay a solid foundation for any startup or even an already successful e-commerce business.
Dubai Commerce clusters
To achieve environmental and investment sustainability, the zone’s territory is divided into three clusters.
Consists of 12 office buildings with a total area of 240,000 sq.m. It presents modern innovative buildings and landscapes designed according to the canons of the LEED program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) using renewable energy, as well as recycled water supply wherever possible. The implementation of the program ensures the sustainable development of the ecosystem. The business cluster provides for rent offices of classes “A” and “Premium” with furniture. Various flexible options have been developed for renting the latter, allowing scaling as the business expands. The total area of rented premises is 175,000 sq. m.
Consists of 105 logistics units with a total built-up area of 54,000 sq. m. m and a rented area of 53,000 sq. m. These are dedicated warehouses of various sizes for digital commerce enterprises, a general multi-client warehouse, as well as modular light industry units (LIU). Payment for the rental of premises depends on the scale of use. The cluster offers comprehensive warehousing services, including:
- order management systems;
- optimized customs clearance processes;
- delivery of the “last mile” from the bonded warehouse directly to the consumer.
Using the latest logistics technologies for warehouse management and storage, these divisions ensure high efficiency in the movement of goods. The center is designed with PVC solar panels on the roof to generate environmentally friendly energy.
It is home to food halls, cafes, restaurants, art galleries, exhibition halls, open spaces. It is located in the heart of the Dubai Commerce City shopping center, where everyone will find a suitable option for an easy rest, a change of office environment. For organizations, it offers exhibition halls where you can showcase your products to the general public, as well as multi-purpose halls suitable for conferences, art exhibitions, fashion shows.
How to create a company in DCC?
Before you apply for registration of your business in Dubai Commerce City, you need to do the preparatory work and choose:
1. The type of activity from the list available in the free zone.
2. License type.
3. The type of company that depends on the number of shareholders.
In each FEZ there is a list of permitted activities regulated by the presence of a certain type of license. In Dubai Commerce City, the range of permitted types of business is quite wide. Here you can trade in e-commerce goods, logistics, consulting, industrial production, and provide various types of online services.
Depending on the specific business activity, investors can choose the appropriate type of business license:
- General – allows entrepreneurs to engage in general activities, including import, export, re-export, storage and distribution.
- Trade – allows the owner to engage in trade, including import, export, re-export, distribution and storage of goods/activities specified in the permit.
- Service is a category of permissions for launching online services: marketing consulting, training, IT education. The cost of the permit starts from 21,995 dirhams UAE for a Smart-Desk package with a quota for two visas.
- Industrial, allowing to carry out production and assembly operations. Enterprises can work in the field of light industry, as well as engage in packaging, assembly, repacking.
- The e-commerce permit allows traders to sell goods online through a portal, website, or social media. The Free Zone offers logistical support, as well as world-class trade infrastructure.
- A dual license with a DED gives an organization registered with the DCC the right to work without the need to rent a physical office on the mainland.
Types of companies
Choosing the form of an enterprise is the first step when opening a business in the UAE. There are two types of enterprises that can be created in Commerce City:
- A free economic zone company (FZCO/FZ-LLC) with from two to fifty shareholders.
- A branch of a foreign existing company.
How do I apply for an e-commerce license?
- Select the type of company (FZK, FZ-LLC) or branch.
- Choose a trademark and get the name approved.
- Collect and submit a package of documents, including:
- copy of the investor’s passport;
- certificate of no objection (if sponsored);
- investor’s resume;
- other documents on request.
- Prepare a certificate of shares, as well as a draft Constituent Agreement (MOA).
- Pay the necessary fees.
- Get permission to open a digital business in the authorities.
- Get a UAE resident visa.
- Open a bank account.
License cost in DCC
|Dubai license package||Smart-desk 7.5 sq. m., with a quota for 2 visas, AED||equipped office with an area of 25 sq. m. M. with a quota for 3 visas, AED|
|Office rent||18,800||62,500with discount – 53,125|
|The cost of the license is full (with a 20% discount)||7,000 5,600||7,0005,600|
|Registration fee (one-time payment)||5,600||5,600|
|Payment for a new mailbox for a year (optional, if there is a mailbox)||1,065||1,065|
|Payment for innovative proposals||60||60|
Any entrepreneur is interested in increasing sales. For this reason, his company is often overloaded with operational details, identifying the right marketing channels. Dubai Commerce offers a full range of services: from digital marketing, customer analytics to business support and customs clearance, which will help eliminate problems.
Fulfillment, warehousing and delivery of the last mile
The Free Zone offers a fully operational logistics, storage, and movement of goods center.
The free zone offers a number of ready-made solutions for fulfilling orders:
- order management system;
- optimized customs clearance process;
- last mile delivery;
- customer and shipment request management;
- inventory and warehousing management;
- collection and packaging;
- delivery tracking;
- refund management.
All logistics operations are based on solutions developed under the guidance of industry experts. Customers can count on:
- provision of pre-agreed warehouse services, as well as last mile fares;
- short delivery times;
- providing a variety of storage options with pay-as-you-go, which saves money, and also allows you to scale trading operations in accordance with demand.
Technology platform and e-commerce services
Industry experts involved in DCC customer service will help develop an online store, brand, support in online trading, merchandising.
Different organizations may have different requirements. To satisfy them, customers and partners are offered ready-made integrated solutions: starter, B2B, B2C, intersectoral.
The “E-commerce as a service” offer includes special software tariffs, pre-integration with payment gateways, third-party logistics systems, marketing partner programs, analytics tools. A wide range of project services is offered, including consulting, search, testing of basic and secondary settings.
Consultations on e-commerce strategy
You have created your website, bought, placed shares and want to earn. At this stage, you will definitely need advisory assistance in developing the right e-commerce strategy, taking into account regional peculiarities. For example, international companies wishing to enter the Middle East market are assisted in adapting the brand to the conditions of the region, while its main purpose and semantic load are preserved. The development of a commercial strategy is carried out taking into account the conditions of a particular region and the specifics of the industry.
Specialized consultations will increase the efficiency of any organization, help in business promotion. The proposed solutions are based on the integrated application of user experience, the use of optimization strategies and access to training programs.
Deep knowledge of customs processes is the key to successful international business. Cross-border e-commerce requires consulting services on customs clearance, which will help to overcome bureaucratic red tape. The Customs Consulting Service provides relevant advice and recommendations. Proper paperwork in the right instances will ensure the smooth movement of goods.
Using knowledge and experience, the Dubai Commerce Free Zone Customs Consulting Service will guide each organization along the path of least resistance, ensure dynamism,