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FREQUENTLY
ASKED
QUESTIONS

On this page you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions. We at SAIF zone are happy to assist you, so please call us or send us an e-mail if you have any further questions or comments.

General

What is a free zone?

A free zone, also known as a free trade zone, is a defined geographical area within each emirate. It may exist as the result of a mutual agreement between several countries to create a customs-free zone in a designated area. No taxes or duties are levied in the free zone making it the key to promote trade especially in the import and export of all kinds of goods.

What companies can be a part of SAIF Zone?

SAIF Zone is ideal for all types of businesses in the trading, services and industrial industries. The emphasis is not on size but the type of business.

What special benefits are offered to companies wanting to set up their business at SAIF Zone?

The benefits of operating from SAIF Zone are tremendous. It allows 100% foreign ownership exemption for personal and corporate income tax with 25-year contract remedies for final rent. Licenses are issued on the same day and the ‘one-hour window operation.'

What is the infrastructure available?

World-class facilities are made available to the investor at SAIF Zone. It follows a ‘one-window’ operation to maximize efficiency in terms of documents and issuance of licenses. Purpose pre-built offices and warehouses, container parking spaces of different sizes.

Do I need a local partner to invest in SAIF Zone?

No, there are no restrictions on the foreigner’s exclusive proprietorship. You can own complete ownership for your business.

Are there restrictions to the employment of any nationality?

No, you may employ whomever you wish provided you adhere to the immigration procedures.

Are the offices/warehouses safe in SAIF Zone?

We provide 24 hours security service in the zone. if you have any specific requirements you may contact the control room.

Are the facilities available on a buy or lease basis?

All facilities are on a long-term lease basis that can be renewable for a further period. However, the payment is made yearly.

Will the Government or the Free Zone Authority provide finance for projects?

At present, neither the government nor SAIF Zone provides monetary support for investments. However, there are over 40 international banks throughout Sharjah that will provide finance.

How long is my residence visa valid?

The residence visa issued from SAIF Zone is valid for 3 years for investors and 2 years for employees, from the date of issue.

Can I be a partner in more than one company?

SAIF Zone does not levy any restriction on the number of businesses the investor can be involved in.

What is the maximum number of employees allowed?

This will depend on the actual nature/proposal/size of your business.

Do you have staff accommodation available in SAIF Zone?

SAIF Zone provides accommodation for laborers with recreational facilities. We also have 24/7 restaurant services available for all.

What are the communication services available in SAIF Zone?

International and local telephone line services, fax, email, and Internet services are available at competitive charges.

Are there any restrictions on bringing my family?

No, provided you follow the immigration procedures and get a valid residence visa for your family members.

Are members of my family allowed to work?

Yes, they can apply for work if they are on residence visas and should adhere to UAE Rules and Regulations later on.

Is there any corporate/income tax applied to the companies or to the individuals?

There is neither any income tax nor any corporate tax applicable or payable.

How can SAIF Zone assist in constructing my factory/warehouse building?

SAIF Zone provides a list of contractors for constructing a warehouse/factory.

Would SAIF Zone assist in the purchase of furniture items for offices/warehouses?

Yes, our Purchasing Department will assist in purchasing furniture at very competitive rates.

Are there any restrictions on the import or export of goods?

No, there are no restrictions on importing and exporting goods as long as it is in accordance with your license. No duties are imposed on goods imported and/ or exported from within the Free Zone. (Other than when goods are sold locally in the UAE market.)

Can I transfer my money outside the country more freely?

Yes. The authorities impose no restrictions on the movement of capital or profits.

Do banks in the UAE allow companies or individuals to open bank accounts in the US Dollar?

Yes, as well as other major international currencies.

Can we sell our product in the local market (UAE)?

Yes, subject to payment of relevant customs duties.

How easy is it to market/exhibit our products in the UAE?

It’s very easy to market your products in UAE through offline and online media. Other than advertisements, there are many international exhibitions held in Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other emirates throughout the year that you can participate in.

What is the minimum capital required to establish a company in the free zone?

If you are establishing an FZE or an FZC, the minimum capital requirement is AED 150,000/- or US $ 41,000, but there is no minimum capital required if you are setting up a branch of a foreign/local company.

Other than my laborers, is it possible to hire additional laborers if required?

Yes, SAIF Zone provides laborers, office boys and technicians on hire at very competitive prices.

What is VAT?

The UAE government implemented value-added tax (VAT) in the country from January 1, 2018at a standard rate of 5%. A value-added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax levied on products at every point of sale where value has been added, starting from raw materials and going all the way to the final retail purchase.

Lease & Licensing

Is it possible to establish a branch office of my company in the city of Sharjah or other UAE cities?

With exception to FZE and FZC, there are no restrictions to establish a branch outside SAIF Zone, but subject to the approval of local authorities. You can obtain the NOC from the Lease & License Department.

Can I utilize my SAIF Zone License to operate from Sharjah or any other Emirate?

The license issued from SAIF Zone is valid for operating your business only inside the free zone territory. It also depends on rules concerning emirates.

What is the minimum capital required to establish a company in the free zone?

