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Free zones

Background

The UAE's first free zone was established in 1980. The success of the UAE’s free zone innovation in attracting foreign investment and technological expertise and the growth of re-exports and trans-shipment as a major commercial activity, has led all the emirates to create such free zones to attract inward investment, employment generation, and significant economic development.

The advantages already available to companies in the UAE customs territory include:

  • No corporate or personal taxes

  • Freedom to repatriate capital and profits

  • slow import duties except on tobacco and spirits

  • No exchange restrictions

  • 100% foreign ownership of companies, and hence a full control over their activities

Comparative advantages in each zone are based on individual locations, facilities. areas of specialisation, and establishment and operating costs.

 

Jebel Ali Free Zone

Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) was the first zone established in the UAE in 1980. Jafza is a part of Dubai-based state owned Economic Zones World, one of the world's biggest developers of Economic Zones, Logistics and R&D-driven industrial Parks. Jafza is built over an area of 48 km² and it ranks among the world's largest and fastest-growing free zones

Situated between Jebel Ali Port, the world's 6th largest seaport, and the Al Maktoum International Airport, the world's largest cargo airport, Jafza is the only free zone in the world to be located between the two major logistic enablers. With a six lane highway, Jafza will facilitate the transportation of goods (custom bound) from sea to air in just 20 minutes. Jafza is well positioned to enable its partners the fastest possible access to a market of over two billion people in South and West Asia, the CIS and Africa.

A range of state-of-the-art facilities are provided at Jafza, which include pre- built modern warehouses ready to be leased, office space in various sizes to  accommodate the requirements of any company of any size, and plots of land for large-scale operations such as manufacturing and extensive warehousing.

Jebel Ali Free Zone boasts a wide range of commercial incentives, from 100% foreign ownership, zero corporate and income taxes for a period of 50 years to exemption from local labour restrictions, full repatriation of profits and capital, and no foreign currency restrictions. For more information on Jafza, see: www.Jafza.gov.ae

 

Hamriyah Free Zone

Free Zones in Sharjah are characterised by the atmosphere of a secure investment and infrastructure and modern management. The free movement of capital and full exemption from taxes on products and customs duties on materials imported for these areas also provide great opportunities for industries and businesses and service to success and sustainability.

Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZ)was established by a decree issued in 1995. It is located in Sharjah, which gives the free zone a unique geographic and time zone advantage backed by a secure a fully convertible currency and multi-access to neighbouring and global countries through land, sea and air. HFZ is fast becoming one of the cornerstones of the UAE industrial development. As the Next Generation Free Zone, HFZ is ensuring that its management is flexible and dynamic besides being an investor-orientated free zone. Being quality conscious and ISO certified, HFZ procedures for setting up a company are easy and well streamlined.

HFZ fosters entrepreneurship and economic development. The Free Zone has been deploying business solutions for international and local investors to access the lucrative market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for the last 20 years. This includes total ownership of business, repatriation of capital and profits, no taxes or duties, application of one-stop-shop concept for quick issuance of licences, a splendid visa solution with the Free Zone sponsorship of business owners and their employees and above all an ideal geographical positioning. For more information on HFZ, please visit: www.hamriyahfz.com

 

Ajman Free Zone

Ajman Free Zone Authority (AFZ) has witnessed increased demand from investors and businessmen looking for good investment opportunities, especially after the success it accomplished in organising the activities of the Ajman International Economic Conference, attended by more than 500 governmental and economic figures and a select number of regional and international speakers.

As a major contributor to the Emirate's economic development, AFZ provides a particularly welcoming environment to the following: Foreign investment entrepreneurship, international trade and commerce, and manufacturing and industrial activity. Ajman Free Zone also offers 100% foreign ownership, repatriation of capital and profits, no personal income tax and no corporate taxes, thus the Ajman Free Zone is widely recognised as a haven for entrepreneurs today.

Lacking the natural advantages of petroleum and natural gas, the Emirate of Ajman has always relied instead on a strong reservoir of native enterprise, which has helped build an enduring maritime tradition, with allied activities such as shipbuilding, fishing, trading and pearl diving.

