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Sharjah Media City (Shams)

This blog is part of a series on Free Zones in UAE. Here we will address all your questions pertaining to setting up business in Sharjah Media City (Shams) in detail, benefits of having license in Sharjah Media City and Liquidation of a company in Sharjah Media City (Shams).


Q) What is all about the Sharjah Media City (Shams) and what are the benefits of setting-up a company in Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

Sharjah Media City (Shams) was launched in February 2017 to act as a catalyst for creative and media businesses to grow and thrive. Being located 5 minutes from Sharjah International Airport and 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport, it is aiming to be a world-class media hub with innovative facilities and services.

Sharjah Media City (Shams) is the newest media Free Zone in the UAE. It issues Free Zone business licenses to companies, freelancers, and entrepreneurs wishing to embark on their entrepreneurial journey in the business world.

Note: The fees details and documents requirements mentioned in this article are extracted from the official source of the relevant authority at the time of publishing this article, they are subject to change anytime, hence we request you to reconfirm before you take any decision.


Following are the benefits of setting-up a company in Sharjah Media City (Shams)

  • Affordable Company Setup options starting from AED 8,050
  • Rare business activities available which are not available in other Free zones.
  • Wide range of business activities available on the same business license
  • All company documents issued within days
  • Quick and simple online registration process
  • 100% foreign ownership permitted
  • Companies will have limited liability
  • Ability to appoint Corporate Directors and Corporate Managers for your company
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • 0% corporate or personal income tax
  • Deposits are not required by Shams
  • Allocation of up to 6 visas on a shared desk facility


Q) What are the facilities Offered by Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

Shams will provide four different types of facilities that companies may use to conduct their day-to-day business activities. All the facilities come with an access to Wi-fi, a printer and a meeting room. Clients can also customise their own required spaces like other free zones:

  1. Dedicated Desk
  2. Shared Desk
  3. Dedicated office
  4. Shared office


Q) What is the Procedure, Timeline and fees for getting the facilities booked in Sharjah Media City (Shams)?


Facilities New Amend Certify Renew Cancel
Subject An occupancy agreement serves as a proof of address for the company utilizing the facilities. The agreement specifies the nature of facility, duration as well as the terms of use The occupancy agreement of a facility is amended in the event of changes made to the duration or type of facility currently being occupied by the company. An Amended occupancy agreement is issues to the company at the end of this process. An occupancy agreement services as the proof of address for a company registered within Shams. A copy of the agreement is attested by the Shams Authority on request by the company for external use. When the Occupancy Agreement under which a company occupies a facility at Shams is close to expiry, the renewal process is initiated. A Renewed Occupancy Agreement is issued with/without amendments as per the requirements of the company. Cancelling a facility is deciding not to utilize/occupy the facility. When an Occupancy Agreement of a company registered within Shams expires or is terminated, an occupancy agreement cancelation certificate is issued to serve as proof for the same.
Timeline 1 to 2 business days 1 to 2 business days 1 to 2 business days 1 to 2 business days 1 to 3 business days
Fees AED 3,675* (applicable for Shared Desk Facility) AED 2,000 (Only if there is an existing license Amendment) AED 350 per Occupancy Agreement AED 3,675 (applicable for Shared Desk Facility) AED 0 (Included in License Cancellation)
Documents required Letter Request Letter Request Request letter to Certify Occupancy Agreement Renewal Form 1) Formation and License Cancellation Documents
2) Utility Clearance Letter (If Applicable)

* This is inclusive of VAT; all the external approvals are charged separately and E-channel fees applicable.


However, the procedure for getting the facilities booked will be as follows:

Step 1: Contact the Shams to issue occupancy agreement

Step 2: Submit the required documents as discussed in the table above.

Step 3: Settle the payment.

Step 4: Receive the timeline.

Step 5: Receive the notification and electronic occupancy agreement/ amended agreement/certified agreement/ renewed agreement/ cancellation letter.


Business Setup


Q) What are the types of Licenses offered by the Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

Shams provides three different types of Licenses for the business.

Licenses Purpose
Service License It allows for production, re-production, transformation and distribution of services. Service license includes rendering services as a primary objective and utilizing goods to provide them.
Trading License Selling goods within Shams or importing and exporting of goods. It includes movement of goods, wholesale and retail sale of goods and rendering of services related to the sale of these goods.
Industrial License It allows for production, re-production, transformation and manufacturing of goods


Q) What is the procedure for business setup in Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

Procedure for obtaining the License for the business is as follows:

Step 1: Contact Shams to purchase a Business License

Step 2: Submit the required documents

Step 3: Settle Payment

Step 4: Receive Timeline

Step 5: Receive the business license via email.


However, the business should collect the amended license, certified license and license Cancellation certificate from the department whereas again the renewal license can be received via email.

Fees for the business License:

1 year – AED 11,500

2 Years – AED 19,550

3 Years – AED 27,600

5 Years – AED 40,250.

Additional class fee of AED 2,000 (Limit of 5 classes per group subscription) should be paid.

Important Points:

  1. Shareholders are not required to be physically present in the UAE to incorporate a new company
  2. The timeline would be 4 hours and it shall come into effect after the payment has been credited to the Shams account.
  3. Some applications may be subject to the additional approvals, in which case the timeline shall be 2 working days.
  4. Visa Allocation fee of AED 1,600 per visa should be paid annually.
  5. Immigration card can be obtained for AED 1,500.


Q) How to obtain the license in Sharjah Media City (Shams)? How the License can be amended, renewed, certified and cancelled in Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

License New Amend Certify Renew Cancel
Subject To conduct a business activity within Shams, a
company must obtain a License from the Shams
Authority. The License lists the business activities that
the company is permitted to run.
If certain aspects of a company’s Business License are
to be changed, the License must be amended to
reflect the same. This is done when there are changes
to the company’s name, business activity or other
details pertaining to the Business License.
When a copy of a company’s original License is
requested by external authorities/institutions, an
attested copy is provided by the Shams Authority.
Upon the expiry of a valid Business License, a company wishing to continue running its business is required to renew its Business License. This grants the company the privilege to conduct its business as per the activities included in the License. When a company ceases to conduct its business activity in Shams, it must cancel its Business License.
A cancelled Business License serves as a proof of the company’s termination of its license within Shams jurisdiction.
Timeline 1 to 3 business days 1 to 3 business days 1 to 3 business days 1 to 3 business days 5 Business days (not including Immigration card)
Fees As per Package AED 2,000 + Applicable activity fee AED 350 As per Package AED 2,000
Documents required 1) Onboarding Form
2) Passport Copy
3) Degree Copy of Manager (if applicable)
4) CV of Manager (If applicable)
5) trade-mark for operating name (if applicable)
1) Renewal and Amendment Application Form
2) Board Resolution
3) All Original company documents
a) Certificate of formation
b) Business License
c) Share register
d) Memo-random (if applicable)
e) Occupancy agreement (if applicable)
1) Request letter to certify the License
2) Renewal and Amendment application form
 Renewal and Amendment application form 1) Renewal and Amendment Application Form
2) Board Resolution
3) All Original company documents
a) Certificate of formation
b) Business License
c) Share register
d) Memorandum (if applicable)
e) Occupancy agreement (if applicable)


Q) What is the process for Company name reservation and its renewal in Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

Name reservation

  1. In this free zone, an investor can reserve a company name for a specified duration of time for the purpose of registering a Company.
  2. This would take about 1 to 2 business days and fees would be AED 500.
  3. Name reservation form should be submitted for the process.

Renewal of name reservation

  1. When the investor is unable to incorporate the company within 30 days of having reserved their name initially then the investor can extend the duration for which the name is reserved
  2. For this again 1 to 2 business days would be required and the AED 500 in addition for the extension to be paid.

After the payment and submitting the name reservation form collect the “Name reservation Certificate” from the department.


Q) What are the other concierge services provided by Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

Shams has provided the following services online for the smooth and hassle-free communication with the business established in Shams:


1) Visa and Emirates ID

a) Dependant Visa Application

  • For sponsors to be able to apply for residence visas for spouse and/or children, proof of relationship and ability to house and finance dependents are required.
  • The sponsor must be holding an Investor, Partner, or Manager designation on his/her visa and must be earning at least AED 10,000 basic salary for women and AED 5,000 for Men.
  • The sponsor must be inside the country while the dependent visas are under process.
  • The time limit to obtain the services- Salary Certificate – 2 business days, Entry Visa – 4 business days, Charge of Status – 2 business days, Residence Visa – 3 business days.
  • Fees for the service – Dependant visa – AED 3,330, Change of Status – AED 950 (applicable only if dependent is inside the country), Refundable Deposit – AED 3,030 (applicable only for Investors and Partners), Salary Certificate – AED 210 (applicable only to Employees) Residence Visa Stamping included in Visa Cost

b) Emirates ID VIP Services

c) UID number merging

  • In order to reconcile the immigration records, multiple or duplicate numbers of UID’s which are assigned to single person are merged.
  • Time limit to merge the multiple UID’s takes place within 24 hours
  • Fees for the service – AED 250

2) Driver’s License

a) UAE driver’s License application

  • If the passport and license does not belong to the 51 countries allowed visa-on-arrival, then they have to open a new license file and complete the no. of classes, trainings, and tests required.
  • The time limit to obtain the driving license would generally depends upon the amount of time classes, trainings, and tests are completed
  • Fees for the services- NOC AED 200, Current Driving License translation AED 210 and opening a Driving License File AED 1,300 (inclusive of PRO fee) if you currently hold a driving license from your home country.

b) UAE driver’s License transfer

  • Driving license transfer is the process of obtaining a license from a different country without having to go through the regular processes of obtaining one such as classes, trainings and tests. This is given to the 51 countries allowed visa-on-arrival. Driving license transfers are only allowed for licenses issued in the same country as the passport of the visa holder.
  • The time limit to transfer the driving license would generally take 1-2 working days
  • Fees for the services- NOC AED 210, Current Driving License translation – AED 220.50, Driving License Transfer – AED 1,470 (inclusive of PRO fee).

3) Courier and post related services

a) Courier Service

  • Shams Concierge offers document courier service for both local and overseas couriers. Total weight allowed is less than or equal to 0.5 kgs.
  • The time limit for the local delivery would be the same day, however the international delivery may vary based on the courier service provider.
  • Shams Concierge will provide the notification when the document has been delivered and whether it has been successfully sent or returned.
  • Fees for the Local delivery is AED 105 and for the international delivery is AED 735.

b) Document delivery by driver

  • The cost in delivery and courier costs vary based on the distance between the pick-up and delivery points. Like the delivery by courier here also the total weight should not be more than 0.5 kgs.
  • Same day delivery with a cut-off time until 12pm. Documents received beyond the cut-off time would be delivered next day.
  • Fees would include Sharjah to Sharjah – AED 105, Sharjah to Dubai – AED 210, Sharjah to Abu Dhabi – AED 1,000.

c) PO Box registration and mail management

  • This service includes annual P.O. Box rental and the eShaar SMS notification. Please note that once registered, you cannot discontinue the service without cancelling the license.
  • Within 24 hours this can be done
  • Fees for the service would be AED 1,575
  • Before the expiry of the P.O. Box should be renewed to continue the service and to avoid the late renewal fines
  • Renewal time would be within 24 hours from the application
  • Fees for the renewal – AED 1,575


4) Other general Services

a) Phone answering services

  • This service allows clients to have their own unique UAE landline number with personalized phone answering during working hours (Sunday to Thursday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm) and voicemail service with email notifications.
  • This also includes transferring and forwarding calls to a person assigned by the company. Calls will be answered by multi-lingual agents.
  • The time limit to for this service would generally take 1-2 working days
  • Fees for the Service – AED 3,969 per year.

