Dubai Internet City (DIC) is an information technology business park organized by the Government of Dubai in partnership with TECOM Investments as a free economic zone and a strategic base for enterprises focused on the regional emerging markets of Dubai and the Arab Emirates as a whole.
Leading techno and business zones have been developed to promote IT systems and services throughout the UAE. For two decades, DIC has become a center of technological innovation and business activity.
Several high-rise buildings have been built in the area and its surroundings, offering commercial as well as residential real estate for every taste.
Community history and overview
The founding date of Dubai Internet City is October 1999. The FEZ was opened for local and global corporations a year later. Today it is the largest information and communication technology (ICT) hub in the Middle East and North Africa.
DIC is a busy location with more than 1.5 million “squares” of luxury commercial and office space, housing about 1,600 organizations and more than ten thousand employees working in the IT field.
The legislative framework of the DIC allows foreign corporations to enjoy a number of property rights, tax, and customs benefits that are guaranteed for 50 years. Unprecedented preferential breaks have brought many global IT firms here, such as:
- «Oracle Corporation»;
- «Tata Consultancy»;
Leading profile companies based in the UAE, for example, Ducont, have moved here. The district has a favorable neighborhood with other industrial clusters.
DIC has a highly developed infrastructure network, a favorable environment for investors, a flexible legal structure and an attractive ecosystem. The advantages for local and international businesses are:
- 100% foreign property;
- 0% personal, corporate and income taxes, as well as customs duty (50-year exemption);
- no currency restrictions;
- guaranteed intellectual property protection;
- unhindered withdrawal of profits to the homeland in full;
- access to digital voice transmission and high-speed data transmission technologies;
- simplicity of the licensing process;
- access to modern equipped offices, conference roomshalls, business centers (Executive Desk and Executive Office);
- dynamic international community;
- 24-hour security.
Creating a company
The process of opening an organization in DIC is simplified as much as possible and takes no more than two weeks, provided that all documents are in order. But before proceeding with the paperwork, you should study the basic conditions and requirements.
What should be considered before opening?
The Dubai Internet City SEZ was created for enterprises whose activities are related to:
- creation of software;
- developments in the field of Internet and multimedia;
- telecommunications and networks;
- provision of IT services.
Types of enterprises
- LLC (FZ-LLC (New Incorporation of a Free Zone Limited Liability Company). LLC in free zone may belong to a physical person. to individuals or shareholders. The minimum investment in the share capital is 50 000 dirhams of the UAE. The cost of each share must be at least 1000 dirhams.
- A branch of a local firm where the founder is a resident of the UAE.
- A branch of a foreign firm where the founder is a resident of another country.
When establishing branches, the authorized capital is not required.
Types of licenses
The most common in the FEZ are licenses for:
- Software development, installation and modification.
- Development and maintenance of networks and telecommunications.
- E-commerce. It is necessary for trading individual services and products through electronic media.
- IT service. A permit is issued for any activity related to the development, offering standardized reproducible IT services.
- Internet and multimedia.
To obtain a license, you need equity. It is in the amount of 50 000 dirhams UAE must be deposited into the company’s bank account or DIC bank account before the company’s license is issued..
Business creation costs
- The fee for the approval of the business plan is 2,000 AED UAE/ 548 $.
- Registration fee 3 510 AED UAE/ 962 $.
- License fee 15 010 AED UAE/ 4 110 $.
- Workstation rental 35,000 AED UAE/ $9,590.
- Collect a package of general documents (copies of passports of all shareholders, managers and directors, as well as a business plan) and submit together with the application to the Management of the free zone.
- After receiving preliminary approval, collect a package of legal documents, submit them for consideration, and wait for approval.
- Pay the initial bill, which will include the cost of the license, registration, and part of the rent.
- Get a Staff Sponsorship Agreement and an Office Lease Agreement, sign and certify them.
- Get license.
- Pay the invoice for the outstanding rental amount.
Infrastructure for business
It includes several types of equipped areas.
The community offers a large selection of office spaces with a convenient location and configuration that can be easily adapted to the requirements of your business. The 1.8 million square foot Innovation Center consists of commercial, retail, and exhibition pavilions. This is a new dynamic location for business development with a high-tech infrastructure and a prototyping laboratory. More than 15,000 IT specialists from many countries of the world already work here.
Coworking allows you to start your own business and explore the market with flexible desktops and personal cabinets.
