For a Mainland business, a local sponsor must be appointed who will own a majority of shares. The cost to setup business on the Mainland is usually high.
In a Free Zone, a foreigner can have complete ownership of their business and don’t require the need for a local sponsor. The cost to setup a business in a Free Zone is usually cheaper than on the Mainland.
It costs the least to setup business in the Offshore of Dubai. Full ownership is granted only if they have a business outside the UAE. There is no need for an office space, so a visa is not granted.