Dubai set to issue single licence that will allow firms to operate across all its freezones

Study also underway to help establish a financial market that provides companies registered in freezones with funding through IPO listings

Dubai is working on launching a new ‘one freezone passport’ – a unified licence that will allow businesses to operate across the emirate’s freezones, it was revealed on Tuesday.

The initiative by the Dubai Free Zones Council (DFZ Council) aims at boosting the emirate’s attractiveness for international companies, a statement said.

During a meeting, the council also discussed other initiatives, including proposals related to long-term rental agreements for investors in Dubai’s freezones.

The draft law looks at systemising rental agreements in Dubai’s freezones in coordination with the Dubai Land Department and freezone 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, the statement said.

The council also reviewed the progress being made on developing a geo-economic map of Dubai that is aimed at providing greater clarity to investors.

An initiative that encourages international companies to set up their regional headquarters in Dubai through a new campaign was also studied.

The campaign highlights four characteristics of the emirate – “a centre of excellence for research and development, a gateway into the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, a hub for entrepreneurship and advanced technology, and an ideal environment for business”.

In its first phase, the campaign seeks to attract 400 international companies across diverse sectors, the statement said.

Council members also discussed the Free Zone 10X platform, aimed at establishing a financial market that provides companies registered in freezones with funding through IPO listings.

An ongoing study is researching the legislative and logistical requirements for implementing the initiative.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the DFZ Council, said: “The coordinated efforts among the freezones 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 realise their creative ideas. In turn, these opportunities strengthen Dubai’s pioneering status as a creativity lab and global capital of innovation.