Sharjah A Potential Hub for Freight Businesses with the Rise of Etihad Rail

Freight Businesses with the Rise of Etihad Rail
The recent announcement of a new Etihad Rail station in Sharjah presents a compelling opportunity for businesses, particularly those in the freight sector.Sharjah is getting a new Etihad Rail station near its University City, connecting it to the UAE’s national rail network. This will boost passenger numbers to 14,000 daily and improve connectivity between emirates. The passenger service is still developing, but the freight network is operational and transports 60 million tonnes of goods annually.Entrepreneurs know a lot about company formation for freight services in Dubai. However, with this news, Sharjah has become the choice for setting up a freight forwarding company in the UAE.That’s not all! Here’s a breakdown of why Sharjah could be a strategic location and how to navigate setting up a freight company in the region:

Strategic Advantages

Central Location:

Sharjah boasts a geographically advantageous position, connecting Dubai to the Northern Emirates and acting as a gateway to major trade routes. This proximity to Sharjah Airport and the upcoming rail station near University City further strengthens its logistical appeal.  

Economic Growth:

The UAE’s projected economic expansion creates a favourable business environment. With the new Etihad Rail station, Sharjah follows the same agenda by offering business opportunities, indicating a potential surge in demand for freight business setups in the region.

Freight Businesses with the Rise of Etihad Rail

Developed Infrastructure:

The operational Etihad Rail freight network with a 60 million tonne annual capacity signifies a robust logistics infrastructure. The planned passenger network linking major cities across the country broadens the reach for potential freight movement.

Freight Businesses with the Rise of Etihad Rail

Taking Action

Detailed Planning:

A comprehensive business plan outlining your target market, operational strategy, and financial projections is essential.

Market Research:

Conducting thorough market research is crucial. This involves understanding the local freight demand, the level of competition, and the regulatory framework governing the industry. Try reaching out to some of the business setup consultants in Dubai to ask questions or look for stats on governmental portals they can be helpful.

Know The Business Environment:

Did you know that UAE’s logistics market is expected to grow, with the market size estimated at USD 20.03 billion in 2024 and projected to reach USD 27.51 billion by 2029? Knowing such details can help you plan your path towards setting up a freight forwarding company in the UAE.

Freight Businesses with the Rise of Etihad Rail

Business Setup:

Sharjah presents a business-friendly environment with support for entrepreneurs. Resources like CorpCreators provide insights into the streamlined company formation process and available incentives. Being the best business setup company in UAE, they know the nitty-gritty of freight forwarding company formation in Sharjah as well as across the UAE.

Free Zones:

Also, Sharjah’s free zones offer attractive benefits like complete foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and simplified import-export procedures.

  • Consider exploring options such as the SAIF Zone for potential advantages. SAIF Zone is considered one of the best free zones in Sharjah for freight forwarding company setup.

    Establish your business in such a strategic hub that seamlessly connects Eastern and Western markets. At SAIF Zone, you gain access to a vast consumer base exceeding 1.4 billion individuals. 

  • Another notable free zone is the Hamriyah Free Zone, which is home to Hamriyah Port, one of the world’s busiest cargo ports. It offers secure business operations, low incorporation costs, and quick business license issuance, making it an attractive option for freight-forwarding businesses.

Legal and Logistical Requirements:

Ensure an in-depth understanding of all legal requirements, permits, and licenses needed to start and operate a freight business in Sharjah. Checking with business setup consultants in UAE and legal advisors is recommended for navigating these aspects.

Want to Start Your Freight Forwarding Business in UAE?

Suppose you have been dreaming of becoming a logistics mastermind, navigating the world of goods and propelling them to their destinations. Then, UAE beckons, and here’s the roadmap to get you started in the fast-paced world of freight forwarding:

Below listed are the steps to setting up a freight forwarding company in the UAE:

Choosing Your Emirate:

Think “Location, Location, Location!”  Be it Sharjah with the new Etihad Rail station and the 60 million tonnes of goods or Dubai – with numerous endeavors for freight forwarding business setups – make the decision. UAE offers a variety of options, each with its perks.

Likewise, the mainland might offer a wider reach, while free zones can provide swifter setups and lower costs.  Do your research and pick the one that best suits your business ambitions.

Gearing Up with a License:

Time to become official!  Since you are in the logistics game, you will need a license under the “logistics and transport” category. Requirements vary based on your chosen Emirate, so be sure to check with the local authorities or your business setup consultants in UAE.

Capital Muscle:

Building a business requires some financial firepower. The UAE has varying minimum capital requirements, with free zones generally asking for less compared to the mainland. Make sure you have the necessary funds to meet the chosen Emirate’s standards.

Registering Your Company:

Time to give your business a name and an identity! This involves securing a trade name, registering with the Chamber of Commerce, and obtaining that coveted trade license. To establish your company in Dubai, it’s essential to consider company registration in Dubai as a crucial step in the process.

Setting Up Shop:

Brick-and-mortar or virtual HQ? The choice is yours! While a physical office is usually required, some free zones offer virtual options.

Building Your Dream Team:

No business thrives in a solo act.  The UAE offers a diverse and skilled workforce – so finding the perfect logistics crew to support your operations should not be a hurdle.

Also, find out about employment visas and the quota for the same. Your company formation consultants will be able to give you a better picture.

Permits: Permission to Take Off!

Conditional to the freight forwarding services you may offer – additional permits may be required. Here’s a list of the types of permits that may come into play;

  • Customs Clearance Permit: Obtain a Customs Clearance Permit from Dubai Customs if you plan to operate in Dubai.
  • Federal Transport Authority Approval: Get special approvals from the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) for transportation-related activities.
  • Bank Guarantee: Provide a bank letter of guarantee as part of the licensing process.

Network Like a Pro:

Building connections is the name of the game in logistics. Attend industry events, join associations, and leverage social media to connect with potential clients and spread the word about your services.

Staying Compliant:

Remember, with great business power comes great responsibility! Ensure your company adheres to all UAE laws and regulations. Permits, taxes, labor laws – staying compliant is key to a smooth operation.


Sharjah’s strategic location, economic outlook, and the development of the Etihad Rail network present a promising landscape for freight companies. 

By conducting thorough market research, understanding the legalities, and seeking professional guidance, entrepreneurs can leverage this opportune moment to establish a successful freight business in the emirate.

Ready to take the plunge?

This is just a starting point. If you would like to start a freight forwarding company in Sharjah or any other Emirate  connect with CorpCreators.

Consult us for personalized advice and to stay updated on the latest developments in the market.

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