Sharjah Ruler announces new technology free zone in Kalba

It aims to establish an attractive hub for investments, partnerships, and skilled professionals in Comtech


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Published: Mon 1 Jul 2024, 4:35 PM

Last updated: Mon 1 Jul 2024, 4:37 PM

Sharjah has announced the establishment of Communication Technologies "Free Zone" (Comtech).

Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has issued an Emiri Decree stating the launch of a free zone dedicated to communication technologies in the city of Kalba, named the "Sharjah Communication Technologies Free Zone".

The zone has the necessary legal personality and capacity to accomplish its goals and exercise its authority. It enjoys financial and administrative independence and reports to the Sharjah Communications Technologies Authority. Its specific location, borders, and geographical area are determined by the Ruler of Sharjah.

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The Decree also stipulated that the zone's name be adopted in English as follows: Sharjah Communication Technologies "Free Zone" (Comtech). According to the Decree, the zone aims to achieve the following:

1. Enhance the emirate's position in communication technologies and contribute to its economic development.

2. Establish an attractive hub for investments, partnerships, and skilled professionals in communication technologies.

3. Support and promote the communication technology sector to elevate the emirate's global standing in this field.

4. Create a conducive environment for investing in technological transformation, artificial intelligence, and future technologies.

5. Aid technology firms, information centres, and artificial intelligence institutions.

6. Develop national talent in science and attract international professionals working in communication technologies.

According to the Decree, taking into account relevant federal and local legislation, in order to achieve its objectives, the region shall exercise the following powers:

1. Formulating legislation, policies, and strategic plans for the region in line with approved standards and practices, and presenting them to the Council for appropriate action.

2. Ensuring compliance with international agreements and treaties in all regional areas as committed to by the UAE.

3. Developing and implementing communication technology policies and strategies within the emirate.

4. Granting licences to companies interested in engaging in marine and land cable extensions related to communication technologies.

5. Establishing data centres for companies operating in the region.

6. Providing technical, administrative, and skilled personnel to companies upon request, based on the nature of their work and agreed-upon conditions within the region.

7. Seeking support from relevant authorities for administrative and technical assistance, and collaborating with experts, consultants, and specialised agencies in matters related to its work. Also, partnering with other authorities on relevant objectives and competencies.

8. Formulating memorandums of understanding, partnerships, and agreements at local, regional, and international levels, subject to approval by the Council.

9. Acquiring, leasing, and owning movable and immovable assets necessary to fulfill its obligations, and investing in permissible fields according to applicable legislation and regulations.

10. Exercising any other powers delegated to the zone by the Ruler or Council.

Under the Decree, the zone is overseen by the Chairman of the Sharjah Communications Technologies Free Zone.

A director is appointed for the zone by the Ruler or the Council, as necessary, and is supported by an adequate number of employees and experts as per its organisational structure. The director holds the necessary authority to administer the zone's affairs and make essential decisions to accomplish its objectives. Specifically, the director possesses the following powers:

1. Formulate a comprehensive policy for the zone and present it to the President for approval by the Council.

2. Oversee the execution of the zone's programmes and projects after they are approved by the President.

3. Develop plans to ensure the growth of work in the zone and for its employees.

4. Draft the organisational, administrative, and financial regulations and submit them to the President for approval after the Council's endorsement.

5. Monitor the progress of work in the zone in compliance with relevant laws and regulations and issue necessary decisions, instructions, and circulars.

6. Supervise the disbursements from the region's budget within the allocated appropriations, following the established procedures.

7. Establish committees and define their scope of work and operating procedures.

8. Execute contracts, agreements, memorandums of understanding, and partnerships on behalf of the zone after receiving approval from the president and the Council.

9. Undertake all legal actions required for the zone to carry out its operations within the confines permitted by law.

10. Recommend the organisational structure and present it to the president for necessary action.

11. Appoint employees to manage and operate the zone and delineate their responsibilities and duties with the president's approval.

12. Coordinate with federal and local authorities/entities, institutions, and other free zones to accomplish the zone's established objectives.

13. Delegate some of the director's authority to senior employees in the zone, in accordance with the emirate's current legislation.

14. Act as the zone's representative before the judiciary and government agencies and manage its relations with external entities. The director may authorise any other individual or entity to represent the region before the judiciary.

15. Submit regular reports on the zone's activities to the president.

16. Fulfill any other tasks assigned by the president.

The Decree states that the zone's organisational structure will be issued by Emiri Decree upon the president's proposal and the Council's approval.

The Decree also covered provisions regarding financial resources, the yearly budget, exemptions, inspection powers, exemption from laws, fees, fines, non-accountability for debt, as well as enforcement and publication.


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