Dubai creates new Authority to oversee operations of Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai CommerCity

Dubai has announced the establishment of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority, a new body created to oversee the operations of the Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai CommerCity. 

According to the new Law issued by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority will be an independent legal entity with financial and administrative autonomy. His Highness has appointed HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum as Chairman and Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Al Zarouni as Executive Chairman of the Authority.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the establishment of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority is part of the emirate’s efforts to introduce new frameworks for further improving services provided to businesses and investors. The initiative seeks to consolidate the success of Dubai’s free zones in catalysing growth and adding value to the national economy.

“The creation of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority is a vital move to enhance Dubai’s global competitiveness and raise its investment attractiveness. The private sector is a major partner in our development journey over the next 50 years and the government continues to explore innovative initiatives to support their growth and success. Our objective is to make Dubai the destination of choice for global investors and a major focal point for global commerce.”

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. Economic activity regulated by the Authority generates 5% of Dubai’s GDP.

With the broader aim of enhancing Dubai’s status as a global and regional investment hub, the Law will support integrated economic zones in enhancing growth, diversifying investment and business opportunities and improving ease of doing business.

One of the Authority’s key focuses is 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.

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 by a decision issued by the Dubai Ruler.

All subsidiaries of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority and companies and 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.

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