Sheikh Mohammed creates new authority to oversee three Dubai freezones
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Sheikh Mohammed creates new authority to oversee three Dubai freezones

Sheikh Mohammed creates new authority to oversee three Dubai freezones

The new entity will now oversee the operations of Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Commerce City

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a Law No. (16) of 2021 to create Dubai Integrated Economic Zones (DIEZ) Authority, an independent legal entity with financial and administrative autonomy.

Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Commerce City will now operate under the supervision of the newly created DIEZ.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been appointed as chairman of the DIEZ and Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Al Zarouni has been appointed as its executive chairman, effective January 1, 2022.

Over 5,000 international firms, covering 20 key economic sectors and employing 30,000 employees will now operate under DIEZ. Economic activity therefore regulated by this authority generates 5 per cent of Dubai’s GDP.

Companies and individuals licensed in the zones under its jurisdiction are exempted from all taxes, including income tax, for 50 years, effective from the date of the new law. This exemption period can be renewed for a similar period by a decision issued by the Dubai Ruler.

All subsidiaries of DIEZ and companies or individuals licensed by the authority are exempted from restrictions on repatriation of capital, profits and salaries in any currency and to any destination outside its zones. This exemption is valid for 50 years, renewable for a similar period by a decision issued by the Dubai Ruler. Furthermore, the funds of licensed companies and their employees will not be subject to nationalisation or restricted ownership.

In addition, the operations of the DIEZ and companies licensed by it are not subject to the regulations of Dubai Municipality or Dubai Economy, except in the case of regulations related to safety, security and food control, or any other regulations clearly designated as applicable within free zones.

One of DIEZ’s key focuses is to attract local and international companies to set up their headquarters in Integrated Economic Zones in the emirate. Furthermore, it seeks to promote Dubai’s economic competitiveness especially in retail, technology, Islamic economy, e-commerce, industrial, logistics and shipping sectors. It also aims to support SMEs and drive entrepreneurship and innovation across sectors.

DIEZ is tasked with creating, developing and managing the infrastructure and administrative services of Integrated Economic Zones. It will also regulate business activities and services in these zones, including the import and storage of merchandise.

Collectively, all the free zones in Dubai registered Dhs135bn in foreign trade in Q1 of 2021, accounting for approximately 38 per cent of Dubai’s total foreign trade.

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