What is a free zone?


Free zones around the world

The UAE Free Zones are a major draw for foreign investors and companies wishing to do business in the UAE. But what exactly are they, and what advantages do they offer? Associate Director Leelyn Isabel explores…

Until the introduction of the Foreign Direct Investment Law in late 2018, a federal requirement was that at least 51% of a company formation consultant in uae shares be held by a UAE national. Consequently, free zones were established to attract foreign companies to the region that wanted full business control.

Free zones are geographically delimited areas within the UAE (although most are not fenced or closed) that allow 100% foreign ownership and are, in most cases, dedicated to a specific industry. They were designed to support the strategic transformation of key sectors (for example, financial), and many are built with public financing and have state-of-the-art facilities.

For example, sharjah media city free zone in the emirate of Dubai- has infrastructures and licenses adapted to the media industry’s needs. Similarly, the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC – see below) attracts businesses in the financial services sector, attracting insurance, financial services, investment companies, and banks looking to increase their international customer base.

Colon free zone

Dubai is one of the Middle East’s most lucrative and investor-friendly destinations. Its proximity and easy access to Asia and other countries make it an ideal investment center. Several free zones in Dubai offer facilities for businesses to grow. As a result, Dubai has become a haven for budding startups and established multinationals. Let’s learn more about these Dubai Free Zones and what they offer.

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Dubai Free Trade Zones or Free Trade Zones are business zones where companies operating are exempt from taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT), Income Tax, Corporate Tax, and customs. Business owners in Dubai-free zones have 100% ownership of the business.

There are many advantages to establishing a business in a Dubai-free zone. One of the biggest is 100% business ownership and full tax exemption. The tax exemption is ideal for foreign companies and business owners who want to use the UAE for a regional manufacturing or distribution base.

Definition of the free trade zone

There are more than 5,000 Special Economic Zones worldwide, and the trend is increasing. According to the OECD, the so-called Free Zones are responsible for exports worth at least 3,500,000 million yearly, equivalent to about 20 percent of world trade in goods. Despite their importance to the world economy, little is known about the economic activity in the Free Zones. On behalf of the World Free Zone Organization (World FZO), the Kiel Institute for the World Economy produced the World Free Zones Economic Outlook, a comprehensive annual review of economic activity, and the World Free Zones Economic Barometer. Frances (F-WEB), a quarterly gauge of sentiment for the Special Economic Zones.

Special Economic Zones or Free Zones are geographically defined areas in which companies are subject to special rules that differ from those in the rest of the country. Investors are often granted tax breaks, tax breaks, and other financial incentives. In addition, they often benefit from simplified administrative procedures and high-quality infrastructure. Special economic zones are a widely used economic policy instrument, especially in emerging and developing countries, whose objective is to create attractive investment conditions for companies and thus compensate for deficiencies in the national business environment. They tend to aim to attract foreign direct investment, increase and diversify exports, and create jobs also.

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Freeports in Deutschland

There are three types of Free Zones: Customs Procedures for Free Zone Documentation Free Zones are controlled and licensed directly by the Ghana Free Zones Authority, which handles initial approval before customs procedures begin.

2. The declarant submits a validated Declaration to the Free Zones Office along with other relevant documents (i.e., Invoice, Bill of Lading, Packing List, Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) Form 9)

4. If the free zone office confirms no discrepancies, the statement is forwarded to the examining officer to secure the shipment with an e-track before forwarding it to Preventive for further processing.

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Hammad Hassan

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