Sharjah Airport International Free Zone

Sharjah airport international free zone (“SAIF-ZONE”) is situated on the cross roads of major trading routs between east and west. 

Facilities for manufacturing, assembling, packing, import, re-export, trade and value–added activities are provided for at the SAIF-ZONE. Fast and simple processing of relevant licenses. Sponsorships and visas for staff working or investors, access to low cost energy, labour and budget accommodation for an onsite work force are some of the infrastructure facilities are available. Other facilities include fully serviced and furnished executive office suites with reception, pre-built warehouses in four sizes with an adjacent office space, and lease land for un-restricted private developments, as well as the container parking area and a temporary storage capability. 

Sharjah International Airport, recipient of the best international air-cargo award for 1998 instituted by the European Institute for Transport Management (EITM), has created a niche for itself as cargo-oriented complex with authorities working in alliance with airlines, freight forwarders and shoppers to provide a user-friendly environment for movement of freight traffic. Sharjah international airport dominates a charter operation sector and handles more export volumes then any other airport in the region. Lufthansa airlines, which runs its seconds largest cargo hubs out of Sharjah (after Frankfurt, Germany), operates 360 flights and moves more than 48,000 tones of cargo per month. 

Another vital sector is that of sea-air traffic through Sharjah which has experienced growth rates of more than 50% in the last 4 years. The above facts have placed Sharjah’s International Airport as the number one support in Asia for sea-air transport. 

Adjacent to Sharjah International Airport, and just a few minutes from Sharjah city and port Khalid, the location of SAIF_ZONE is enhanced by its secondary seaport facility located on the Gulf of Oman and port Korr Fakkan. For both importers and exporters. With a modern high-way connecting both costs to SAIF ZONE, companies have access to the unmatched logistical advantage known as the Sharjah Link. One of the main incentive for establishing in the SAIF ZONE is its location on the high-way that runs from the East Coast to the West Coast providing easy and speedy access to the other Emirates. Emirates Road is being extended to give additional accessibility and make SAIF-zone even easier to reach, with minimum procedural hazards, SAIF-Zone offers a single window solution to all investor requirements. In addition to the usual Free Zone incentives there is also a no deposit customs policy for cargo in transit between Sharjah sea-ports and SAIF-ZONE. SAIF ZONE also has added new facilities at the Free Zone. It takes pride in the fact that it is the only Free Zone in the world that provides a temporary storage area for its patrons. Besides this, facility bunkers and container parking areas are also available within the premises of the Free Zone. SAIF ZONE provides its investors with four different sizes of pre-built warehouses, in the addition to the temporary 82sq.m.warehouses offered for immediate customer use, the container parking areas on offer and the bunkers for rent. All in all, SAIF ZONE have ensured that investors are never put in a difficult situation with plenty of additional storage facilities available for short-term and Long–term and air–conditioned or non–air–conditioned use. 

SAIF_ZONE also offers investors the following:

  • License issued in 24 hours
  • A 24 hour hotline for equipment and provision of labour in cargo operation
  • High frequency of cargo airlines operating in 42 commonwealth independent state destinations and 32 Indian and far Eastern destinations from Sharjah International Airport.
  • Access to port in the Arabian Gulf & Indian Ocean
  • Sharjah dominates half of the industrial activities in the UAE with easy access to international exhibition hosted in the UAE and across the Middle East


SAIF ZONE has attracted more than 200 companies engaged in industrial activities. Companies engaged in different types of service number over 400, while nearly 1000 are engaged in trade. There is strong concentration of aviation and manufacturing companies is SAIF ZONE. 

Industrial license 237 companies
Services license 433 companies
Trade license 977 companies

Generally, it has fully serviced and furnished executive offices with reception areas, pre-built warehouse in four sizes with adjacent office space and leased land for unrestricted privacy. 


These tastefully furnished office suites located in multi-storied buildings are ideal for corporate clients. Secretarial services and conferencing facilities are also available. Office sizes start from 21 square meters. And rental are inclusive of electricity, water, air conditioning and parking. 

