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Tue 22 Oct 2019 03:27 PM

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Revealed: how Dubai aims to improve free zone appeal

Dubai Free Zones Council members discuss a number of initiatives at its 13th meeting chaired by Sheikh Ahmed

Revealed: how Dubai aims to improve free zone appeal

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the DFZ Council.

Long-term rental agreements for Dubai free zone investors could be doubled to 50 years under proposals being considered by the Dubai Free Zones Council (DFZ Council).

At its 13th meeting, headed by chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the DFZ Council discussed several initiatives, including proposals related to long-term rental agreements for investors and the one free zone passport, a unified licence that allows businesses to operate across the emirate’s free zones with the aim of boosting its attractiveness for international companies.

Council members discussed the draft law proposal related to systemising rental agreements in Dubai’s free zones in coordination with the Dubai Land Department and free zone authorities, with the aim of providing a larger pool of real estate options for companies.

One suggestion was to extend the long-term rental duration from the current 25 years to 50 years.

Dubai free zones witnessed 22% trade growth in 2018

Free zones accounted for 41% of Dubai's total trade during the first nine months of 2018

Sheikh Ahmed said: “The coordinated efforts among the free zones in Dubai contribute to economic diversification – an essential pillar of the economy of the future. This creates a favourable environment to bring groundbreaking concepts to life.

"Greater coordination also paves the way for sustainable development and presents exceptional opportunities to attract SMEs and international companies and empower entrepreneurs to realize their creative ideas.

"In turn, these opportunities strengthen Dubai’s pioneering status as a creativity lab and global capital of innovation, in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of establishing free zones in Dubai.”

He said the council also reviewed the progress made on developing a geo-economic map of Dubai that is on track to position the emirate as a leading destination for investment and business set-up.

The team working on the initiative comprises a diverse group of professionals, including representatives of the Ministry of Economy, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Development Authority, Jebel Ali Free Zone, the Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Customs, and Dubai Municipality.

The DFZ Council also reviewed an initiative to encourage international companies to set up their regional headquarters in Dubai. In its first phase, the campaign seeks to attract 400 international companies across diverse sectors.

The Free Zone 10X platform, aimed at establishing a financial market that provides companies registered in free zones with funding through IPO listings, was also discussed. An ongoing study, conducted in coordination with relevant parties, is researching the legislative and logistical requirements for implementing the initiative.

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