Offer the following 5 key benefits for startups and participants:
- business setup;
- equipped workplaces;
- seminars and events;
- cooperation with investors.
in5 Centers offers include a business incubation program, annual membership, as well as rental of premises and equipment, which allows students, entrepreneurs, as well as startups to make a profit and develop.
Entrepreneurs with a business idea or a minimally viable product in the field of technology, design or media can apply for participation in the in5 startup incubation program and take advantage of its benefits.
Students, entrepreneurs, and professionals are offered access to creative workspaces and specialized in5 facilities. This will help you develop your skills through year-round seminars, events, mentoring opportunities, internships.
Students, entrepreneurs, startups can work at one of three innovative, specialized, fully equipped incubation sites:
- in5-tech helps aspiring entrepreneurs to implement their revolutionary ideas. The platform offers its startups and members access to an equipped workspace, technical facilities, and event locations.
- in5-design is an innovative center for emerging artists. This is a creatively equipped space and a one-of-a-kind prototyping laboratory.
- in5-media is a digital media center focused on creating specialized products and content. It provides access to premises with high-quality equipment and equipment necessary for the production of media: cinema halls, editing kits and many others.
Entrepreneurs can take advantage of the opportunities of multi-purpose warehouses in the TECOM Group business districts or choose one of the warehouses occupying the basement of commercial buildings with round-the-clock security. Covered spaces ranging from 5,000 to 11,000 square feet are suitable for the production of light industry goods, logistics, storage. There are offices, trade and exhibition halls. The main sliding door of 6X6 meters leads inside. Inside the warehouses are equipped with lighting, air conditioning, and fire safety systems. On the territory there is Parking, loading area.
Conveniently located multi-purpose light industry enterprises with ready-made infrastructure and first-class construction standards offer:
- free areas from 5000 to 138,000 “squares”;
- modern fire protection systems;
- round-the-clock security;
- mezzanine offices.
Pavilions can be used for storage, exhibition hall, production of light industry goods. Service roads and forklifts are allocated for heavy-duty vehicles. On-site parking is available for private transport.
How to become a freelancer?
The GoFreelance project is designed to simplify the registration of talented freelancers, facilitate creative activity and provide everything necessary to build their independent future.
Anyone can become a freelancer in one of the leading communities:
- Internet City;
- Media City;
- Park of Knowledge.
The Internet City community supports freelancers in the field of:
- desktop software development;
- e-commerce development;
- game development;
- product management;
- creation of scripts and utilities;
- web development;
- web and mobile design.
- database administration;
- ERP/CRM software development;
- information security;
- network and system administration;
- IT and networks;
- A/B testing;
- data visualization;
- ETL data extraction;
- data mining and management;
- machine learning;
- quantitative analysis;
- customer service;
- technical support and related services.
In the Knowledge Park community, you can become:
- Education advisor. The work involves providing assistance to universities inside and outside the free zone, monitoring compliance with various requirements of cooperation programs with the government, during admission exams, etc.
- E–learning Consultant – a person providing e-learning support and consulting services.
- A researcher. The responsibilities include conducting research to serve educational institutions, students, faculties, areas of personnel management, and other participants in the educational industry.
- A trainer is a person who trains specialists in the field of information technology, mass media, business, management, logistics, languages and related fields.
The Media City community offers the widest selection of specializations. You can realize yourself as:
- sound engineer;
- photo or cinematographer;
- commentator on radio or television;
- creative director;
- music critic;
- audio, video editor;
- graphic designer;
- presenter of TV or radio programs;
- special effects producer;
- social media specialist, etc.
How does GoFreelance work?
- Register, get credentials to log in to the axs online portal.
- Log in to axs, apply by following 3 simple steps.
- Pay the bill online or in person.
What documents are needed?
- freelancer license;
- enterprise card for 2000 dirhams UAE;
- UAE phone number;
- valid medical insurance;
- original passport;
- passport photo.
What are the advantages of GoFreelance?
By becoming a freelancer, you will immediately immerse yourself in a stimulating creative environment, choose any available place and get access to the amenities, privileges, social events and professional services of the community. You will be able to:
- Collaborate with freelancers from various industries, including technology, media, education.
- Apply for a visa for a period of one or three years.
- Use the capabilities of business centers around the clock.
- Take advantage of exclusive online platforms: market.ae and marketplace.ae , uniting freelancers and companies.
- Take advantage of the standard package of services, including uninterrupted high-speed Wi-Fi access, access to the conference room, coffee.
