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Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) – is a free economic zone (FEZ) located in the central part of the city. Companies engaged in the development and sale of information technologies are concentrated on an area of 7.2 million square meters.

DSO (DSO) is a technology hub for IT, specialized industries, research and development. But it is also a fashionable self-sufficient residential complex with a developed social and infrastructure. There are schools, hospitals, hotel complexes, shopping and sports complexes, restaurants, where many cuisines of the world are represented. There are children’s camps in the courtyards, and green park recreation areas are laid out on the streets. Dubai Silicon Oasis is a “city within a city” and one of the most attractive locations for starting a business in the United Arab Emirates.

History of FEZ

The creation of the Oasis began in 2003. The ruler of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the beginning of the formation of the free zone, whose activities will focus on the promotion of innovative technologies. In 2005, a plot in the central part of the city was allocated for the innocenter, and a year later the zone was officially declared economically free. The construction of the DSO headquarters, the laying of road and telecommunications infrastructure has begun.

The DSO was created in a classic Middle Eastern architectural style combining beauty, luxury and comfort. At the same time, the internal structure of both living and working spaces is the embodiment of the highest technological and telecommunication standards of the XXI century.

In 2015, the Dubai Campus of Technology Entrepreneurs was put into operation – the largest center in the region to support the younger generation of “IT specialists”.

In 2020, the innovative Dubai Digital park (DDP) complex was opened in Silicon Oasis (UAE). This is an ambitious “smart city” project, claiming to be a new global benchmark for intelligent technological solutions, embodying 6 principles: life, society, mobility, economy, management and the environment. The complex occupies 15 thousand hectares, includes 47 thousand “squares” of office spaces, 17 thousand “squares” of retail space, 245 smart apartments.

The territory is under the administration of the state. For a decade and a half, the most favorable conditions for work and life have been created here. Unprecedented tax benefits operating in the free zone for IT companies are combined with a high quality of life. This area of the city belongs to the category of the most prestigious.

Advantages of DSO

History of Dubai Media City

Developed as a high-tech ecosystem, the FEZ has a large list of advantages. It is considered to be the only technopark in the region that combines equally high standards of living and work. The registration of an enterprise on its territory is attractive due to the well-organized business infrastructure, flexible government policy and a number of specific benefits:

  • convenient location in the central part of the city;
  • a developing urban community consisting of low-rise townhouses, high-tech multi-storey residential and commercial buildings, parks;
  • a developed infrastructure network that allows you to quickly get to other areas of the city, the country and the world (there is a metro, a major highway passes nearby, the airport is located 15 minutes away);
  • quick business organization (registration, obtaining a license, its extension);
  • availability of highly qualified specialized engineers;
  • modern information technology infrastructure – fiber-optic rings, Wi-Fi, local data center, high-speed Internet access, a full set of services with a third-level data center;
  • free access to European, American and Middle Eastern markets;
  • competitive pricing;
  • full exemption from taxes on individuals. and jur. persons;
  • absence of customs duties, quotas, other barriers;
  • rapid customs clearance;
  • unhindered withdrawal of money to the homeland;
  • 100% foreign ownership;
  • the right to self-distribution of profits and capital;
  • stable and clear regulatory laws;
  • flexible system of buying and renting an office;
  • accelerated review of employee visas;
  • provision of business support services;
  • integrated online e-business system.

Opening a company

When starting to organize an enterprise in a FEZ, study the conditions and requirements. 

Types of companies that can be opened

According to the rules of the Silicon Oasis, it is possible to register a company in its territory in any of the four legal forms:

  1. A branch of an existing one. Any company operating in the country or abroad can open its branch in DSO without additional investment. But its activities should be identical to those carried out by the parent company.
  2. A Free Zone (FZE) is an organization with one shareholder, which can be a physical person. or a legal person.
  3. A Free zone company (FZC/FZCO) is an enterprise with at least two shareholders, who can also be both individuals and legal entities.
  4. A registered company (DED). If the organization is already registered in one of the economic departments of Dubai, but not in the free zone under consideration, then it can apply for permission to work in the DSO.

