Dubai International Humanitarian City (IHC) Free Zone

International Humanitarian City (IHC) Dubai

The launch of Dubai International Humanitarian City aims to provide excellent services for human welfare along with various supportive business environments. It is unique and exceptional for a multitude of reasons. Established in 2003 by the prime minister, the vice president of UAE, and the ruler of Dubai, DIHC is one of the largest humanitarian spaces in the world.

The Internation Humanitarian City overall has over ninety members, which are:

• UN organization

• Non-profits

Non-governmental organization

The free zone is represented by 500 people who come from over 68+ nationalities. 

The UAE government strives to improve International Humanitarian City continuously. In the year, 2011, they moved it to another location, which is located between AI Maktoum Airport and Jebel Ali Port. 

It is the free zone’s strategic location that makes it perfect for the humanitarian aid hub. Relief material can reach from here to two-thirds part of the world in less than eight hours. Therefore, the location makes a major difference in minimizing the impact of disaster-hit areas. 

Because of the relocation, the movement of goods has become easier to and from the International Humanitarian City. Besides that, the government also increased the area from 30,000 square to 90,000 square meters. This area is further increased to 135,000 sqm. 

The International Humanitarian City, Dubai, is even growing further by partnering with innovative businesses, high-level private sector players, and academic institutions.

Now, let’s know more about the free zone in detail!

Best-Suited Activities in Dubai International Humanitarian City Free Zone

One needs to choose the business activity before a business setup in an International Humanitarian City, Dubai. Internal Humanitarian City, Dubai, offers a wide range of unique activities that you will not find in any other free zone. The reason is its unique purpose, where humanitarian aid and businesses work together. 

Check out the list of business activities below:

• Humanitarian Aid and Relief

• Agriculture Activities and related products

• Humanitarian Development Services

• Logistics and Shipping

• Consultancy

• Environment and Resource Management Services

Benefits of Business Setup in Dubai International Humanitarian City

By starting your business in Dubai, you’ll get the benefits that are not provided by any other free zone. When you start a business in Dubai International Humanitarian City, you get general advantages such as tax benefits, 100% ownership, etc. However, on top of that, there are some other advantages that we have mentioned below:

Brand Exposure in IHC Dubai

IHC gives your brand the ability to build your appearance at the global level. After company formation in the International Humanitarian City, Dubai, your business gets an individual page on its website that includes:

1) Your logo

2) Office contact details

3) Company Brief 

4) Website link 

Besides that, IHC shares your business’s story in their annual report, business’s news and offers get circulated all across the IHC’s community, and promotional material gets distributed on IHC’s premises. 

Overall, your business and brands get well better and improves visibility with these benefits.

Designated Free Zone Benefits

Lead time of import and export transactions is minimal when you have business in International Humanitarian Free Zone. That’s because of the business-friendly environment. Further, businesses are facilitated by one of the best strategic locations to connect with the world. As the free zone is located 

Access to World-Class Facilities

We already discussed the facilities provided by the International Humanitarian Free Zone. When you setup your company in IHC, you get access to all these facilities and get the ones as per the business demand. You can access meeting rooms and auditorium without paying any fees. You can even promote your products at the pre-build exhibition area. 

Engagement Opportunities

Business setup in International Humanitarian City gets the benefit of engagement initiatives led by IHC.  Besides that, IHC encourages partnership/collaboration opportunities between various IHC members. This helps your business to thrive on innovations. Your business also becomes part of various local and global activities where you get the chance to represent yourself in front of media and press.

Business Setup in International Humanitarian City

Facilities Provided by Dubai International Humanitarian City Free Zone

With an area of 140,000 sqm, you get great facilities, which we have mentioned below:


There’s a total space of 11,766 sqm allocated only for office purposes. You get the office space based on the package you choose as per the area requirement.


You can have a warehouse area on a lease. However, its pricing is separate from what you pay for a membership license. Overall, there’s 88,500 sqm of the area, and you can get as much as required. 

Open Yard

Similar to the warehouse, you can purchase open-yard space. There’s a total area of 23,580 sqm available in Dubai International Humanitarian City. 

Other than these facilities, the IHC free zone, Dubai also provides the following:

• Helipad

• Volid Chain

• 24-hour security

Devoted UN building

Cafeteria and auditorium facilities

• Training and trading facilities

• Meeting rooms

Learn about business-tailored facilities
in the IHC Free Zone

License Types for Company Formation in International Humanitarian City (IHC), Dubai

When you have to start a business in IHC, Dubai, you must obtain a business license. International Humanitarian City provides two license options, which are mentioned below. For these licenses, you get two types:

1) Standard office 

2) Business Center Desk

You can choose the one as per the office requirements you have. For more details on the license, check the below-mentioned information. 

