Dubai Airport Freezone Authority will reduce business costs for new investors
Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has reduced business set-up cost by up to 65%.
In May this year, the UAE cabinet approved 100% foreign ownership of companies in the country, which had previously been limited to those companies based in free zones. The law will be limited to specific industries deemed essential, with authorities currently weighing which ones are to be included. The final decision, according to the Economy Ministry, will be based on factors such as the ability to create jobs and transfer technology.
Ahead of the law coming into force, which is expected to enacted by the end of this year, DAFZA said its reduction in set-up costs was part of its aim to increase the free zone’s regional competitiveness and attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
“This new approach falls in line with the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to boost Dubai’s economic competitiveness,” said Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General, DAFZA.
“This is being done through a number of initiatives and incentives that aim to attract and promote FDI into the Emirate, ensuring sustainable growth across all economic sectors and strengthening Dubai’s status on the world economic stage.”
He said DAFZA conducted comprehensive studies and polls evaluating the free zone’s initiatives, services, and business environment, and agreed to introduce the new set-up costs incentives.
“We are offering unique services that take into account the global economic climate and allow customers to increase earnings and operational profits as well as achieve business growth and prosperity,” Zarooni said.
"The ultimate goal is to drive local economic development and support the sustainability of direct FDI, accelerating and increasing its contribution to Dubai’s GDP.”
DAFZA has reduced registration, license, and staff visa fees for new investors by 65%, 33%, and 20%, respectively. Establishment card issuance fees have been cut by 17%, while fees for Board Resolution and memorandum of association issuance have been waived.
The new incentives include facilitating the process of obtaining general trading licenses for new investors by halving the capital requirement from AED 1 million to AED 500,000.
DAFZA has also allowed its member companies to be structured as a Limited Liability Free Zone Company (FZ-LLC), in a bid to provide more flexibility in business setup, licensing and operation.
In addition, DAFZA has waived license expiry fines in an effort to relax the terms of license renewal. Allowing the restoration of legal records and licenses, the decision will help investors renew their expired license without paying any late renewal fines.
DAFZA has launched a restructuring process of free zone licences and related fees that will allow investors greater flexibility in choosing the business and service activities that best correspond to the nature of their work. The new licence structure will be introduced to new investors and current customers at the end of Q3 2018.
DAFZA declared said there are more initiatives and incentives are in the pipeline, including facilitating the issuance of ‘no objection certificates’.