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The UAE is dotted with a vast number of free zone areas. They provide ample opportunities for successful companies to set up branch offices here and fledgling companies to establish a name in this region. The free zones provide firms with attractive packages including zero taxes.
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) in Dubai, which outranked Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) last year as the largest and the fastest-growing free zone in the UAE, has emerged as the preferred destination for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Although it caters to businesses of all sizes, its offerings mostly attract SMEs. This year, it was chosen by fDi Magazine as the Free Zone of the Year for SMEs. DMCC offers office units and storage facilities, among others.
The Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) has also been recognized by fDi Magazine as one of the top free zones for SMEs because of its value-for-money offerings like land, offices and warehouses, coupled with modern facilities and excellent location.
Meanwhile, Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ), one of the largest free zones in the world, is considered an institution in the UAE. It occupies a massive area and continues to draw thousands of global and local multinational firms. Its offerings include warehouses, offices, storage units and a port. Companies within JAFZ have the advantage of being near the port, the Al Maktoum International Airport and the major highways in the emirate like Shaikh Zayed Road.
Other than the three mentioned, there are other free zones scattered all over the country. These include, among others, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Maritime City, Dubai Flower Centre and Gold & Diamond Park; twofour54 and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi; Fujairah Free Zone; Hamriyah Free Zone; Ahmed Bin Rashid Port and Free Zone; and Ajman Free Zone.
• DMCC, which manages JLT, is this year’s Top Free Zone for SMEs
• RAK FTZ also a preferred hub among SMES for value for money
• JAFZ, one of the largest in the world, continues to draw investors
Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer