Why should you set up your business in Dubai Design District?

03 January, 2019 By Anisha Shah

Every design has its own story behind it. The definition of design is not limited to coming up with a logo or symbol, or some kind of color painting. A design is the outcome of a perfect combination between creativity and strategy as an art to display your views.

Be it in graphics, website development, interior design or fashion, it’s a blend of creativity and design. In today’s world, the creative industry has occupied one of the highest contribution and has been competing with other sectors in different industries at the same level. Dubai, second largest emirate in UAE, is the first city holding the title of Creative Hub.

Dubai Design District (D3)

To enhance and encourage the design industry, Dubai has established a design center to attract creative talent. Dubai Design District is a Free Zone established by TECOM Group in the year 2013, located near Dubai mall, aims to support and encourage the design community. D3 has established itself as a pioneer that provides the widest platform to creative ideas. This Free Zone is governed by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA). It is divided into 3 phases.  

Phase 1

Commercial and Retail: completed in 2015.

Phase 2

Dedicated to Creative Community: to be completed by 2019.

Phase 3

Waterfront Promenade: to be completed in 2021.

D3 business activity segments include lifestyle, jewellery design, interior design, luxury, e- commerce, beauty care, events management and a lot newer creative idea. D3 is also planning to connect other creative clusters in the city by the year of 2020.

Benefits of D3

Here are the benefits of having a business in D3:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 0% personal tax
  • 0% corporate tax for first 50 years
  • Both Company and Freelancer license are issued by the free zone
  • Promotes all creative ideas
  • Ideal for start-ups
  • Simple laws and legal framework
  • No restriction on currency
  • No limit on profit and capital repatriation
  • No restrictions on hiring foreign employees

Types of legal structures in D3

The below listed 4 types of legal structures allowed in the Free Zone:

Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ- LLC)

This is wholly owned by a company/ies or an individual/s. In other words, it is an independent entity. This structure requires at least one director and manager.

Branch office of a UAE company

This entity doesn’t have any restrictions on the share capital. It will replicate ownership of the UAE company and will work accordingly on parent company’s business operations.

Branch office of a foreign company

This is not a separate legal entity. All conducts and operations are dependent on the parent company’s business.

Freelance permit

Having this type of license allows an individual to operate as a freelance professional. This allows practitioner to conduct business on its own name at a lower license cost.

Types of licenses issued by D3

There are two types of licenses issued by D3:

  • Commercial license
  • Service license

Types of business activities in D3

The design industry consists a wide range of business activities. Design plays a major role in each type of business. Activities allowed include Sales and Marketing, Modeling Agency, Photography, Architectural Design, Branding, Industrial Design, Beauty Advisors, Fashion Design Consultancy, Sales Promotion, Concept Design and a lot more.

Why Dubai Design District?

If you are an artist/designer and are finding an ideal location for your business, D3 can be the best choice.

Go global

Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world. Amongst the visitors, Downtown Dubai area where Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain and Dubai Mall are popular locations for tourists. As D3 is very close to that location, hence benefits can be expected.


The Free Zone is all about fashion, luxury and other design sectors that has the capacity of issuing more then 10,000 workers. It also offers rented office space and apartments which can be utilized as workspace. Moreover, it provides access to art studios, museums, art galleries etc. which makes it different from other Free Zones.


D3 owns a security system that can recognise an employee’s face and switch on lights and adjust the temperature on the user’s desk automatically.

Smart step

We can call this Free Zone as a Smart Free Zone because authorities have taken steps to modernize the area which includes mart parking meters, smart energy meters and smart waste management, among others.

In a nutshell, D3 is a massive platform to attract huge audience around the globe. It is a great destination for artists to bring out their talents. So, are you an artist? Do you inspire to become a famous artist or inspired by a famous international brand? You are just on the right track, now it’s time to transform your dream business to physical form. You need a business consultant who can help you climb the steps to your dream city. N. R. Doshi and Partners can assist you with the entire process. Our business setup advisors are experts in the legal registration proceedings. Just email us on , we will be glad to assist you.

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