DIAC License Types for Company Formation

Explore flexible licensing options for company formation at DIAC

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Thinking about launching a business in Dubai? You’ve probably heard of the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC). This bustling hub is a goldmine of opportunities for educational institutions, online universities, and even travel agencies. In this all-inclusive guide, we’ll break down the different DIAC License Types for Company Formation in this guide by Fzbuddy, why you’d want to set up shop here, and a whole lot more.

What is Dubai International Academic City (DIAC)?

Dubai International Academic City, or DIAC for short, is a specialized free zone tailored for educational and academic service providers. It’s an arm of the Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority and offers a business-friendly atmosphere teeming with educational powerhouses.

Types of Company Formation and Licenses in DIAC

When it comes to setting up a business in Dubai Academic City, the choices are as varied as they are beneficial. Whether you’re an educational powerhouse, a travel agency, or a business consultant, DIAC has a license that’s just right for you. Let’s dig deeper into the types of licenses and who they’re perfect for.

Academic Institutions

If you’re an educational institution like Amity University or Manipal University, DIAC has specialized licenses designed just for you. These licenses let you operate in a knowledge-driven economy, offering both academic and non-academic services.

Commercial Licenses

For businesses in the trading or retail sectors, commercial licenses are your best bet. The cost to register for this license varies, and you’ll need to meet a minimum capital requirement. This license is a popular choice for corporations aiming to gain a strong presence in DIAC.

Industrial Licenses

If your business revolves around manufacturing or processing, an industrial license is your go-to. This license needs a thumbs-up from the relevant authorities and might come with some extra operational costs.

Professional Licenses

For businesses that offer specialized services, like consultancies or accounting firms, DIAC provides professional licenses. These are a hit among sole practitioners and freelancers.

Branch Offices and Representative Offices

Already have a mainland company? You can extend your reach by opening branch offices or a representative office in DIAC. These extensions operate under the parent company and must adhere to the licensing rules set by the concerned authorities.

Legal Forms and Personnel Sponsorship Agreement

DIAC offers a variety of legal structures for businesses, including Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and Free Zone Companies. Depending on your business’s legal makeup, you might need to sign a personnel sponsorship agreement.

One-stop shop for Licensing

DIAC serves as a one-stop shop for all your licensing needs, streamlining the entire application process. Whether you’re an individual or a corporation, DIAC’s company registration process is built for speed and efficiency.

Office Space and Business Centre

Once your license is in hand, you’ll need a place to call home. DIAC offers a variety of office spaces, from high-end executive offices to fully furnished spaces in their business centre.

Additional Requirements

  • Legal Representative: You’ll need to appoint a legal representative or company secretary.
  • AoA of Parent Company: If you’re a branch, you’ll need your parent company’s Articles of Association.
  • Company Shares: Proof of share capital is a must for certain business types.
  • Licensing Fees: These can vary based on your business type and the license you choose.

Specialized Licenses

DIAC also rolls out specialized licenses for medical facilities, beverage outlets, and commercial developers. These come with their own set of rules, including student visas if you’re an educational institution.

Foreign Talent and Tax Exemptions

DIAC is a magnet for international talent, offering tax breaks and perks like 0% import or re-export duties. This makes it a lucrative choice for international branches and overseas companies.

By understanding the various license types and company formations available in DIAC, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your business objectives. Whether you’re an academic partner or an Emirati partner, DIAC provides a legal framework and communication opportunities to help your business flourish.

Read more: List of Fujairah Creative City Licensing Options: Choose the Right License for Business

Business Activities in DIAC

DIAC isn’t just for educational institutions; it’s a versatile business playground. Here are some sectors that stand to benefit:

  • Online Universities: A rising trend in academia.
  • Travel Agencies: Particularly those specializing in educational travel.
  • Art Facilities: Like galleries or design studios.
  • Other Businesses: Such as consultancies and business setup advisors.

Types of Companies Eligible for DIAC License

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Sole Establishment
  • Branch of a Foreign Company
  • Free Zone Company

Read more: List of Dubai Studio City Licensing Options: Choose the Right License for Business

Benefits of Setting Up a Business in DIAC

Wide Range of Educational Institutions and Academic Community

DIAC is home to a diverse range of educational institutions, making it a prime spot for businesses targeting students or educational organizations.

Business-Friendly Environment with Supportive Infrastructure

DIAC’s business environment is built to be supportive, offering a variety of facilities and a collaborative atmosphere.

Attractive Tax Incentives and Benefits for Investors

One of the major draws of DIAC is the ability to repatriate capital and profits, along with other tax advantages.

Repatriation of Capital and Profits

Investors can freely repatriate capital, making DIAC an appealing option for international investors.

License Types in DIAC

DIAC offers a smorgasbord of license types to fit various business activities:

  • Educational Service License: Tailored for educational services and consultancies.
  • Freelance License: For independent professionals.
  • Trade License: For trading activities.

Requirements for Company Formation & License Fees

Parent Company Requirements

If you’re branching out from a foreign company, your parent company needs to meet certain criteria, including proof of share capital.

Limited Liability Companies and Other Legal Entities

LLCs need a minimum share capital and must provide legal documents like the Articles of Association.

Business Plan Requirements

A detailed business plan is crucial for all types of company formation.

Application Form Requirements

Your DIAC application form should include all the essential details, like your business type and the license you’re applying for.

Foreign Investors in DIAC

International investors can own 100% of their business in DIAC, making it a tempting option for business owners worldwide.


DIAC is a treasure trove of opportunities for a wide array of business activities. From educational service providers to travel agencies, the sky’s the limit. With perks like capital repatriation and a business-friendly atmosphere, DIAC is undeniably a top-tier location for company formation.

For more details, consult with business setup consultants and kickstart your journey in this vibrant academic community today.


FZBuddy aims to provide accurate and reliable information as you navigate the UAE Freezone space. As such, our writers refer to primary information sources in supporting each article appearing on this website. These include, but are not limited to, published news articles, government portals, research papers, and more.

  1. Dubai International Academic City. (n.d.). Education Hub in MENA | Dubai International Academic City. https://diacedu.ae/
  2. Home – Executive Council. (n.d.). Executive Council. https://tec.gov.ae/en/home

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