Features From 21 square m Dhs 1266(US$345)per sq m onwards
Furniture N/A A/C unit, tables sofa set, cabinet, etc
Terms of lease Annual Option for 25 years and renewable for a similar period

For the investors, keen to build their own factory , SAIF-ZONE provides plots of various sizes with the smallest size available being 2,500 square meters. Investors must pay building permit fees on the lease land as well as rent. Both costs are calculated per square meter and are set as follows: 

Features From 21 square m From Dhs 10 ( US$ 2.72) per sq m ( rent on an annual basis) plus
Furniture From 21 square m Dhs 2.50 (US$0.68) per sq m building permit fee ( payable once)
Terms of lease Annual N/A 
Option for 25 years and renewable for a similar period



SAIF- ZONE has made provision for high quality insulated warehouses. Available in four sizes, they can be used for storage and distribution, or for assembling and packaging, even for light and medium industrial use. Investors can lease more then one unit at a time according to their requirements. The following is break down of warehouse size and costs. 

Area Rent Break down
125 sq m Dhs 43,750 (US$11,908) Annual basis Office area :22 sq m Ware house area: 103 sq m
250 sq m Dhs 60,000 (US$ 16,331) Annual basis Office area :60 sq m ware house area 190 sq m
400 sq m Dhs 90,000 (US$ 24,496) Annual basis Office area 60 sq m Ware house area 340 sq m
600 sq m Dhs 110,000 (US$ 29,940) Office area 150 sq m Ware house area 450 sq mm



SAIF-ZONE also provide temporary warehouses to investors who do not require warehousing service all year round. There are two categories of temporary warehouse: with air-conditioning and without air-conditioning, and all are same size, 82 square meters. Temporary warehouses are available at the following monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual rates. 

Area Tenure Dhs US$
82 square meter with air–conditioning Monthly 
82 square meter without air– conditioning Monthly 



A parking area for containers has been made available for investors on a monthly or annual basis. There are two sizes and details are as follows: 

Monthly basis Sizes Dhs US$
20 feet
40 feet
Annual basis 20 feet
40 feet



The on- site provision of accommodation for male and female workers is yet another facility given to the investor. Male and female must be housed in separate facilities which cost the same and carry a maximum of 8 people per facility .All rooms are air conditioned and un furnished. The price per room is Dhs 1,000 (US$ 272 ) per month . The terms of payment are 3 month advanced payment and post- dated cheque s. Male for workers are provided at the at the zone through authorized catering contractors. 


For leased plots of land and for warehouses, factories and standard office units, are charged to the investor and is paid as per consumption based on the priced below. However, investors renting executive offices will not pay for electricity, water and air conditioning as these charges are included in the annual office rent. 

  • Electricity-The connection and supply is provided by Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) and is charged directly to the investor at the rate below
  • Water- the connection and supply is also provided by SEWA and is charged directly to the investors at rate below.
Electricity Dhs 0.23 (US$ 0.06) per KWA
Water Dhs 0.04 ( US$ 0.01) per 1 gallon

Utilities are already connected to all the facilities mentioned above expect for plots of land developed according to investor requirements. 

Utilities are already connected to all the facilities mentioned above expect for plots of land developed according to investor requirements. 


Telephone line Dhs 360 ( US$ 98 )
Telephone line + fax Dhs 510 ( US$ 139)
Telephone line, Fax + internet Dhs 610 ( US$ 166 )
P.O Box Dhs 450 ( US$ 122 )

SAIF-ZONE’s investor services department will liaise with Etisalat and Emirate Post to provide investors with the above services. Once the investors has completed the application forms, they need to provide the investors services department with copies of trade license passport copies of all names on the trade license signature of the manager and a ’no objection letter’ provide by SAIF-ZONE, and they will follow- up on providing the investor with the above services. 



The companies or establishment that own structures in SAIF-ZONE are entitled to mortgage their structure along with the moveable therein as may be agreed with their local bank, original mortgaged agreements with annex of items mortgaged, and the fully completed SAIF-ZONE mortgaged agreement form (available at SAIF-ZONE). These details will than be entered in to the SAIF-ZONE registered of the company, and only upon providing a discharged certificate from the bank stating their no objection will be mortgaged entry than be accordingly deleted from the register 


SAIF-ZONE has one bank on its premises offering services in the zone, which is the Sharjah Islamic bank.


