Managing Director of TMF Group's Dubai office, Julian Dietz considers the impact the new World Free Zone Organisation may have on UAE business
The United Arab Emirates is known for its free zones. Set up to attract foreign direct investment to the emirates, each of the UAE's 40 free zones - 22 in Dubai alone - has its own laws and regulations. Entities established in the free zone can have 100% foreign ownership and there is no requirement for having a local service agent for any entity type.
That's summing it up very quickly, but the basic idea behind the free zone is to attract business and make it easier for foreign companies to set up in the country - and that's why it's exciting to hear of the new World Free Zone Organisation.
A new non-profit entity operating as an association for all of the world's free zones, the World FZO was launched in Dubai this week aiming to transform the way in which many economies around the world operate. Established in Geneva, Switzerland, and headquartered in the Dubai Airport Freezone, the organisation will provide global leadership to increase knowledge of free zones and their advantages, and to enhance their public perception through analysis and education.
Membership is open to all member states of the United Nations and international multilateral organisations such as the World Trade Organisation, as well as individuals and entities working in free zone environments - that's not just the UAE; the founding members also represent nations in...