FTA announces list of Designated Zones in the UAE

FTA announces list of Designated Zones in the UAE

The UAE’s Cabinet on Wednesday finalised designated free zones for application the Federal tax-law No (8) relating to Value Added Tax [VAT].

A designated zone that meets the conditions specified in the Executive Regulation of VAT law shall be treated as being outside the State.

Article (51) of the VAT law specifies that transfer of goods between designated zones are tax free.


According to tax experts, acquisition of goods within a designated zone for incorporation into another unconsumed good located within the same designated zone will not be subject to UAE VAT.

The 20 designated zones selected from 45 free zones in the country qualifies for transfer of goods between them not be subject to tax.

The movement or supply of goods into a designated zone from within the UAE will not be considered an export of such goods from the UAE, and as such will not receive zero-rating which an export outside of the GCC would receive.

A large number of entities operating in these zones provide services as their primary taxable supplies.

The Executive Regulation specifies that the place of supply of services is considered to be within the UAE if the place of supply is within the designated zone and, in effect, aligns the VAT treatment of service entities operating within designated zones to similar onshore entities within the UAE.

Here's the complete list of Designated Zones as per the Annex to the Cabinet Decision No (59) of 2017 No. Designated Zones.

Abu Dhabi

  1. Free Trade Zone of Khalifa Port
  2. Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone
  3. Khalifa Industrial Zone


  1. Jebel Ali Free Zone (North-South)
  2. Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone (DUCAMZ)
  3. Dubai Textile City
  4. Free Zone Area in Al Quoz
  5. Free Zone Area in Al Qusais
  6. Dubai Aviation City
  7. Dubai Airport Free Zone


  1. Hamriyah Free Zone
  2. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone


  1. Ajman Free Zone

Umm Al Quwain

  1. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone in Ahmed Bin Rashid Port
  2. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road

Ras Al Khaimah

  1. RAK Free Trade Zone
  2. RAK Maritime City Free Zone
  3. RAK Airport Free Zone


  1. Fujairah Free Zone
  2. FOIZ (Fujairah Oil Industry Zone)
19 Mar 2018