To live in Dubai Internet City means to live in a busy commercial area, where conditions are created as favorable as possible for business, life, recreation and entertainment. Shopping and fitness centers, shops, cafes, eateries, hotels, medical institutions are open for residents in the immediate vicinity of residential buildings.
Real estate for rent includes apartments and hotel rooms. Apartments come in different sizes and configurations with different numbers of bedrooms.
The Jewel Tower residential complex is considered the most fashionable – a high-rise forty-one-story tower. The building has high-speed elevators, 24-hour concierge services and intercoms. Residents can also use the gym, spa, steam room and swimming pool.
Penthouses offer large living areas and usually have 3 or 4 bedrooms, such housing occupies a half-floor or an entire floor. They have floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer beautiful views of the Persian Gulf.
The apartments for rent have from 1 to 3 bedrooms, spectacular layout, impeccably renovated rooms, fully equipped kitchens, spacious living room and bathrooms. The 3-bedroom apartments are more spacious and offer more living space. In apartments, you can often find a maid’s room and a pantry. There are also apartments of simple configurations: studios or with one bedroom.
The average annual cost of renting an apartment with 1 bedroom is 72 thousand dirhams, with two – 99 thousand, three–room – from 150 thousand dirhams. Annual rent of hotel apartments will cost from 72 to 84 thousand dirhams.
The most popular buildings
In the first place in popularity is the Dubai Jewel Tower. This is a high-rise residential building with 41 floors. Tenants can choose between apartments with 1 and 4 bedrooms, as well as penthouses with 3 and 4 bedrooms.
The second most popular is Al Salam Grand Hotel Apartments. Apart-Hotel Al Salam Grand is located on Sheikh Zayed Street. It has 15 floors with 225 apartments, from studios to 2-bedroom apartments.
The Aurora Tower is the third most popular.
The community is located near the coast, next to several luxury hotels:
- Grand Plaza;
- Al Salam Grand Hotel Apartments;
- Holiday Inn Express.
The five-star Grand Plaza, located in the heart of DIC, is suitable for business guests and tourists. It offers 235 spacious rooms and suites decorated in a Middle Eastern style. This hotel also has a state-of-the-art conference center and a ballroom pavilion. It can accommodate up to 800 guests and is ideal for meetings, weddings and congresses. There are nine conference halls equipped with high-tech audiovisual equipment, free Wi-Fi and lighting equipment.
Apart-Hotel Al Salam Grand is located on Sheikh Zayed Street, a 9-minute drive from Internet City. This facility has 15 floors with 225 studios, 1- and 2-room apartments with spacious layouts. Many of these rooms have private balconies with spectacular sea views. Each room has a fully equipped kitchen and connecting rooms.
Holiday Inn Express is a 244–room hotel. It offers a free buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour fitness and business centers, three conference halls with a capacity of up to 120 people.
Each building has parking lots with enough parking spaces for residents. Several covered parking spaces are assigned to the penthouses. Visitors and those who come to the area for work use paid parking.
Dubai Internet City has a metro station of the same name. It is one of the busiest in the Emirate. The metro allows those working in DIC to easily get from other parts of the city. Other nearby stations are Nakheel, DAMAC Properties and DMCC. They can be reached in 11-12 minutes. Buses 83, 84 and 85 run within the community, but there are many bus stops in the neighborhood from where you can get to other areas of the city.
There are no large supermarkets in DIS. There is a ZOOM mini-market in the Jewel Tower (near the metro), where you can buy all the essential goods. Most supermarkets are located in the surrounding areas:
- in Greens – Choitrams;
- in Al-Sufuh – Aswaaq;
- in Barsha Heights – BlueMart, F Mart, Park N Shop.
Churches, temples and mosques
Residents can visit the Christian Church in Dubai and the Goat Church, which can be reached in 10-11 minutes by car. The Old Apostolic Church (BVSA) is located in Barsha Heights, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church Al-Sufuh 2 is 11 minutes away by car.
Parishes have been opened in the village of Jebel Ali:
- Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mina;
- Church of the Hope of the Covenant;
- Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi.
You can get to them by car in just 15 minutes.
In the same village you will find the Sikh Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara. Hindus visit the Shiva Temple, the Sri Krishna Haveli Temple and the Shrinath Ji Temple in Bur Dubai, which is half an hour away.
There are many mosques near Dubai Internet City. The nearest one is Tecom Masjid, a 5–minute drive away. A little further away are the Greens Mosque and the Hamel al-Ghaith Mosque.