b) Car registration renewal

c) Medical tests VIP services

  • In order to be able to obtain a work/residence permit, foreign nationals need to be free of all forms of communicable diseases such as HIV and TB.
  • The time limit for medical test would take about 1 business day and Emirates ID about 15 days.
  • Fees for the Service – a) Medical Assistance – AED 1,950.90 b) Emirates ID – AED 913.50 and c) Package of both – AED 2,864.40

d) Corporate banking

  • This service includes acting on behalf of the customer in opening up of bank account which includes introduction to banker, document assistance, follow-up with the bankers for any requests on behalf of customer.
  • After the meeting with the banker and submitting the required documents, it would generally take about 3 to 7 business days for the completion of the task
  • Fees for the service – AED 2,100.

e) Document Translation

  • The government of Sharjah requires all legal documents to be translated to Arabic. All foreign documents have to first be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for it to be legally translated.
  • After submitting the necessary documents and upon the payment of the fees it would take up to 2 business days for the completion of the service
  • Fees for the Service – AED 220.50 for English to Arabic


Q) What is process for liquidation of a Company in Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

The winding up of the company may either be:

  1. A Shareholders voluntary Liquidation (or)
  2. A Creditors voluntary Liquidation (or)
  3. Mandated by the competent courts of the UAE.


Shareholders Voluntary Liquidation Creditors Voluntary liquidation
Subject Liquidation of a company which has no liabilities, or which is able to discharge its liabilities in full within six months after the commencement of winding up Where the Directors (or Liquidator) form the opinion that the Company has liabilities which it will be unable to discharge in full within six months after the commencement of the winding up.
Documents to be submitted to authority 1) A company prescribed form
2) A Shareholders resolution not older than 30 calendar days to commence the liquidation
3) A statement of solvency which must be signed by each of the Directors and Managers
1) A Shareholder’s Resolution
2) A statement of solvency which must be signed by each of the Directors and Managers, stating that having made full inquiry into the Company’s affairs


The Authority may, if satisfied with the required documents submitted pursuant to these regulations issue the Company a cancellation certificate showing that the Company has been cancelled. The Authority reserves its rights to request any such further documentation from the Company or the creditors before issuing the cancellation certificate.

Liquidation of a company in Sharjah Media City Free Zone authority takes about 3 weeks.

The price of the liquidation is 2,000 AED.


Corporate tax applicability to the companies in Sharjah Media City (Shams):

Corporate tax law is going to be applicable for all the companies registered in UAE including the free zones in UAE. The UAE Corporate tax is going to be effective for the financial year beginning on or after 1 June 2023 for the businesses in UAE. Corporate tax will be levied at zero percent on the taxable income (adjusted net profit) of the businesses in the free zones as long as they comply with all the regulations of the respective free zone and do not do any business with the mainland companies, otherwise there is a possibility of levying 9% corporate tax on the taxable income (adjusted net profit) in excess of AED 375,000. Hence companies in the Free Zones need to make sure that they are complying with all the regulations of the free zone and do not do any business with the mainland entities to enjoy the benefit of zero percentage of UAE corporate tax.


{NOTE: Kindly note that the authenticity of this article is limited to the day of publishing this blog. As policies and rules pertaining to each free zone keeps changing from time to time based on the necessity of the respective authority, it is hereby advised you to check the website of the concerned free zone directly to get the latest update on the same. We do not assume any liability if you have taken any decision based on the information provided in the article. We have ensured that the presented information to the visitor is legible to the maximum extent possible so that all the information is available in one page, at one go. Thank you.}


Q) Why choose Spectrum Auditing?

Spectrum Auditing is an expert firm in the Company Formation and Company Liquidation process across various Free Zones and Mainland in UAE. Our passion and heart lie in serving the clients and we aim at utmost client’s satisfaction. We are registered Auditors under the Ministry of Economy UAE and also registered Tax Agent from Federal Tax Agency UAE, Dubai providing dedicated Audit, Accounting, Tax services and various Business Advisory Services complying regulatory requirements.


Reach us to have a frills free life in your journey in Dubai, UAE. We at Spectrum will assist you in taking care of all the legal procedures involved in the registration and liquidation of your company in Sharjah Media City (Shams). Call us today for any kind of assistance at +971 4 2699329 or email us at [email protected] to get all your queries addressed. Spectrum is your partner in your success.




Balaram Vuchidi

Managing Director
+971 50 9866 466
[email protected]
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