Share capital

DSO share capital

The minimum amount of authorized capital that will be required when opening companies such as FZE or FZC/FZCO is 100 000 dirhams (AED UAE). In terms of the US currency, this amounts to $27,397.

Types of licenses

There are two groups of licenses on the territory of the free economic District: operational and special.

Operating licenses include:

  1. For maintenance. It can be issued by accountants, lawyers, business consultants. This type of permit gives the right to advise on issues related to the organization, development, promotion and protection of business, to provide legal assistance and; for the provision of financial services.
  2. Industrial, allowing a registered entrepreneur to import raw materials, produce goods, process, complete, package and export finished products.
  3. Trade, giving the right to export-import operations, as well as the purchase and sale of categories of goods listed in the document.

You can also get a special license:

  1. Permission to conduct business. It is issued to firms owned by private individuals who work on the territory of the DSO. You can get it from the Dubai Economic Department (DED).
  2. For Entrepreneurial Activity (EBL). It can be obtained by aspiring entrepreneurs participating in the DSO incubator program. It entitles you to receive the support resources and services required to launch a startup.

Administrative zone inside DSO

Administrative zone inside DSO

DSO is a powerful regional and international base, on the territory of which enterprises of the semiconductor sector, as well as firms involved in the creation of information, digital and other types of high technologies are located.

The permitted types include activities in the field of:

  • IT and its security;
  • telecommunications;
  • electrical engineering;
  • electronics and microelectronics;
  • engineering;
  • consulting services, including legal;
  • finance;
  • biotechnologies;
  • automotive industry;
  • aerospace industry;
  • semiconductor manufacturing;
  • oil and gas;
  • alternative energy;
  • mobile technologies;
  • trade and marketing entrepreneurship;
  • export-import;
  • logistics;
  • IC Design;
  • development of SAAS solutions.

Office space

Having an office is a prerequisite for starting a business. An entrepreneur can choose a room from several possible options.

In the building of the DSO Headquarters, you can rent a plug-and-play office with an area of 160 sq. ft. This is a suitable option for opening a large regional representative office or a research and development center. The premises are completely renovated, equipped with suspended ceilings with built-in lighting, air conditioning and fire safety system. The walls are papered, the floors are covered with carpets, the windows are covered with curtains. Technical capabilities include:

  • high-speed internet connection;
  • VoIP connections;
  • Avaya communication system and UPS uninterruptible power supply;
  • data center.

The building also has:

  • parking for 1400 covered spaces;
  • outdoor recreation area with landscaping;
  • post offices, banks, restaurants and cafes.

DTEC (Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus) is an international startup center that employs hundreds of entrepreneurs from 70 countries. It supports young technology enterprises by providing a range of tools and services, including:

  • creative space with an area of 10,000 sq.m.,
  • round-the-clock access to high-speed Wi-Fi;
  • conference rooms;
  • locations for recreation and meetings;
  • laboratories for corporate partners.

Tenants will also be able to receive visa services, use parking, free drinks, take part in acceleration programs, and receive additional investment preferences.

Techno Hub 2 has 20,000 square meters of spaces ready for immediate occupancy by employees. These are fully equipped open-plan offices, which can be divided to accommodate from 2 to 500 employees, with communications necessary for office work, natural lighting and air conditioning. There are options with furniture. Tenants will be able to use spacious parking lots, conference rooms, meeting rooms, cafes.

Warehouses and LIUS

Warehouses and LIUS

High Bay is 172,000 square feet of multi–tiered warehouses and industrial areas made of steel structures and featuring an attractive design. It has allocated floors for offices with a total area of 35,400 square feet. The premises are equipped with:

  • suspended ceiling;
  • carpet;
  • IT and telephone exchange;
  • IT cable and fiber-optic network connection;
  • air conditioning, fire extinguishing, alarm, video surveillance systems.

There is a large parking lot and a coffee shop on site. The warehouse is guarded around the clock.