AFZ offers all the advantages of any free zone in the UAE. Recognising the need to continuously innovate, AFZ has always taken care to provide a package of unbeatable benefits. Chief among these is a relentless drive to innovate ever more attractive packages for business. A massive multi-million Dirham plan to develop over 1,000,000 m² at the free zone is presently underway, which on completion will be able to accommodate up to 4,000 companies.

The companies at AFZ are engaged in the business of:

  • textile, readymade garments and leather goods

  • food, beverages and tobacco

  • timber, furniture and wood products

  • paper and pulp, printing and publishing

  • chemical and plastics

  • non-metallic minerals

  • basic metals

  • metal products, machinery and industrial equipment

For more information on AFZ visit: www.ajmanfreezone.gov.ae

 

Ahmad Bin Rashed Port and Free Zone

The Ahmed Bin Rashed Port and Free Zone is located on the West Coast ofthe UAE, in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain. The Free Zone complex consists of 845 m of quay wall with 400 m capable of handling ocean-going vessels, and 118,000 m² of land reserved for light industrial development. Standard services include water, electricity, communications, and labour accommodation. In addition, the Free Zone provides comprehensive administrative and logistical support to the investor.

In addition, the Port facilities operate on the Free Port concept, which has now been extended to include manufacture and assembly. For more information on Ahmed Bin Rashed Port and Free Zone, visit: www.emiratesfreezone.gov.ae

 

Fujairah Free Zone

Fujairah Free Zone (FFZ) offers a variety of investment opportunities, coupled with easy and cost-effective investment facilitation and a host of administrative services, which make it easy to establish and operate business in the FFZ. In addition, investors benefit from the triple FFZ advantage, namely the accessibility, connectivity and economy. Licences can be issued within one working day. Reduced establishment expenses and lower overheads make FFZ a very cost-effective investment proposition.

FFZ offers a unique connectivity logistic link to the world: by air through Fujairah International Airport, by sea through Fujairah Sea Port, and by road to the Middle East and beyond. Investors benefit by way of faster transactions accruing due to shorter delivery times. For more information on FFZ please visit: www.fujairahfreezone.com

 

Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone

Established in 2000, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) is one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective FTZs in the UAE. It is strategically located 45 minutes from Dubai. It is a world-class business hub to more than 4,000 active companies from 106 countries around the globe and a vehicle for industrial growth and development. RAK FTZ, with its cutting-edge technology and keen customer focus, offers on-demand and custom-built support services to investors in a cost-effective and flexible environment. It also offers a range of unique services, which include legal, human resources and marketing assistance.

RAK FTZ has created a unique four-park system comprised of a Business Park, Industrial Park, Technology Park and Academy Zone, each of which offers identical advantages and benefits to investors. Hence, RAK FTZ is well positioned for global commerce. It was the first free zone to offer business centre, innovation and promotion centre facilities in four locations in the UAE as well as representative offices in Turkey, India, Germany, USA and China.

RAK FTZ's reputation for affordability, flexibility and broad geographical reach are rapidly emerging as the preferred business hub in the region, from which investors of all origins and industries can easily access and branch into the emerging markets.

RAK FTZ is committed to simple and customer friendly procedures and is recognised throughout the region. RAK FTZ clients enjoy the widest range of facilities and value-added services, and benefit from key advantages such as:

  • 100% tax exemption

  • 100% foreign ownership

  • Transparent laws and regulations

  • No restrictions on capital and profit repatriation

  • Strategic location with proximity to Dubai

  • State-of-the art communication facilities

  • Easy access to Ras Al Khaimah's airport and sea ports

RAK FTZ has also announced a project worth US$400 million, for power plant creation with a capacity of 400 MW, based in the industrial area of Khor Khwair, as well as the establishment of Industrial Creek for commercial ships unloading and maintenance, at a total cost of half a billion Dirham. It is worth noting that RAK FTZ hosts around 7,000 companies, while Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority hosts about 2,700, with a total investment of AED 10 billion.

