Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) Offshore: An Investor's Paradise


The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), founded in 1985, is one of the UAE’s most prominent and reputable free zones. This well-established entity gained further prestige in 2003, with the establishment of the JAFZA Offshore Companies Regulations, granting corporate entities the ability to establish non-resident or offshore companies within its jurisdiction.

Ideal for investors looking to establish holding companies or invest in Dubai’s real estate market, JAFZA has become a preferred destination for global investors. However, there are specific regulatory aspects to consider when setting up an offshore company in this zone.

JAFZA Offshore: A Global Investment Hub

Ever since its inception, JAFZA has successfully attracted a diverse group of investors worldwide. Key factors contributing to this magnetic pull include:

  • The entitlement of full company ownership to foreigners of any nationality.
  • JAFZA offshore companies are exempted from corporate tax.
  • Investors can establish bank accounts in the UAE under the company’s name.
  • Offshore companies incorporated in JAFZA can legally own real estate properties within specific zones in Dubai, including properties owned by major real estate firms such as Emmar Nakheel Company LLC and Dubai Holdings.

Key Considerations for a JAFZA Offshore Company

Setting up an offshore company in JAFZA comes with a set of rules and requirements designed to maintain the free zone’s global reputation. Key aspects to consider include:


A minimum of one shareholder is required for the formation of a JAFZA offshore company. The shareholders can also be corporate entities, and they are responsible for deciding the company's capital structure.


JAFZA mandates that offshore companies appoint a minimum of two directors. However, corporate entities cannot be appointed as directors.


A secretary is a mandatory requirement for all offshore companies established under JAFZA.

Accounting and Auditing Requirements

JAFZA offshore companies must maintain accounting records for ten years from their creation date. These records are subject to approval by the directors, and an auditor approved by JAFZA must examine and report on them.

Local Requirements

Offshore companies must maintain a registered office in the JAFZA free zone and appoint a registered agent. As offshore companies lack a local physical presence, the office of the registered agent in Dubai can serve as the company's registered office.

Company Incorporation Timeline

Offshore companies can complete registration with JAFZA in less than ten days.

Need Assistance?

PW offers comprehensive services covering essential requirements such as visa processing, document drafting, government liaising, bank account opening, and more. Our team of business setup consultants, PRO service executives, and compliance advisers ensures a hassle-free company incorporation process in JAFZA Offshore

Umair Ahmad

Company Formation Specialist
  • +971 56 403 8600
  • 06, 11B Happiness Street, CityWalk, Dubai