The nearest British Orchard kindergarten to DIS is located in Dubai Media City. It is a 6-minute drive away. There are two kindergartens on the Palm Jumeirah Island within a 12-minute drive: Redwood Montessori and Asia’s.
You will also have to get to secondary schools by car or bus. Among nearby schools:
- Choueifat Al Sufouh International School, operating under the SABIS curriculum (UK/USA) from KG1 to Grade 12;
- Regent International School, following the national curriculum of England;
- GEMS Wellington International School;
- The American School of Dubai.
There are several universities near DIS:
- Middlesex University;
- University of Manchester;
- University of Wollongong (UOWD);
- University of Bradford;
- American University (AUD).
The closest hospitals are Al-Zahra and the Saudi German Hospital. These are tertiary level hospitals with all basic medical facilities.
Higher-level clinics located 10-12 minutes away include:
- Mediclinic Meadows;
- Mediclinic Al Sufouh;
- American Hospital Clinic Media City.
It is predominantly a commercial area with several restaurants and bars. To get to shopping malls, you need to get there by your own or public transport.
The Greens Souk shopping center was recently expanded and turned into a fairly large place for shopping. There are several retail stores here, including a bookstore, a beauty salon and a grocery store. There are also several cafes and restaurants, and in the cooler months, visitors like to sit in the open area.
Golden Mile Galleria Mall is adjacent to Al-Ittihad Park on the Palm Jumeirah. There are about 70 retail outlets in the shopping center, many small boutiques, restaurants with a relaxed atmosphere, there are several pharmacies, supermarkets and a fitness club.
Among the fast food restaurants in DIC, Popeyes, Subway and Burger King stand out. Popular Indian eateries include Paratha King, The Rupee Room and Kamat. You can get acquainted with Arabic cuisine in Al Safeer, Mantoushe or Diwan Layalina.
Other restaurants nearby include Puranmal Indian Restaurant, which serves sweets and other Indian dishes, Mexican Taqado and Qutoof noodles. Each of them can be reached on foot.
Popular nightclubs are:
- ICON Bar & Lounge at the Radisson Blu Hotel;
- The Rooftop Terrace at the One&Only Royal Mirage Hotel.
Entertainment events and famous attractions
The nearest attraction is the Emirates Golf Club. The golf course, built in 1988, was the first grass-covered golf course in the Middle East. It has 36 holes. Horse racing enthusiasts can spend time at the Jebel Ali Racetrack by going there by car.
There are many places for family holidays nearby. For example, a 7-kilometer tree-lined embankment. Vacationers and tourists here walk, ride bicycles, shop in numerous shops, spend time in restaurants and cafes. There are several playgrounds on the embankment. You can also enjoy the sights of Dubai Marina by taking an exciting dhow boat cruise.
Skydive is a great place for exciting skydiving. This platform for thrill-seekers was opened in 2010. You can jump alone or in tandem.
Active recreation, fitness, beauty
Fitness enthusiasts can keep fit in one of the sports complexes:
- Fitness First;
- Snap Fitness;
- Body Time Tecom.
You can get to them on foot.
Women can take care of their attractiveness in one of the spas:
- The Work Salon + Spa;
- Tulip Ladies Salon;
- The Cure.
Handsome Men Salon and Cutting Line Gent’s Salon are men’s beauty salons.
Many events are held annually in Internet City Dubai. These are mainly technical conferences and festivals. The STEP Conference is held every year at DIC. This is the largest tech festival in the Middle East, where the latest trends in the digital world are discussed. STEP helps startups get the information they need.
Dubai Media City Amphitheater is a first-class venue where many non-technical events are held: sports competitions, holidays, exhibitions such as Taste of Dubai, concerts.
Since the location is located near the Persian Gulf, there are several popular beaches, including Al-Sufuh and JBR beaches. Al-Sufu Beach is located between Burj al Arab and Palm Jumeirah.
JBR Beach is among the best tourist destinations in Dubai. There is an outdoor shopping center called The Beach, many coastal restaurants and recreation areas. JBR Beach also has a running and walking track, and plenty of outdoor exercise equipment for visitors.
DIC is located near the Persian Gulf and the Palm Jumeirah waterfront development. Nearby popular residential neighborhoods:
- Barsha Heights.
Dubai Internet City is a technology hub that has united the forces of the world’s leading IT corporations, which has won worldwide recognition as one of the most dynamically developing global information and digital areas.