For more information on RAK FTZ, please visit: www.rakftz.com

Abu Dhabi free zones

  • Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone

  • Saadiat Free Zone

  • Industrial City of Abu Dhabi

  • Khalifa Port and industrial Zone

  • Twofour54 media and production free zone

  • Masdar City

Dubai free zones

  • Dubai Airport Free Zone

  • Dubai Car and Automotive Zone

  • Dubai Flower Centre

  • Dubai Gold and Diamond Park

  • Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park

  • Dubai Healthcare City

  • Dubai International Financial Centre

  • Dubai Internet City

  • Dubai Knowledge Village

  • Dubai Media City

  • Dubai Logistics City

  • Dubai Maritime City

  • Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre

  • Dubai Outsource Zone

  • Dubai Silicon Oasis

  • Dubai Studio City

  • Dubai Academic City

  • Dubai Textile City

  • Dubai International Media Production Zone

  • International Humanitarian City

  • Dubai Techno Park

  • Jebel Ali Free Zone

In Dubai – free zones planned or under-development

  • Dubai Building Materials Zone

  • Dubai Auto Parts City

  • Dubai Design Centre

  • Dubai Carpet Free Zone

  • Heavy Equipment and Trucks Free Zone

  • Dubai Energy City

Ajman free zone

  • Ajman Free Zone

Fujairah free zones

  • Fujairah Free Zone

  • Fujairah Creative City

Ras Al Khaimah free zones

  • RAK Free Trade Zone

  • RAK Investment Authority Free Zone

RAK free trade zones being considered or in development

  • RAK Centre for Business Excellence or RAK Training Centre for Business Excellence

  • RAK Education Zone

  • RAK Financial Centre

  • RAK Industrial and Technology Park

Sharjah Free Zone

  • Sharjah Free Zones

Hamriyah Free Zone

  • Sharjah Airport International Free Zone

Umm Al Quwain Free Zone

  • Ahmed Bin Rashid Free Zone

 

ZonesCorp

The Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones (ZonesCorp) is the government-backed corporation responsible for the establishment and the administration of zones of a specialised economic nature in Abu Dhabi. As the leading industrial development agency in Abu Dhabi, ZonesCorp is reshaping the Emirate's economic landscape through the implementation of targeted industrialisation and investment programmes.

In addition to its role in developing the infrastructure in industrial clusters, ZonesCorp is the licensing authority for all industrial activities in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, ZonesCorp is responsible for the development of regulations administering the industrial clusters including licensing regulations, fines and fees. ZonesCorp is committed to developing the industrial infrastructure in the capital, cultivating a business climate conducive to growth and driving the diversification of the economy.

ZonesCorp has much to offer businesses in the way of value propositions and operational incentives. With specialised zones in the emirate of Abu Dhabi boasting state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge utilities, logistics capabilities, advanced communications infrastructure and workers’ residential cities, investors can easily set up their businesses in the country's capital and set their industrial projects in motion in a matter of a few weeks.

ZonesCorp develop, operate and manage special economic zones in strategic locations throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, providing customer-centric services including a one-stop shop, a foreign labour service centre, and quality workers' accommodation. Companies can leverage an enhanced financial capability by procuring new specialised clusters through public-private partnership management structures and the involvement of the ZonesCorp Infrastructure Investment Fund.

ZonesCorp's portfolio of projects includes existing zones of several industrial cities in the Mussafah district of Abu Dhabi as well as the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi 1 (ICAD I), Industrial City of Abu Dhabi 2 (ICAD II), Industrial City of Abu Dhabi 3 (ICAD III), Al Ain Industrial City (AAIC I & II) and Workers Residential Cities. Future Zones projects include: Industrial City of Abu Dhabi 4 (ICAD IV), Autocity (ICAD V), and Construction and Building Materials Zone. For more information on ZonesCorp, please visit: www.zonescorp.com


 

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