Free zones make UAE a favoured trade hub for business

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai Filed on June 2, 2021
Ramy Jallad, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, speaks at the Global Investment Forum. — Photo by Shihab

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone CEO says people prefer free trade zones because of transparency and variety of services offered

The UAE’s free trade zones offer something for everybody interested in doing business in the country, whether it be a large manufacturing company or a small start-up, said Ramy Jallad, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ).

Speaking at a session at the Global Investment Forum 2021, Jallad said that a lot of international companies from all over the world use the UAE as a hub to do business. “The UAE is very strategically located and over one third of the world’s population lives just three hours away. People come to free trade zones because of the transparency they offer and because they get a variety of services in one place.”

He also noted that there are several companies currently operating in the free zones with businesses that span technology, agriculture, manufacturing, medical, retail, pharmaceuticals and F&B sectors. “The UAE has been operating free trade zones for a very long time; we have them in nearly every emirate. We all complement each other; some of them have port access, while some of them operate in the city as business parks. We also have a lot of success stories that we are proud of, for instance, a lot of the Burrata that you eat in the UAE comes from Ras Al Khaimah.”

In 2020, the RAKEZ was recognised as the best free zone for SMEs in the Middle East at the FDI Global Free Zone of the Year Awards, taking home six awards after competing with 61 free zones from all over the world.

“Accessibility to us is very important because we are dealing with clients from all around the world,” Jallad said. “We also have to keep a very close eye on how customers get in touch with us and this is where technology has become very important. Remember that remote working is here to stay, especially now with the pandemic.”


Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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