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Abu Dhabi free zones are the emerging centres of global logistics and industrial concentration Abu Dhabi free zones are the emerging centres of global logistics and industrial concentration


Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

Published: Tue 30 Oct 2018, 11:03 AM

Last updated: Tue 30 Oct 2018, 1:06 PM

Abu Dhabi is economically viable, and is a success story in the region. The emirate is focused on transforming into a hub for trade and industrialisation, and the Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ) is a milestone on the path of achieving that objective. As rightly stated, it is the 'gateway to the future', as more than 50 countries have their physical presence and investments in the free zone. 
Abu Dhabi's sea ports, especially the Zayed Port, dry docks and state-of-the-art infrastructure, coupled with stringent regulations, have made it a centre-stage for trade and commerce. Similarly, it operates free zones at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain International Airport and Al Bateen Executive Airport and also comprises of a Logistics Park, Business Park and a Business Centre. The intention is to bring all services under one roof, and make it a one-stop facility. 
The goal is to offer excellent and attractive options for foreign investors looking for big-ticket projects in the emirate. Its investor-friendly policies and regulations are an opportunity to tap into the huge potential of one of the growing industrial hubs of the region, and benefit from an era of liberalism in global economy.
The Free Zone concept of the emirate is ambitious and underscores the vision of economic diversification. It addresses areas such as aviation, aerospace, technology & ICT, pharmaceuticals, cold storage, logistics, e-commerce, consultancy, light manufacturing and trading. Likewise, some of the major vitals are logistics, medium and heavy industries and oil and energy projects. 
Investment in Abu Dhabi comes with a multitude of incentives, such as 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies, full repatriation of capital and profits and exemption from taxes. Entrepreneurs do not have to pay corporate tax, income tax, import or re-export duties, and there are no currency restrictions.
Abu Dhabi has a forward-looking plan for expanding horizons of cooperation, and is eager to seek broad-based investments and partnerships with world's leading producers of goods. At the same time, its navigational and aviation linkages, as well as warehousing facilities, make it an indispensable centre for commerce. 
This is broadly known as the Economic Vision of 2030, which will see the emirate's socio-economic boom with an approach based on diversifying the economy from energy-centric to technology, production and services. 
The free zones sit at the pinnacle of providing logistical and investment facilities to more than a quarter of world population and contributes around 60 per cent of revenue to the country's GDP. While Abu Dhabi marshals its trade lines with Saudi Arabia and beyond through an upcoming rail network, it is set to become the magnet of business and investment in the region.

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