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Dubai International Academic City: Business Setup in DIAC

Dubai International Academic City: Business Setup in DIAC

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is a free zone fully dedicated to higher education and intellectual growth. Launched in 2007, it aims to fulfill the needs of the academic community. A plethora of regional and international colleges and universities are located here. There are over 27,000 students, and it offers more than 500 undergraduate and post-graduate programs. DIAC has 18 million sq ft. Campus with modern facilities.

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is most suitable for the following types of ventures: 

  • Academic institutions 
  • Universities including online universities 
  • Non-academic institutions 
  • Proprietors 
  • Boarding schools 
  • Consulting firms 
  • Commercial developers 
  • Insurance companies 

Types of Licenses available at DIAC 

Choose the right DIAC Legal Structure

1. Free Zone Limited Liability Company 

A free zone limited liability company has an independent legal status. It is required to have at least one director to form an FZ-LLC  

2. Branch office of a UAE Company 

The branch office of a UAE Company does not have a separate legal identity, and it conducts operations of the parent company’s business. 

3. Branch office of a Foreign Company 

The branch office of a foreign company has no minimum share capital prerequisites; it is 51% locally owned. 

4. Freelance Permit  

The freelance permit gives an individual the liberty to operate as a freelance professional. 

The benefits of business setup in Dubai International Academic City

Why setup a business at DIAC

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of profits
  • Complete freedom from taxes
  • Free of all import and export duties
  • Operational costs are very low
  • Availability of offices, factories, and warehouses
  • Ease in obtaining a visa for students, staff, and faculties


Step-by-step DIAC Business setup procedures

1. Submission of application 

2. Submission of documents and the necessary payment 

3. Signature and Collection 

Documents Required

  • License Application form
  • Registration Application Form
  • Business Plan
  • A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
  • Valid copies of the passport and visas of the manager of the proposed company, directors of the proposed company, and the legal representatives (if any)

The following documents are to be signed to complete the process

  • Office Lease
  • Articles of Association
  • Memorandum of Association
  • License
  • Certificate of Incorporation

Facilities available 

DIAC Advantage

1. Land

Different land options are provided to partners, including education, mixed-use, retail and hotel plots, and student accommodation. The plots are selected, keeping in mind the needs of educational institutions, accommodation, residential apartments, and dormitory facilities, and supermarkets, and shopping centers. 

2. Commercial Floor Space 

The space is available for all entities that meet the license requirements. 

3. Business Centre 

The Business Center offers a range of products and services like hot desks to fully furnished complete office environments. 

  • Hot Desk  
    A Hot desk is a shared office desk, and more than one individual can use it. It is perfect for Freelancers who are looking to have a space to complete the office work such as email, printing, browsing, and calling. Hot desk clients are also eligible for one visa per freelancer.
  • Executive Desk  
    Executive Desks come with one desk and chair along with a storage pedestal and a cabinet with key. Each of the open offices has a partition that runs from floor to shoulder height between the desks to provide privacy within such a shared environment. Executive Desk clients are also eligible for two visas per desk. The cabin size of a typical desk is approximately 100 sq. ft. 
Executive Office (Type 1) Executive Office (Type 2)Fitted Out Commercial Space 
An executive office basically comes with one executive desk and chair, a storage cabinet, visitor chairs, and pedestal. The conventional office sizes range from 100 to 250 sq. ft.This is an Executive Suite that offers a full-fledged furnished office environment within the Business Centre, including once executive table with chairs, visitors couch, a storage cabinet, and pedestal. The typical desk cabin size is 281 sq. ft.A Fitted out Commercial Space offers the upper end for a business environment. Open areas fitted with desks, projectors, chairs, and table and audio-visual systems are provided. All the floors are fully carpeted and offer false ceilings with proper facilities like the Internet, telephone, IT services, and electricity.

DIAC Academic Partners 

Academic partners of Dubai International Academic City

  • American University in the Emirates (AUE)
  • Institute of Management Technology, Dubai
  • Manchester Business School
  • S P Jain School of Global Management
  • Manipal University, Dubai
  • BITS Pilani University, Dubai
  • Hult International Business School
  • Amity University, Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi University
  • University of Birmingham, Dubai

Frequently Asked Questions 


1. Is there any corporate, personal, or withholding tax applicable to companies formed in DIAC? 

No, there is no corporate, personal, or withholding tax applicable to companies formed in DIAC.

2. Is 100% foreign ownership permitted for businesses set up in DIAC? 

Yes. 100% foreign ownership is permitted for companies registered in DIAC. 

3. Is there freedom to recruit expatriates? 

Yes, a DIAC company can recruit anyone, and there is no restriction on the hiring of expatriates.

N R Doshi Loader
Dubai International Academic City Company Formation Service

N R Doshi & Partners

We help our clients in seeking all approvals and issuance of licenses. We assist at every step of the visa application process and bank account opening. We have a team of business setup consultants that guide our clients at every step in the company formation at DIAC and in the final submissions of all requirements. Contact us now to set up a DIAC company! 

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