You can use the option of operational warehousing. For this purpose, premises ranging from 3,228 to 5,380 square feet with a rack height of 12 m and adjacent office space of 214 square feet have been allocated. Warehouses can be used for any business. They are equipped with:

  • air conditioners;
  • sockets;
  • UPS uninterruptible power supply systems for computers, video surveillance, fire alarm and fire extinguishing.

Offices are tiled with floor tiles, also have all the necessary communications.

Light Industrial Units (LIU) warehouses with offices and mezzanine spaces can be used for storing light industry goods. The total area of each LIU is 3,868 square feet, including a warehouse/operating area of 2,307 square feet, as well as a two-story office with an area of 1,560 square feet. Each warehouse is equipped with:

  • structural, mechanical, electrical ceiling;
  • electronic echo sounder;
  • fiber optic network;
  • video surveillance and round-the-clock security;
  • fire safety system.

Conference rooms

DSOA conference room

Fully adapted to the needs of modern high-tech business. In addition to the flexible seating arrangement, free snacks are offered to visitors.

The Dtec Technology Entrepreneurship Center has several universal meeting and event venues suitable for groups of 4 to 150 people.

The high-tech and luxurious DSOA conference hall is designed to accommodate up to 30 people and is equipped with high-quality equipment: projectors, stand-alone screens and audio-visual equipment.

If you need to hold a presentation for managers, a meeting of delegations or partner negotiations, you can use small meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 10 people. They are equipped with amplifiers, ceiling speakers, projectors and the latest multimedia systems, including video recorders, DVDs and electronic smart boards.

The innovative stadium is a space with a unique design, which was created to stimulate the brain activity of users looking for creative solutions. It accommodates up to 40 people and is designed for:

  • brainstorming sessions;
  • innovative laboratory meetings;
  • business meetings;
  • seminars;
  • training.

Building land

The FEZ offers organizations “prepared” (ready for immediate construction) industrial plots of land of various sizes: from 5000 to 255,600 “squares”. The land can be used for the construction of a regional headquarters, associated warehouses, research and development support centers, production sites or logistics and distribution hubs.

Company registration process

Company registration process DSO
  1. Send the appropriate application form with the necessary documents.
  2. Book the company name.
  3. Get initial approval for the type of activity.
  4. Choose an equipped office that is most suitable in size and layout for your business requirements, or hire contractors to finish unequipped offices.
  5. Sign the lease agreement and submit it to the authority.
  6. Collect corporate documents.
  7. Pay the fee.
  8. Get a license.

Office space at the DSO headquarters is rented at 1,550.00 AED UAE per “square” per year. The minimum area required to obtain a general trade license is 100 sq. m. Investors can also rent light industry facilities (LIU), including warehouse and office space, at a price of 830 AED UAE per square meter per year. The available area is 360 square meters.

Required documents

You will need:

  • a copy of the passport;
  • a copy of the residence visa page or the stamp of the previous entry into the UAE.

Additionally (for a corporate shareholder and the opening of a branch), you may need:

  • a notarized foundation agreement or charter certified at the UAE Embassy at the place of origin;
  • a legalized decision of the board of directors of an existing company;
  • a legalized certificate of registration of the organization.

License cost

The cost of the license depends on the industry and type of commercial activity that the client wishes to carry out:

  • a trade license will cost 12 000 – 30 000,00 dirhams (3 287,67 – 8 219,17 USD);
  • service – in 12 000 – 20 000,00 dirhams (3 287,67 – 5 479 USD);
  • industrial – 12,000 dirhams (3,287.67 US dollars).

The cost of fees in favor of the state is indicative. The exact amount of state duties will be determined during the submission of applications.


The estimated time to receive a complete set of corporate documents is from two to four weeks.

Actions with the company

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

In the course of work, the company may undergo changes, it may be decided to close it. All this requires compliance with the norms adopted in the DSO.

License extension

Work permits should be renewed every year. To do this, you need to pay rent and license fees.

18 months after the start of the company’s work, it is necessary to conduct an audit, and then repeat the procedure annually and submit the results to the appropriate authorities.