If you are establishing an FZE or an FZC, the minimum capital requirement is AED 150,000/- or US $ 41,000, but there is no minimum capital required if you are setting up a branch of a foreign/local company.

Can a cancelled company be restored?

Yes. The cancelled company can be restored by making the require payments.

Health & Safety

What are the fields covered by the Environment Impact Assessment Form (EIA)?

General Requirements:

 

- Water Discharge,

- Waste Generation,

- Chemicals and dangerous goods,

- Foodstuff,

- Catering,

- Pharmaceuticals,

- Incoming Container Inspection,

- Project proposals,

- Inspection for industrial & Manufacturing

What type of industrial activities are allowed in the SAIF Zone keeping the safety of the environment in mind?

Any activity passed by lease & licensing from federal authority is permissible. Investors must keep in mind that the activity they undergo is done with diligence in mind. Any Investor undergoing any industrial license will have practical professional experience, which we scrutinize in the business plan.

Can we obtain licenses for pharmaceutical plants?

Yes, according to the Environment & Health standards.

Do you maintain international Environment & Health standards?

We follow the standards issued by Ministry of Health.

Can chemical dyes be imported?

Any chemical can be brought officially into the country, as along as the bill of landing is passed by Customs & excise at any UAE Seaports or Airports.

What is the strategy of the SAIF Zone for waste management?

SAIF-Zone has maintained two tenders within SAIF-Zone. Its plans for 2020 is to transfer waste management to Bee’ah.

If a chemical compound expires, what are the measures to be taken?

The regulated body Bee’ah is to collect/ transport and dispose of any chemicals and residue.

What are the procedures for implementing basic rules when dealing with manufacturing and packing foodstuff?

Generally, any Investor who enters a food manufacturing industry has the ability and experience, diligence to do so. If any food item will be sold in the local market, the product will have to go to stringent food Analysis Test. The product would also have to adhere international food standards & regulations.

Do you have any facility to dispose of trash/debris?

The Facilities Department has a waste disposal & cleaning section to deal with daily waste disposal & cleaning throughout.

How can liquid waste be disposed of?

Chemicals treated is disposed of directly to Bee’ah via the SAIF Zone Facilities Department. If Bee’ah does not accept the chemical treated liquid, the investor has every right to seek a third party.

What is the permissible limit for air pollutants?

Parameter Maximum Allowed Concentration.

How could the spread of insects, rodents and termites be controlled?

We have trained personnel in insect control and spraying techniques. Termites are controlled during pre-construction or post-construction of buildings.

Are workers protected against direct contact with spraying agents?

Yes, they are attired with headcover, overalls, gloves, boots, masks etc. EHS Department performs random surprise inspection within the investor’s warehouse to ensure safe working procedures.

Mobile Application

What online services are available on the SAIF Zone Mobile App?

Our mobile application is available both on Android and IOS. Please find the list of services that is available for our investors through the app.

 

- CIS: New Immigration Card

- CIS: New Residence Stamping

- CIS: Renew Residence Stamping

- CIS: Change Visa Status

- CIS: Change of Profession

- CIS: Cancellation of EP

- CIS: Cancellation of EP (Employee out of the country)

- CIS: Transfer Residence visa from old passport to new passport

- CIS: Cancelation of Residence Visa (Inside the Country)

- CIS: Transfer (In-Out-Internal)

- CIS: Transit Visa – Long/short term

- CIS: Cancellation of Visit/Transit Visa

- CIS: Cancellation of Visit/Transit Visa

- CIS: Employment Pass

- CIS: Company Visa Status

- CIS: QR Code generation

- CIS: Renew Immigration Card

- CIS: Company Name Change

- CIS: Company Owner/Manager Change

- CIS: Change Company Legal Status

- CIS: Change Company Activity

- CIS: Cancellation

- CIS: Change Visa Status from Previous Employer

- CIS: Immigration Detail for Company

- CIS: Immigration Detail for Employee

- CIS: Cancelation of Residence Visa (Outside the Country with Passport)

- CIS: Cancelation of Residence Visa (Outside the Country without Passport)

- CIS: Employment Contract

- CIS: E-Channel New

- CIS: E-Channel Renew

- L&L: L&L NOC Letters

- L&L: Lost Document Certificate

- L&L: Certificate of Good Standing Branch

- L&L: Change Company name mapped

- L&L: change company name and activity

- L&L: Certificate (Change Activity)

- L&L: Change activity for bank

- EHS: Load/off Load Permission

- EHS: Local Health Certificates

- EHS: Export Health Certificate

- Maintenance: Maintenance Service (New process)

- F&A: Audit/undertaking Report

- F&A: E-Invoice

- General: Remarks announcement per department

- General: Company information

- General: Printing Online Smart License

- General: Re-Attach Missing Documents

Transport & Security

What security measures are available at SAIF Zone?

SAIF Zone provides 24-hour security service in the zone.

Does SAIF Zone provide transport to commute to and from the city?

Yes, SAIF Zone has a shuttle bus service provided at nominal charges from the Zone to the city centre 5 times a day.

Customs

What are the customs procedures of Sharjah?

Please find all your customs-related answers here: https://www.sharjahcustoms.gov.ae/

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