The establishment of free trade zones (FTZs) in the UAE has been one of the most significant and promising initiatives taken to attract foreign investment. Dubai was the first emirate to establish a FTZ in Jebel Ali. The establishment of free trade zones (FTZs) in the UAE has been one of the most significant and promising initiatives taken to attract foreign investment. Dubai Dubai has seen a dramatic rise in the number FTZs. Each zone has a focus on a particular type of industry.
The free zones each have their own free zone authority. They are profit making entities. Their main source of income derives from renting office space, collecting license fees, and providing services to the companies operating in the free zone.
Following are some important Free zone in UAE :
- 1. JAFZA -Jabel Ali Free Zone Authority
- 2. RAK – Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone
- 3. DAFZA – Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority
- 4. UAQ – Umm Al Quwain Free Zone Authority
- 5. DMCC – Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
- 6. DWC – Dubai World Centre , etc
The main advantages of setting up in one of the free zones in the UAE are as follows:
- * 100 percent foreign ownership is allowed
- * Guarantee for 15-50 years against the future imposition of corporation tax.
- * Import of goods duty free, provided the goods are not supplied to the local market
- * Streamlined procedures: all formalities are typically dealt with through the free zone authorities instead of the various government departments
- * No restrictions on hiring expatriates
The main disadvantages as compared to operating as a local business are that there is higher rent than outside the free zones and it is not possible to supply goods directly to the local market. Goods can be supplied to the local market through a local commercial agency which has to be wholly owned by a UAE national and after paying the import duty, usually 5 percent. Note that the practice is to allow the provision of services through a free zone entity to the local market as long a significant proportion of the turnover is realized abroad.