Most often changes are expressed in:

  • transfer of shares;
  • change of name;
  • replacement of manager;
  • change of type of activity.

Requests for changes are submitted remotely. Presence is required only when transferring shares to another shareholder. The cost of making the change is 500–2000 AED UAE.


It’s easy to close an organization. To do this, you need:

  • submit an application for closure;
  • provide a final audit report;
  • hand over all original documents of the company;
  • terminate the lease agreement;
  • close visas;
  • pay the fee.

Resident visas

Duties and costs for a resident

The number of resident visas that a firm is entitled to receive depends on the area of the rented office. Every 9 “squares” give the right to one resident visa. The manager of the organization must have a resident visa issued in the DSO. Its cost consists of payment:

  • fees (for the applicant located within the UAE, it is 4860 AED UAE, for those outside the state – 3260 AED UAE);
  • medical examination – 690 AED UAE
  • identity card – 370 AED UAE.

The refundable deposit is 2500 dirhams. If the applicant is over 60 years old, he is charged an additional tax in the amount of 5000 dirhams. The visa is valid for 3 years.

Real Estate

It includes modern apartments in apartment buildings (towers), elegant villas and townhouses. In multi-storey buildings, you can buy a studio or a 1-,2-,3-,4-room apartment. The apartments are spacious, the living and dining rooms are well lit, the kitchens and bathrooms are equipped with modern plumbing and furniture. Villas and townhouses are distinguished by cozy but spacious bedrooms, which can be from 3 to 5, convenient layout, high-quality finishes and plumbing.

The cost of renting a house starts from 25,000 dirhams per studio. A three–bedroom apartment will cost 80,000 dirhams, a similar villa will cost 130,000.

You can buy a studio for about 300,000 dirhams. The cost of an apartment with several bedrooms reaches one million. But villas are 2-3 times more expensive.

Apartments or villas put up for sale are in fact often rented out for a long-term lease with the right to resell to a new owner with the remaining term of payment of rental obligations.

According to Bayut, customers are more often interested in apartments in:

  1. “Silicone Gates”: it has 3 residential blocks and apartments with 1-4 bedrooms.
  2. Axis Residences. Here you can rent a house at the lowest price. Apartments are also bought in this complex for the purpose of investing as an investment.
  3. A gated community of villas “Kerd Villas”, in which a foreigner can buy a premium-class property with 3-5 bedrooms with the right of freehold.

Return on investment

Return on investment in free zone

In the free zone under consideration , the high:

  • for studios, the profitability index reaches 7.8%;
  • two–bedroom housing has an index of 7.9%;
  • villas and townhouses – 5.7% – 6.2%.

Life in a Silicon Oasis

All conditions for comfortable work, life and recreation are created in this free zone. Luxury shopping malls and supermarkets are located in and near the community. All residential and entertainment facilities are guarded around the clock. This creates a sense of reliability and tranquility. The living spaces are equipped with the latest technology, which ensures maximum household comfort. There is a hospital nearby for medical services. For a pleasant evening pastime, there are more than 80 eateries, cafes, bars and restaurants where you can enjoy dishes of Eastern and European cuisines. Tennis courts, outdoor playgrounds, swimming pools have been built for outdoor enthusiasts.

Special attention is paid to recreation. Dozens of small squares and green areas with artificial lakes, lawns, fountains, waterfalls, and gardens have been created here. Hundreds of exotic plants bloom in them. Coolness and serenity reign in these eco-corners, and the air is saturated with the aromas of flowers all year round.

The variety of housing stock allows you to choose an option for housing for any requirements: for students, single, family, couples with children.At the same time, rental prices are relatively low. According to Bayut’s Annual Rental Report for 2020, DSO has become one of the most popular locations with inexpensive apartments for rent.

Public transport and parking

Oasis is located near the state highway M 311. This is the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Highway, which allows you to get to any area inside the emirate and beyond. There is a metro station nearby.

Public transport is represented by several bus routes running inside the free zone, as well as connecting it with other parts of Dubai. You can get to any point by taxi.

