Free trade in a quiet emirate in the north

Umm Al QuwainImage Credit: Supplied

In a dynamic UAE economy with a recent focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups in the non-oil sector, investors are eagle-eyeing on convenient locations with wide market reach to carry their businesses. One such location is the Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ), which is positioned close to the primary seaports of the country.

The low cost of living and open investment climate make the inception of micro-businesses and fast-thinking SMEs a walk-in-the-park affair in UAQ FTZ. Companies setting up here will enjoy the benefits of 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, import and export tax exemptions, modern infrastructure including offices and warehouses and plots of land, special concessions at UAQ’s seaport and a full range of permitted business activities.

One of the advantages of establishing a company in UAQ FTZ is the variety of licences offered: commercial, service, consultancy, freelance and industrial.

A commercial licence is used for import, export and distribution activities of three different or 10 similar product lines and for general trading which allows flexibility to trade any commodity permitted within the UAE. However, goods that need clearance or special approval from UAE authorities cannot be sold with a general trading license.

A service licence suits travel agency operators, courier and logistics companies, car rental firms and related companies, while a consultancy licence is for establishments that offer specific services/expertise.

An industrial licence allows companies to import raw materials, manufacture them within the free zone and export them, while freelancers operating under the umbrellas of technology, media and film can get a permit to carry out a business in their own birth name instead of a brand or company name.

Handy Hints
• UAQ FTZ offers modern offices and warehouses and land plots
• Freelancers can get a business permit in their own birth name
• An office premium package starts at Dh16,000 with two visas

Source: Nandakumar Ganesh, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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