Non-Profit License for International Humanitarian City, Dubai

When you choose a non-profit license, you can contact non-profit activities such as humanitarian aid, humanitarian development, etc., in IHC, Dubai. However, you are not allowed to conduct any commercial activity. Besides that, you get access to all facilities such as offices, warehouses, 24-hour security, etc. 

Non-Profit License for International Humanitarian City, Dubai

When you want to conduct commercial activities, you must choose a commercial license. One can conduct activities such as logistics supply, export/import activities, consultancy services, etc. with this license. 

Various Packages for Business Setup in International Humanitarian City (IHC), Dubai

Unlike other free zones, the International Humanitarian City Free Zone only provides two different packages, which makes the selection easier. Now, explore both the packages in detail.

Standard Office Package

Standard Office Package includes registration and license fees and maintenance. Besides that, you get access to general services such as two establishment card visas, 24-hour security, 20 sqm office area, free conferencing, transportation, Wi-Fi, and Fundraising options for NPO license holders.

Business Center Package

The business center package includes all the Standard Center Package privileges. In addition to those features, you get a common reception service, a fully connected workstation, access to a common pantry, and many more features. The package includes registration and license fees, maintenance, and charges for the dedicated hot desk. 

How to Setup a Business in Dubai International Humanitarian City(IHC) ?

Setting up a business in the International Humanitarian City or anywhere worldwide requires following certain instructions and procedures.

The company formation process is similar for Humanitarian Organizations and Commerical Organizations. In both cases, you have to fill out the same application form, provide the required documents (which are different), and then duly fill out the UBO Declaration with variables. You will also need to make a business plan according to a specified template. 

When you make the submission, the registration and licensing committee reviews your application and provides its judgment on whether to accept or reject your application. When the application gets approved, you need to submit a number of legal documents within a three-month period time. 

As you can see, the process is straightforward, but one must have a prior understanding of the process to avoid rejection. 

Therefore, we would suggest that you choose the right agent for business setup in International Humanitarian City. We will submit the application on your behalf, which will minimize the chances of rejection as we have helped several businesses start their journey in Dubai.  

Want to start a business in IHC Dubai? Then, no need to wait more

Documents Required for Business Setup in International Humanitarian City

International Humanitarian City requires different documents for humanitarian organizations and commercial companies. 

Let’s check the documents needed one by one for both non-profit organizations and commercial entities:

Documents Required for Humanitarian Organizations IHC

• Certificate of Incumbency from HQ

• Passport copies of the HQ directors, trustees, and Dubai branch manager

• Headquarters’ registration certificate copy

• Documents to verify other branches

• HQ’s financial audit report for the previous financial year

• Reference letters

• Agreements signed with UN agencies or other humanitarian organizations

• Attested and notarized Good Standing Certificate

• Board Resolution

• Article of Association

• NOC from current sponsor (required when manager owns UAE residence visa)

Documents Required for Commercial Entities IHC

Passport copies of the HQ directors, trustees, and Dubai branch manager

• Copies of the Agreement signed with UN agencies and NPOs

• Bank reference letter (for individual shareholders)

• UBO declaration and shareholders data when investors are non-individuals

• Shareholder resolution shown in pre-defined IHC template

NOC from current sponsor (required when manager owns UAE residence visa)

• Registration certificate copy

• Certificate of incumbency of the business’s shareholders

• Memorandum of Association

• Audited Financials for the corporate shareholders

• Chart showing the corporate structure

Business Setup HQ's services for International Humanitarian City

Business setup HQ has helped several businesses in starting their professional. Therefore, if you want to start your business in the International Humanitarian City, we are the best ones. We can help you start any of the licenses, whether it’s the non-profit license or the commercial license. We will submit the application and also help you arrange the documents.

We will also provide you with suggestions regarding which package is suitable for you and help you choose the office. If you are in need of a warehouse or land area, we can provide you guidance regarding that, too. Besides that, we will also help you get familiar with the facilities so that you can make the most out of your business in the International Humanitarian City. 

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The criteria for the name of the organization are as under:
• Companies cannot go for a name that is not considered as suitable or desirable by the authority.
• The name should never be in any way similar or identical to an already registered name.
• The name must not contain words similar to the names of the local organizations or people aligned with the city in any way or holding patronage.
International Humanitarian City proves to be beneficial to organizations in many ways. This ranges from governmental services to its own facilities that are supportive for business environments and more.
There are several services under the standard office packages provided by IHC; considered as privileged services. Office spaces, security services, free of cost Wi-Fi, 24/7 access, availability of fund raising and more.

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