Personal transport is the most popular way of transportation. To use it, an international driver’s license is required. The car can be rented. Parking is well thought out in the area: there are enough places and they are conveniently located. Depending on the category of housing, one or more parking spaces are assigned to each apartment. Office buildings and shopping malls also have parking lots: some of them are located on the street, the other is underground.

Churches, temples and mosques

St. Mary's Church

There are many mosques in the Silicon Oasis. There is a public mosque in each of the clusters of villas, and prayer halls are open in other parts of the area.

The nearest Christian Catholic Church of St. Mary is not in the DSO itself, but not far from it. You can get to it by car in about 20-25 minutes. 

Schools and universities

The oasis is great for the whole family. There are several kindergartens and schools with different educational programs for children. For the youngest, the gardens “Emirate British Nerseri” and “British Orchard Nerseri” are suitable.

Those who are older, you can get into the Wellington Academy. This is one of the best educational institutions in the country. Here you can choose an educational program: British or IB. The “Royal School of Nad Al-Sheba”, as well as the international school “Vernas” are no less popular. In the latter, training is conducted according to the American curriculum. Children up to 5th grade are accepted here.

There are no less opportunities for those who graduate from high school and want to get a higher education. Dubai Silicon Oasis is located near Akademgorodok, where there are many internationally accredited universities. Nearest options:

  • Murdoch University in Dubai;
  • Herriott-Watt University;
  • University of Wollongong.

The area is also home to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), offering degrees in technology and business.

Hospitals and clinics

There are several medical clinics in the FEZ, where they will provide first aid. There are several specialized medical institutions where you can diagnose, undergo a course of physiotherapy, routine treatment, surgical operations. These are the clinics “Aster”, “Medic”, as well as the medical center “Magnum Gulf”. There are no large hospitals in recreation. But if necessary, you can contact the Fakih clinic, which is located in Akademgorodok, a ten-minute drive away. There is a large staff of narrow specialists in all areas. There are many pharmacies in the community.

Shopping malls

Dubai Outlet Mall

Cedre Villas is a shopping center where you can buy everything you need in everyday life. In addition to the hypermarket, it has restaurants, a beauty salon, a medical facility and a family recreation park. You can make more profitable purchases in the neighboring Dubai Outlet Mall. It is a 13-minute drive away.

In addition to the shopping center, there are many small food and clothing stores. They are located within walking distance in each microdistrict or on the ground floor of multi-storey residential complexes.


  1. Radisson Blu Hotel Apartments is a 4–star hotel with spacious suites.
  2. Premier Inn DSO is a 3—star budget hotel with a gym and a swimming pool. Premier Inn also provides a free shuttle service to the Dubai Outlet Shopping Center and the Burj Khalifa Skyscraper.

Both hotels are located close to each other at the very entrance to the DSO, next to the headquarters of the FEZ.


People who have come from different parts of the world live and work in the Dubai silicon frison. Restaurateurs, owners of eateries, bars and cafes have to take this into account. Most food outlets are focused specifically on the foreign population. No matter what part of the world you come from, you will find a restaurant that suits your style of eating.

Within walking distance, gourmets will find a variety of eateries to choose from: from small cafes serving fantastic coffee to delicious pizza that melts in your mouth. Oregano Restaurant and Tomato & Basilico are the realms of Italian cuisine, Route E66 is a regular burger joint, Tichinos will serve you diet dishes, there are restaurants with Indian and Lebanese cuisine.

If you want to have a cup of coffee and a snack, you can head straight to Circle Cafe, Shakespeare and Co. or Costa Coffee. In addition, the two community hotels have gourmet restaurants, their own bars and lounges such as the pub and the Mr Kitchen. Toad’s at the Premiere Inn and The Larder at Radisson Blu, serving Middle Eastern cuisine.

In “Things To Do Dubai” you will find a complete list of Silicon Oasis restaurants.

