Dubai Studio City (DSC) – Non- Designated Zone

Launched in 2005, Dubai Studio City (DSC) is a global business community that provides cutting-edge facilities and services to companies across the broadcasting, film production, TV, music, and entertainment sectors. Dubai Studio City provides an all-in-one solution to facilitate an easy, efficient and innovative production process. DSC meets worldwide creative needs by offering outstanding production services, the largest Sound Stages in the region, backlots, sets, water tanks, production offices, recording studios and offices.

Types of formations:

  1. Free Zone limited liability company (FZ-LLC): A FZ-LLC is formed as a separate legal entity, with shareholders as individuals and/or Corporates. The minimum capital requirement for incorporation depends on the business activity.
  1. Branch of a foreign/UAE company: A branch is not a legal entity separate from its parent. It is considered a place of business that forms a legally dependent part of the parent company. It conducts all or some of the operations inherent in the parent’s business. Share capital is not required.
  1. Freelance permit: The Freelance permit offers the ability to operate as a freelance professional. The permit identifies you as a sole practitioner. It enables you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a brand name.

Types of licenses issued: Production & Broadcasting

Business benefits in Dubai Studio City:

  • Guaranteed 50-year exemption from personal, income and corporate taxes
  • No customs duty
  • Comparatively lower operating costs
  • Opportunity to channel the vast amount of untapped wealth from local investors for project finance and long-term investment
  • Channel development opportunities
  • 100% business ownership

Value Added Tax (VAT):

Value Added Tax (VAT) has been introduced across the UAE on 1 January 2018 at a standard rate of 5%.

Who should register for VAT?

A business whether situated in designated zone or non-designated zone or outside free zone should register for VAT if the taxable supplies and imports exceed the mandatory registration threshold of AED 375,000 within preceding 12 months or it is anticipated  that the total value of taxable supplies exceed AED 375,000 in the next thirty 30 days. Upon registration, a tax registration number (TRN) would be issued to business by the Federal Tax Authority.

What is a designated zone?

A Designated zone is a specified fenced geographical area having security measures and customs controls in place to monitor entry and exit of individuals and the movement of goods to and from the area. Following free zones are declared as designated zones.

a. Free Trade Zone of Khalifa Port
b. Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone
c. Khalifa Industrial Zone
d. Jebel Ali Free Zone (North-South)
e. Dubai Cars and Automative Zone (DUCAMZ)
f. Dubai Textile City
g. Free Zone Area in Al Quoz
h. Free Zone Area in Al Qusais
i. Dubai Aviation City
j. Dubai Airport Free Zone
k. Hamriyah Free Zone
l. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
m. Ajman Free Zone
n. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone in Ahmed Bin Rashid Port
o. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road
p. RAK Free Trade Zone
q. RAK Maritime City Free Zone
r. RAK Airport Free Zone
s. Fujairah Free Zone
t. FOIZ (Fujairah Oil Industry Zone)

What is a non-designated zone?

Any free zone which is not declared as designated zone is a non-designated zone. In other words a non – designated zone is any geographical area within UAE which does not have any security measures and custom controls in place to monitor entry and exit of goods and individuals. Eg. DMCC, Dubai Media city, DIFC and Dubai Internet city.

What transactions are subject to VAT within Designated zones?

a) Goods transferred between designated zones shall not be subject to VAT. However goods supplied by an entity in the designated zone to entities outside the designated zone are subject to 5% VAT.
b) Services provided by an entity to other entities inside the designated zone or outside the designated
zone are subject to 5% VAT.
c) Professional fees for services are subject to VAT @ 5%.

What government/free zone fees (License/Visa/rent) are subject to VAT?

In case of designated zones the trade license fees, visa fees, lease rentals will not be subject to VAT. And in case of non-designated zones the trade license fees and visa fees are not subject to vat however rent is subject to 5% VAT.

If you need additional assistance or have any questions, please contact the following:
Email: legal@jitendragroup.ae
Tel: +971 4 343 8022