Dubai Silicon Oasis was established by the Government of Dubai in 2004, and is one-of-its-kind Free Zone reputed for world-class innovation, design, and development in the field of photovoltaic, nanotechnology, electronics optoelectronic technology, and supporting industries providing equipment and materials for the production of information and communications technologies using semiconductors. It is the only technology park in the UAE to provide integrated living and working community. DSO was setup as a global and collaborative initiative to facilitate and promote modern technology-based industries in the Middle East, and provide the world’s best business climate to the entire electronics value chain in the form of highly educated personnel and access to shared capital.

Spread across 7.2 square kilometers, DSO is superbly governed by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) and enjoys advanced public, industrial, living & residential, commercial, and education facilities. Dubai Silicon Oasis aims at attracting companies engaged in Semiconductor Manufacturing, Electronic Manufacturing Systems, Microelectronics, Fabless IC Design, Test & Assembly, and optoelectronics related enterprises.

Strategically located in Dubai at the trade junction of Europe & Asia, DSO is easily accessible from Dubai’s International Airport, Jebel Ali Port & port Rashid, and central business district making it a popular investment destination. Dubai Silicon Oasis has lived up to its economic diversification strategy and has successfully transformed UAE into a knowledge-based economy by positively impacting almost all economic sectors including trade and services, finance, employment and banking, etc.

Reason to Setup Company in Dubai Silicon Oasis

Companies operating within the Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone avail wide range of free zone incentives and additional benefits; like 100 per cent ownership, advanced IT network, and business-friendly environment specifically designed for the technology industry. Therefore, company formation in Dubai Silicon Oasis is dream come true for anyone associated with the technology domain, and as a result, popular global companies have their presence in DSO, including AMD, Fujitsu, Henkel, Nortel Networks, Philips, Schneider Electric, Synopsys, Wave Tec and Western Digital, among others.

Business setup in Dubai Silicon Oasis has also received substantial boost due to its dynamic commercial and social environment, and presence of advanced industrial zones, office towers, villas & apartments, R&D units, educational institutions, and healthcare units. The DSO facilities include:

  • “Plug and Play” offices and R&D centers
  • Advanced logistics facilities including light industrial units, operational warehouse units, high-bay warehouses, and industrial spaces
  • Shovel ready industrial land plots of varying sizes
  • Excellent conference facilities including meeting rooms and lecture facility for executive presentations
  • Shops, amenities and restaurants


DSO’s urban master-planned community spans 7.2 million square meters and has been carefully divided into 5 main pillars based on industrial, commercial, education, living and residences, and public facilities. The technology park enjoys state-of-the-art utility infrastructure featuring advanced telecommunications, electricity, and road networks.

To get your business started at DSO you will simply need to register your company and then obtain a license to operate your company. In order to register your company, you need to select your company type and your license type:

Company Types

  • Branch
  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE)
  • Free Zone Company (FZCO)

1- Branch

Any established company, whether in the UAE or abroad, can register its branch in the Dubai Silicon Oasis. The activity of the branch proposes to conduct in the Dubai Silicon Oasis is required to be identical to the activity conducted by the parent company. There is no minimum required capital to establish a branch.

2- Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

An FZE is a legal entity incorporated/registered by a single shareholder. The shareholder can either be an individual or a non-individual/corporate. The minimum required capital to establish an FZE is AED 100,000 represented by one share with any additional capital required to be in multiples of AED 10,000. An FZE enjoys limited liability status.

3- Free Zone Company (FZCO)

An FZCO is a legal entity incorporated/registered with a minimum of two shareholders. Shareholders can be either individuals or non-individual(s)/corporate. The minimum required capital is AED 100,000 with each share required to be of the value of AED 10,000 or a multiple figure. An FZCO enjoys limited liability status.

DED registered companies

Companies already established with the Dubai Economic Department (DED) and who wish to operate in The Administrative Zone in DSO (i.e. in non-DSOA property) should apply for a Business Operation Permit.

Business License Types

Companies looking to set up within in DSO can choose from three types of licenses, which can be selected according to the company’s operational requirements. Please note: that branch entities are only entitled to conduct activity within the parent company’s activities.

Operating Licenses

  • Service Licence: This allows the registered entity to carry out only specified services.
  • Trade Licence: This allows the registered entity to practice activities which are related to import, export, and distribution of items and goods as specified in the license.
  • Industrial Licence: This allows the registered entity to import raw material, manufacture, and process, assemble, package and export the finished product.

