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Dubai creates new authority to improve business services, boost economic growth

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on September 20, 2021 | Last updated on September 20, 2021 at 11.41 pm
Photo Courtesy: Dubai Media Office

Companies and individuals licensed in the economic zones under the authority are exempted from all taxes for 50 years.

A new economic zone authority will be established in Dubai, based on a law issued on Monday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The new Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority — an independent legal entity with financial and administrative autonomy — will be supervising the operations of the Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Commerce City, according to Law No. (16) of 2021.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been appointed chairman of the authority and Dr Mohammed Ahmed Al Zarouni as executive chairman.

The new law and appointment decrees will be published in the Official Gazette and are effective from January 1, 2022.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the creation of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority was part of the emirate’s efforts to raise the speed and efficiency of services for businesses and investors. This, in turn, will help accelerate economic growth.

“The establishment of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority is a vital move to enhance Dubai’s global competitiveness and raise its investment attractiveness,” the Dubai Ruler said.

“Our objective is to make Dubai the destination of choice for global investors and a major focal point for global commerce.”

The initiative also seeks to consolidate the success of free zones in catalysing growth and adding value to the national economy.

Over 5,000 international firms, covering 20 key economic sectors and employing 30,000 employees from all over the world, will operate under the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority. The economic activity that will be regulated by the authority generates five per cent of Dubai’s GDP.

Tax exemptions

Companies and individuals licensed in the integrated economic zones under the authority 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 through a decision issued by the Dubai Ruler.

All subsidiaries of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority 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.

Key priorities

“Our focus is on integrating government processes and facilitating greater access to global markets through an accelerated transition to a digital environment,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

One of the authority’s key priorities is to attract local and international companies to set up their headquarters in integrated economic zones of the emirate.

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.

The authority is tasked with creating, developing and managing the infrastructure and administrative services of integrated economic zones, and regulate business activities and services, including the import and storage of merchandise.

Partnership with private sector

Sheikh Mohammed highlighted that the private sector is a major partner in Dubai’s development journey over the next 50 years.

“We remain committed to strengthening our partnership with the private sector and making our business environment more attractive, both of which are key to sustained growth in our new phase of development,” the Dubai Ruler said.

The new law will support integrated economic zones in enhancing growth; diversifying investment opportunities; and improving the ease of doing business.





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