What is the role of a local sponsor in Hamriyah Free Zone?

The role of a local sponsor in the Hamriyah Free Zone, like in many other free zones in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is a critical aspect of company formation and operation for foreign investors. Understanding the responsibilities and implications of having a local sponsor is essential for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish their presence in this dynamic business environment. In this article, we will delve into the role of a local sponsor in Hamriyah Free Zone and explore why choosing a reliable business consultant like BizDaddy can be a strategic move for navigating the complexities of this arrangement.

The Role of a Local Sponsor in Hamriyah Free Zone

Legal Requirement: In the UAE, there is a legal requirement for foreign investors to have a local sponsor or partner when setting up a business outside the free zones. However, Hamriyah Free Zone, being one of the more flexible and investor-friendly free zones, allows 100% foreign ownership without the need for a local sponsor for businesses registered within the free zone area. This means that if you choose to set up your company in the Hamriyah Free Zone, you can operate without the involvement of a local sponsor.

Outside Free Zone Operations: If you intend to operate your business outside the free zone, such as within the UAE mainland, you would require a local sponsor. In this case, the local sponsor is typically a UAE national or a company wholly owned by UAE nationals. They are required to hold at least 51% of the shares in your company, while you, as the foreign investor, would retain the remaining 49%.

Sponsorship Fee: The local sponsor may charge an annual sponsorship fee for their role in the business. The fee can vary depending on the arrangement and the nature of your business activities. It is crucial to establish clear terms and conditions regarding this fee in a legally binding agreement to avoid misunderstandings in the future.

Limited Control: When you have a local sponsor, it’s essential to understand that they hold the majority of shares and, consequently, have a significant say in the management and decision-making of the company. While this may not always pose an issue, it’s critical to have a transparent and mutually beneficial relationship with your local sponsor.

Legal Compliance: Your local sponsor can assist you in navigating the local legal and regulatory landscape. They are often well-versed in the UAE’s business regulations and can help ensure that your company complies with all necessary requirements.

Local Representation: Having a local sponsor provides you with a local representative who can communicate with government authorities, facilitate visa processing, and handle other administrative matters on your behalf.

Why Choose Hamriyah Free Zone for 100% Foreign Ownership

As mentioned earlier, Hamriyah Free Zone allows businesses to operate with 100% foreign ownership without the need for a local sponsor within its designated free zone area. This policy has made Hamriyah Free Zone particularly attractive to foreign investors. Here are some compelling reasons why you might choose Hamriyah Free Zone for your business:

Full Ownership Control: In Hamriyah Free Zone, you have complete control and ownership of your business, allowing you to make decisions without the influence of a local partner.

Tax Benefits: Companies registered in Hamriyah Free Zone enjoy tax exemptions, including 100% tax exemption on corporate and personal income tax for a specified period, usually 15 to 25 years, which is renewable.

Strategic Location: Hamriyah Free Zone’s location near the Dubai International Airport and the Port of Hamriyah provides easy access to global markets, making it an ideal hub for international trade.

Modern Infrastructure: The free zone offers state-of-the-art infrastructure, including modern office spaces, warehouses, and industrial facilities, which can significantly benefit your business operations.

Efficient Business Setup: Hamriyah Free Zone Authority has streamlined the company registration process, making it efficient and less time-consuming compared to other jurisdictions.


While Hamriyah Free Zone eliminates the need for a local sponsor within its boundaries, understanding the local business environment and regulatory requirements in the UAE is still crucial. This is where a reliable business consultant like BizDaddy comes into play.