The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become one of the most attractive destinations for businesses and investors, thanks to its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly environment. Among the many incentives offered by the UAE government are the establishment of numerous free zones, which provide a host of benefits for businesses looking to set up shop in the region. One such free zone is the Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) Free Zone, which offers a plethora of opportunities for businesses in various sectors.

 In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about business setup in SHAMS Free Zone and how it can help your venture thrive.

Why SHAMS Free Zone

Established in 2017, the SHAMS Free Zone is one of the youngest and fastest-growing free zones in the UAE. Located in the Emirate of Sharjah, it is strategically positioned between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, providing easy access to both these major business hubs. SHAMS has been specifically designed to cater to businesses in the media, technology, and creative industries, making it an ideal location for startups, SMEs, and even large enterprises looking to expand their presence in the UAE.

Here are some vital reasons why you should consider a business setup in UAE free zones, particularly SHAMS:

1. 100% Foreign Ownership

One of the greatest advantages of setting up a business in UAE free zones is the ability to retain full foreign ownership, without the need for a local partner. This provides greater control over your business operations, profits, and decision-making.

2. Tax Advantages

SHAMS, like other Dubai free zone companies, offers an array of tax benefits, including a 100% exemption from corporate and personal income taxes. Additionally, businesses in SHAMS enjoy a zero-rated value-added tax (VAT) on the import and export of goods and services.

3. No Currency Restrictions

Businesses operating in SHAMS Free Zone benefit from the absence of currency restrictions, allowing for the easy repatriation of capital and profits without any additional charges.

4. Streamlined Business Setup Process

SHAMS Free Zone Authority provides a seamless and efficient business setup process, with minimal paperwork and fast-track approvals. This makes it easier for businesses to quickly begin their operations in the UAE.

5. Access to a Vast Talent Pool

Being a hub for the media and creative industries, SHAMS Free Zone attracts a plethora of talent from across the globe. This ensures that businesses have access to a diverse and skilled workforce to choose from.

6. World-Class Facilities and Infrastructure

SHAMS offers state-of-the-art facilities, including modern office spaces, co-working spaces, and production studios, catering to the needs of various businesses. Furthermore, the free zone provides access to advanced telecommunications and high-speed internet connectivity, essential for businesses operating in the digital age.

7. Networking Opportunities

As a thriving business community comprising startups, SMEs, and large enterprises from various sectors, SHAMS Free Zone provides ample opportunities for networking, collaboration, and partnership, fostering an environment conducive to business growth and success.

How to Set Up Your Business in SHAMS Free Zone

Setting up a business in SHAMS is a relatively straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the business setup in UAE free zones, specifically SHAMS:

  1. Choose a Business Activity: Determine the type of business activity your company will engage in. SHAMS offers a wide range of business activities, including media production, advertising, event management, IT services, and more.
  2. Select a Legal Structure: Decide on the legal structure of your business, whether it’s a Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Free Zone Company (FZC), or a branch of an existing local or foreign company.
  3. Apply for a License: Based on your chosen business activity, apply for the appropriate license. SHAMS offers various licenses, such as Service License, Trading License, and Industrial License.
  4. Choose an Office Space: Select a suitable office space for your business from SHAMS’ flexible offerings, including shared workspaces, dedicated offices, and customizable spaces.
  5. Submit Required Documents: Prepare and submit the necessary documents for business setup, which may include a passport copy, application form, business plan, and bank reference letter, among others.
  6. Pay Fees: Pay the required fees for business setup, including registration fees, license fees, and office space rental fees.
  7. Receive License and Start Operations: Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your business license, allowing you to start operating in SHAMS Free Zone.


Setting up a business in SHAMS Free Zone can be a game-changer for your venture. With its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly environment, SHAMS offers a wealth of opportunities for businesses of all sizes and industries. So if you need to grow your business and succeed in the dynamic UAE market, follow our step-by-step guide to business setup in SHAMS and watch your venture thrive and prosper like never before!

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