There are four types of license available to investors in SAIF-ZONE, they are as follows: 

  • Industrial license – Allows the investors to import raw material, manufacture, process, assemble, package and export the finished product.(subject to clearance from SAIF-ZONE Health and Environment Dept.)
  • Commercial license – Allow the investor to import, distribute, consolidate and store items specified in the license. There is a maximum limit of three similar product lines.
  • General trading license – As the name suggests, a large number of products fall within its ambit. This type of license can be obtained under the commercial license.
  • Service license – Allows the investor to carry out only the specified services. (Unless such services are restricted by the federal or local authorities.)

Below are the break down of the costs and requirements of the above license as well as the coordinating activities:

License type Requirements Activities allowed License fee (Dhs) License fee (US$)
Industrial license Clearance form SAIF-Zone health & Environment Department, Import of raw materials manufacturing, processing, assembling, packing and exporting the finished products. Import ,export, distribution ,storage 3,500 953
Commercial license Clearance form SAIF-Zone health & Environment Department, Import of raw materials manufacturing, processing, assembling, packing and exporting the finished products. Import ,export, distribution ,storage 3,500 953
Commercial general trading Can be obtained under a commercial license , which allows a large number of products Or warehousing of items specified in the license maximum limit is 3 similar products lines 13,500 3,674
Service license Can be obtained under a commercial license , which allows a large number of products Carry out service specified in the license. all types of services are allowed un less other wise restricted by the federal or local authorities. 3,500 953



As with the other Free Zone in the UAE, establishment of a company in SAIF-ZONE is simple and procedures and red tape have been cut down to a minimum. There are categories of possible companies: 

Free zone establishment (FZE)
Free zone Company (FZC)
Branch of a local company and
Branch of a foreign company.

Set up branch office, an investor needs to have a company already registered in the UAE or overseas-including offshore companies. If an investor wants to establish a new company then there is the option of the FZE or FZC. Both FZEs and FZCs are separate legal entities with limited liability. Their affairs are separate from that of their shareholders and they have their own board of directors and bank accounts. 

Cost of set up (At –a glance)

Minimum capital requirements(for FZE/FZC companies) Dhs 150,000/US$ 40,827
License Fee ( as per above): Dhs 3,500/US$ 953 per annum
Registration branch office Dhs 13,500/US$ 2,722
Registration free zone establishment): N/A
Dhs 10,000/US$ 2,722
Registration free zone company): Dhs 10,000/US$ 2,722
Fees for employee Dhs 1,360 (US$ 370) (including entry permit, company employment card, health card, medical &residence visa for 3 years)



This is done three easy steps

  1. Step One – present complete documents and project outline to the marketing and sales department.
  2. Step Two – Receive the approval letter, pay the lease amount and sign the lease agreement with the marketing and sales department
  3. Step Three – Receive your lines, lease agreements and keys of premises from the lease and license department.

As stated earlier SAIF-Zone will issue the license and permits within 24 hours of submission of the requests documents. The documents required for each type of company are listed below. 

No. Documents required Branch of a foreign company Branch of a UAE compan Free zone establishment(FZE) Free zone company (FZC)
1 Application form Yes Yes No No
2 Project summary Yes Yes Yes No
3 Passport copies of owners/managers Yes Yes Yes No
4 certificate of in corporation /registration Yes Yes Yes Yes
5 Memorandum Articles of association or equivalent Yes No No Yes
6 Board resolution to open a branch in the SAIF-Zone and power of attorney appointing the person to be in charge Yes Yes No Yes
7 Bank statement of account for the last 3 months Yes Yes No No
8 Balance sheet ( for the last 2 months if applicable) Yes Yes Yes Yes
9 Local auditor letter No No Yes Yes
10 Minimum capital of Dhs 150,000 (US$ 40,827 ) No No Yes Yes