Dubai Studio City free zone was launched in 2005 as the region’s largest hub for media production, entertainment and broadcasting. The process of business setup in Dubai Studio City enables foreign investors to leverage unparalleled facilities such as outstanding production services, backlots, sets, water tanks, production offices, recording studios etc. The free zone also boasts of the largest sound stages in the region, which will satiate the creative needs of media investors and professionals.

Dubai Studio City’s business-friendly environment attracts foreign investors, entrepreneurs, startups and creative professionals into the free zone. As a result, the fee zone recorded rapid growth over the years and is now home to more than 275 companies, 2,800 professionals and thousands of freelancers. Dubai Studio City is marked by its strategic location, straightforward company formation process and world-class infrastructure. Consult with business setup consultants in Dubai to expedite the business setup process.

Read ahead for more information on the landscape of business setup in Dubai Studio City Free Zone:

Regulatory Structure of Dubai Studio City

Dubai Studio City is a premium media production Freezone maintained by the TECOM Group. However, the free zone is being controlled and regulated by the Dubai Development Authority (DDA). DDA is the competent authority that oversees the rules, regulations and procedures of business setup in Dubai Studio City. Investors need to approach DDA to obtain and renew trade licenses in Dubai Studio City free zone. Availing bespoke business setup services in Dubai will come in handy for foreign investors to deal with the DDA.

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    Legal Structures Permitted for Business Setup in Dubai Studio City 

    Investors must determine an appropriate legal structure for the proposed company to start with the process of business setup in Dubai Studio City. The assistance of business setup consultants in Dubai will make the determination of legal structure easier for entrepreneurs. Depending on the number of shareholders, the following legal entities can be established in Dubai Studio City:

    1. Free Zone Limited Liability Company 

    A Free Zone Limited Liability Company(FZ-LLC) is an independent legal entity with at least two shareholders. The shareholders can be individuals, corporate entities or a mix of the two. Business setup consultants in Dubai can help investors set up an FZ-LLC within the free zone.

    2. Branch of a Foreign Company  

    Companies established outside the UAE can open their branch within Dubai Studio City. The legal identity of the branch is dependent on its parent company. The activities of the branch should be consistent with that of the parent entity.

    3. Branch of a UAE Company 

    Companies established outside Dubai Studio City free zone, but within the UAE, are also allowed to open a branch office within the free zone. The branch should carry out all or some of the activities conducted by its parent firm.

    4. Freelance Permit 

    A Freelance permit in Dubai Studio City enables an individual to operate as an independent professional. The permit enables individuals to carry out their business activity under their birth name as opposed to a brand name.

    Infrastructure & Facilities in Dubai Studio City 

    Company formation in Dubai Studio City offers a great opportunity for investors to operate from world-class facilities and office spaces within the free zone. The infrastructure in Dubai Studio City is the best in the Middle East region, enabling the investors to carry out their business activities without any hassle. Business setup consultants in Dubai can provide investors with more details on the facilities. Stated below are the facilities available for business setup in Dubai Studio City:

    Commercial Spaces 

    Dubai Studio City offers a wide range of office spaces that are strategically located within the free zone premises. The office spaces provide a vibrant and restive environment for businesses to grow and thrive.

    Boutique Studios 

    The Boutique Studios in Dubai Studio City are ideal for TV stations and production companies. Entrepreneurs can select excellent office spaces that come with attached studios, giving them the option to rent the entire building which includes ground plus two floors.

    Sound Stages 

    Sound stages in Dubai Studio City are built with advanced facilities, including five state-of-the-art Green rooms. The sound stages are complemented by office spaces that can accommodate the team throughout the project duration. It comes with a space to hold auditions, team meetings, makeup, wardrobe sessions etc.

    Activities Permitted in Dubai Studio City 

    Dubai Studio City offers a wide range of media-related activities for investors to set up a lucrative business in Dubai. Entrepreneurs can seek advice from business setup consultants in Dubai to choose the right activities. Mentioned below are some of the broad segments of business activities permitted in the Dubai Studio City free zone:

    • Broadcasting TV: TV Station – Satellite
    • Broadcasting TV: TV Network – Satellite
    • Broadcasting TV: TV Station – Terrestrial
    • Broadcasting TV: TV Network – Terrestrial
    • Broadcasting TV: IP Streaming/Internet TV
    • Broadcasting TV: Over the Top Video Content
    • Broadcasting Radio: Radio Station
    • Broadcasting Radio: Radio Network
    • Broadcasting Radio: IP Streaming/Internet Radio
    • Broadcast Support Services
    • Broadcast Service Providers
    • Digital Content Creation
    • Film Support Services
    • Production (Film/TV and Radio)
    • Production Support Services
    • Music and Entertainment
    • Themed Amusement and Recreation Activities

    Benefits of Business Setup in Dubai Studio City 

    Foreign investors are entitled to the following benefits by setting up a business in Dubai Studio City:

    • 100% foreign ownership
    • 100% repatriation of capital & profits
    • World-class infrastructure
    • Best amenities for media companies
    • Wide range of leasing facilities
    • Strategic location at the heart of Dubai
    • Guaranteed 50-year exemption from personal, income, and corporate taxes
    • No customs duty

    Compliance Requirements in Dubai Studio City 

    Investors need to disclose the details of the company’s Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) while setting up a business in Dubai Studio City. They are also required to maintain the Real Beneficiary Register and Partners of Shareholders Register to meet the UBO requirements. The companies should also assess the applicability of regulations such as Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) and Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) laws.

    Companies under liquidation in Dubai Studio City are also required to meet their obligations under ESR and UBO. Failing to meet their obligations under these regulations will lead to hefty penalties and other severe consequences such as suspension of trade license and exchange of information with foreign competent authorities. Investors can seek the help of business setup consultants in Dubai to avoid such dire consequences.

    Avail of the Best Business Setup Services in Dubai, UAE 

    The landscape of business setup in Dubai Studio City favours media production, broadcasting and entertainment activities. Both big companies and startups have set up their base in Dubai Studio City to leverage the free zone’s business-friendly regulations, strategic location, world-class facilities etc. However, entrepreneurs are recommended to apply for a free zone license through business setup consultants in Dubai such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC). Availing of JBC’s bespoke business setup services in Dubai will help the investors navigate the challenges associated with UAE immigration laws, labour laws and other relevant regulations.

    JBC is the leading provider of company formation services in Dubai with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. We provide efficient services such as visa processing, bank account opening and drafting of legal documents such as Memorandum of Association (MoA). JBC also helps investors to meet regulatory requirements such as ESR, UBO, VAT registration and AML-CFT. Contact our consultants today to start a business in the right way.

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