“We’ll build a city dedicated to support entrepreneurs in Dubai. I invite the Arab youth to join the march of innovation and entrepreneurship,” his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai asserted. Just when you think Dubai had reached its optimum position in the Middle East and the world by - and amongst its many impressive achievements - building the world’s tallest skyscraper and having the world’s number 1 airport… it enters the world of art and design. According to architectural designer Mark W. Perrett, “doctors save lives by constructing a healthy life [and] designers save lives by constructing a life worth living.” What better way to nail this ever true statement than by dedicating over 25 million square feet to a purpose-built community aimed at endorsing and fostering the local, regional, and global, growing art, fashion, and design arena? Welcome to the Dubai Design District, better known as d3.
Located in the vibrant heart of Dubai and minutes away from Dubai’s Business Bay, Downtown Dubai, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and Dubai International Airport, d3 seeks to unite the world’s most creative minds in a world class community dedicated to many aspects of art and design, from architecture to fashion to film; becoming the region’s beating heart of design.
Upon the announcement of d3, the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai issued Decree No. 23 of 2013, forming the Dubai Design and Fashion Council that is supported by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA). Article No. 3 of the decree outlines the objectives of the Executive Council which include promoting Dubai as a central hub for fashion and design, stimulating tourism and commerce in the emirate, and fostering local talents.
Considered to be the first green city in the Gulf and the second in the world, d3 is composed of a wide mixture of office spaces, boutiques, and ateliers, including - and not limited to - a Museum Institute, hotels and residential areas, and an amphitheatre.
We present to you a brief outline regarding setting-up in d3.
- Dubai’s retail sector is the second most important retail market in the world.
- The Dubai 2021 Plan and EXPO 2020 will stimulate growth in Dubai including its fashion, design, and luxury sector.
- Setting up a Freezone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC) includes 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits and capital, and zero tax.
- Simple legal framework.
- Ideal location in Dubai with flexible access to the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.
d3 offers the opportunity to operate as a Freezone entity or as an on-shore company and also provides freelance permits to individuals. The different types of Freezone licenses are: 1. FZ LLC, 2. Branch of a UAE Company, 3. Branch of a foreign company, and 4. Freelance permit.
Specifics regarding license categories for d3 are outlined in Decision No. 2 of 2013, noting that commercial licensing affairs are regulated by the Department of Economic Development (DED). Setting up in d3 may carry several advantages. For instance, if your company was set up in free zones administered by TECOM or DIFC, you are permitted to move into d3. Additionally, d3 offers a dual license system where bodies set up in d3 have the opportunity to apply for two licenses, permitting them to operate from within d3 and in mainland Dubai.
The d3 team has simplified and eased the process of applying for a license. Beginning with an online application (www.dubaidesigndistrict.com) followed by interacting with account mangers and legal advisors that aid you through the process, licenses can be completed within a couple of weeks.
Notable Set-up Costs:
Setting up a FZ LLC or a Branch Establishment
- FZ LLC: AED 50,000
- Branch Establishment: None
Office Space(s) (Prices include a service charge but exclude DEWA and A/C charges which are paid separately)
- Courtyard View: AED 100/sq. ft.
- Standard View: AED 130/sq. ft.
- Burj View: 165/sq. ft. (Office deposit equates to a three months’ that will be adjusted to the rental of the office)
Dubai Design District appears to be a promised dream, especially for local talents and future generations in the MENA region. Dubai has outdone itself in many aspects and we look forward to the ultimate completion of this project that will nurture the creative and cultural portions of the emirate, country, and region.
Mennat K. Khalil