Special licenses

  • Business Operation Permit: This is a special permit for companies operating in The Administrative Zone of DSOA (areas owned by private developers) using a license issued by Dubai Economic Department (DED). This license is issued based on the license issued by Dubai Economic Department. No share capital is required for this type of license.
  • Entrepreneurial Business Licence: An EBL license is designed to accelerate the successful development of young entrepreneurs and their businesses through an array of support resources and services. This license is only available for members of DSO’s incubator program and involves a low cost license in return for a small stake in the business.

Document Checklist

  • Application Form
  • Letter of Intent
  • Passport Copy(s)
  • NOC for UAE residents only
  • Bank statement/reference letter or audited financial report
  • Company business plan
  • Original bank share capital letter

Capital Requirement for FZE/FZCO

Minimum Startup Capital required is AED 100,000

  • In case of FZE, each share shall be in multiples of AED.100,000/-
  • In case of FZCO each share shall be in multiples of AED.10,000/-

Time Taken

  • Application process = 7days
  • Registration = Variable (depending on the provision of legal documentation by the applicant)
  • License & Lease Agreement Issue = Within 2 days from receipt of all legal documents and payment

Please ensure that your applications included all required documents.

Company incorporation in Dubai Silicon Oasis is a lucrative proposition due to excellent business infrastructure, liberal government policies and the following reasons:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% personal and corporate tax exemptions
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • Competitive pricing
  • No customs duty
  • No quotas or trade barriers
  • State-of-the-art IT infrastructure – fiber rings, Wi-Fi coverage, on-site data center, high speed Internet access, and full suite of services with tier-3 data center
  • Plug and play offices
  • Subsidized top-end EDA tools
  • Faster processing of employee visas
  • Hassle-free customs clearance
  • Business support and conference facilities
  • Stringent IP laws and support
  • Thriving urban community with core technology zone, surrounded by a master-planned residential environment, consisting of villas, technologically advanced commercial and residential high-rise buildings
  • Fast-track process for business setup
  • Dedicated business support services including integrated online E-business system offering tenants fast and efficient services at the touch of a button
  • Access to a talented pool of technical and engineering professionals
  • Stable and clear regulation laws
  • Access to 5 billion consumer market with tourists from Middle East, North Africa and Indian Subcontinent

Business Licensing Segments in DSO

Dubai Silicon Oasis is the hub for companies belonging to the semiconductor sector, both regionally and internationally. Additionally, the Dubai Silicon Oasis free zone focuses on the companies belonging to any of the following hi-tech sectors:

  • Aerospace
  • Alternative Energy
  • Automobile
  • Biotechnology
  • Consultancy & Business Development
  • Consultants
  • Data Centre
  • EDA Tools
  • Electrical Appliances & Equipment
  • Engineering Related to Technology
  • Finance Institutions
  • General Activities
  • IC Design
  • Information Technology and Localization of Technologies
  • Internet
  • IP Protection
  • IT Security
  • Law Firms
  • Logistics
  • Microelectronics
  • Mobile Technologies
  • Oil and Gas
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Semiconductor
  • Software Development & Solutions or Software-as-a-Service (SAAS)
  • Talent Development and Recruitment
  • Telecommunications Equipment

Types of Licenses Issued for Company Formation in DSO

Based on the type of business activity to be performed, three types of business licenses are issued in Dubai Silicon Oasis by the DSOA:

  • Service License – Allows the registered entities (like accounting firms, business consultants, and lawyers) to carry out services specified by the DSOA
  • Industrial License – Allows the registered entity to import raw material, manufacture, process, assemble, package and export the finished product
  • Trade License – Allows the registered entity to import, export, and distribute the items specified in the license

Special licenses

  • Business Operation Permit: This is a special permit given to companies by Dubai Economic Department (DED) operating under the areas owned by private
  • Entrepreneurial Business Licence (EBL): EBL is a low-cost license that offers a lesser business stake, and is designed to offer wide range of support resources and services to budding entrepreneurs who are members of DSO’s incubator program

Business Set Up Process in Dubai Silicon Oasis

There is a lot to do for business incorporation in DSO, like choosing appropriate legal business structures, deciding the business activity, getting required staff, creating detailed business plan, etc. Company formation in Dubai Silicon Oasis is easy for companies that understand the DSOA’ pre-defined rules and regulations, and plan their business decisions accordingly, however you need to be sure that all the procedures are followed in accordance to the UAE laws, as a slight error can elongate the business set up process unnecessarily.

Therefore, getting a professional help from reliable business partners like Incorp International is preferred, as they are well-versed with the required legal formalities pertaining to employment, getting office or residential space on lease, capital requirements, business registration and licensing, dispute resolution, getting visa, etc., thus making the entire company formation process easy and streamlined.

Feel free to contact us.