DIFC’s new innovation license

The Dubai International Financial Centre, also known as DIFC, is a Freezone in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) classified among the top ten global financial centers and the leading financial hub in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The DIFC is a vibrant business ecosystem with over 25,000 professionals working across more than 2,400 active registered firms.

Firms in the DIFC district benefit from a robust independent judicial system, a regulatory framework, a global financial exchange, inspirational architecture, and decent support services.

The New License:

The DIFC launched a new “Innovation License” to boost creativity and entrepreneurship.

  • It is a license for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and technology firms, and provides subsidized commercial licensing options, starting at USD 1,500 per year.
  • This innovation license serves as a springboard for pioneers and new businesses looking to launch and upscale their business within a stable framework in a leading global financial center.
  • Through the “Innovation License”, technology led-startups will gain access to co-working spaces at attractive rates and benefit from up to four visas when renting desk space, as well as a 50 percent subsidy on additional visas.
  • These types of businesses are well encouraged in the DIFC because they have an important role in shaping the economy of Dubai and the region, as well as disrupting the technology and financial sectors.
  • DIFC’s “Innovation License” will be a key initiative for Dubai’s Future District – the largest area in the MENA region, which was announced in January 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
  • DIFC’s efforts to provide an enabling environment for innovative businesses offers entrepreneurs the ability to grow and scale their business using the DIFC’s independent English common law based legal and regulatory framework, world-class intellectual property and data protection regimes.
  • It is no surprise that business owners, while weighing in on their options to set up their business in Dubai, get attracted to the free zones because of the full 100% ownership they offer, the full repatriation of earnings, zero corporate taxation, and many other advantages.



Each free zone comes with its own unique set of benefits and distinctive features. The DIFC, in particular, stands out from other free zones with its universally well-known independent regulatory structure, and the opportunities it offers for businesses to setup in a highly-regulated sector like finance and innovation.

Interested in starting up your business in DIFC? Ask about our DIFC innovation license package.