When global and regional markets see an economic shake-up, the UAE also witnesses a ripple effect leading to job losses. While many people update their CVs and return to the interview circuit in search of their next job, some choose to strike out on their own. For many, the appeal lies in running their own businesses as the region heads towards a time of tremendous economic opportunity. In this context, the UAE’s many free zones, which allow 100 per cent ownership, serve as enablers.
“A free zone presents an ideal environment to establish a business with many benefits,” says 47-year-old Mohammad Baida, Managing Director at Content Plus, an online content solutions company based in the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec) within the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) free zone. “The company formation is quicker and it is easier to recruit employees.” He also finds the option to lease properties for a 25-year period a key driver.
Free zones across the UAE are seeing an uptick in business. In March, Abu Dhabi Ports announced plans to expand Kizad, its industrial manufacturing zone, in response to demand from existing and international investors. The expansion, revealed at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit 2017, adds an additional 100 square kilometres of space as well as a new business park and will make the free zone the largest in Abu Dhabi.
The Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), the authority established to oversee, regulate and consolidate the services, facilities and activities of the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) and RAK Investment Authority, has witnessed a 50 per cent increase in business since 2012, says Ramy Jallad, Group CEO. The combined free zones have seen more than 13,000 companies register across sectors such as manufacturing, trading, services, tourism, education and media over this period.
Like others in the UAE, the free zone helps companies in many ways. It hosts events and seminars for clients such as an academy for small and medium businesses, an annual business excellence award and a buyer interaction session for punters keen to capitalise on the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai. It also offers supplier registration through its procurement department.
––http://gulfnews.com : http://gulfnews.com/gn-focus/special-reports/free-zones/uae-free-zones-time-to-be-your-own-boss-1.2032112