Entertainment events and famous attractions

Entertainment events and famous attractions DSO

DSO has become a sought-after address for a number of reasons. Attractive for living and investing here are not only the quiet villages of villas, affordable rents, central location and amenities in close proximity to work. Free time and weekends can be fun and interesting to spend in one of the entertainment centers. A favorite place to spend time for children is Kids Jungle in Cedre. For kids of different ages, dance lessons, themed parties and holidays are held here, in which you can participate together with parents and friends.

Adults can watch movies at the nearest cinema in Dragon Mart. A fifteen–minute drive from the Oasis is the Global Village, an open-air amusement park where the best art shows and performances from around the world take place. In this popular tourist place there are pavilions in which the major countries of the world are represented: their culture, goods for which the country is famous, souvenirs.

Visiting the Global Village, you will definitely witness one of the regularly held cultural events, music concerts or stage performances. In general, this is a great place to visit, regardless of whether you are in Dubai for the first time or just planning another fun weekend with your family. 

People who come from different parts of the world live and work in the Dubai silicon frison. Restaurateurs, owners of eateries, bars and cafes have to take this into account. Most food outlets are focused specifically on the foreign population. No matter what part of the world you come from, you will find a restaurant that suits your style of eating.

Within walking distance, gourmets will find a variety of eateries to choose from: from small cafes serving fantastic coffee to delicious pizza that melts in your mouth. Oregano Restaurant and Tomato & Basilico are the kingdom of Italian cuisine, Route E66 is a regular burger joint, Tichinos will serve you diet dishes, there are restaurants with Indian and Lebanese cuisine.

If you want to have a cup of coffee and a snack, you can go directly to Circle Cafe, Shakespeare and Co. or Costa Coffee. In addition, the two community hotels have gourmet restaurants, their own bars and lounges such as the pub and the Mr Kitchen. Toad’s at the Premiere Inn and The Larder at Radisson Blu, serving Middle Eastern cuisine.

In “Things To Do Dubai” you will find a complete list of Silicon Oasis restaurants.

Entertainment events and famous attractions

A 20-minute drive away is a huge amusement park IMG Worlds of Adventure. It’s on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Street. The main entertainment attraction of the park is a 7–star cinema with IMAX technology. Not only Dubai residents come here to have fun and relax, but also those who live in other emirates. Locals spend the whole weekend here with their families or with friends.

If you become a resident of the Oasis, then you will no longer have to decide where to spend time, meet friends, have fun or just take a walk.

Active recreation, fitness and beauty

Mushrif Park

There are many small squares and green recreation areas on the streets and in the courtyards, but there are no large parks. Residents can go to Mushrif Park, located in the neighboring area, a 15-minute walk away. This is one of the oldest and largest parks in the city, occupying more than 5.25 sq. km. Here you can walk or have fun at events that are organized for visitors every day.

The local hotel has a swimming pool, a riding arena, barbecue and camel riding locations, bike paths.

Gyms and fitness studios are within walking distance for fitness enthusiasts. They offer various options for classes, training programs and personal trainers who will help you take care of your health and maintain good physical shape.

There are several spas in the DSO. The most popular are Beauty Avenue and Super Trim men’s salon in Cedre shopping center.

Public events

In addition to the numerous activities for children held at Cedre Shopping Center, Silicon Bazaar and flea market are organized in the DSO during the cold months.A lot of attention is paid to the entertainment of children: contests, competitions are organized here, body art sites are arranged. Kids are entertained by clowns and professional animators.


To spend a day on the seashore, you will have to drive a little further. The nearest option is Jumeirah Beach, located a 25—minute drive away. There visitors will be able to swim in the sea, sunbathe or walk along the shore, ride a bike, enjoy snacks and cocktails in numerous beach cafes.Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is a free economic zone focused on the development of information and digital technologies. Here, any foreign citizen is legally allowed to register a company without involving residents of the country in management, to work and not pay taxes and customs duties for 50 years. The area attracts not only entrepreneurs and businessmen, but also those who decided to choose a new place of residence when moving. Residential and commercial facilities are harmoniously combined in the community, all the necessary conditions for a comfortable life have been created. This is a great location for those who have decided to get a quality education: Akademgorodok is located nearby.

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