Opportunities and challenges for start-ups during the pandemic

"Our primary USP is the customer-friendly approach"

Johnson M. George, General Manager, Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone Authority

Now, that the Emirati ownership law has been abolished, what benefits do free zones provide over mainland businesses?

Although the new regulations state that all businesses are open for full direct foreign ownership, companies involved in strategic impact activities are exempt from this and will be subject to stringent review and minimum UAE shareholding and board participation requirements, which will be determined by relevant authorities in each emirate with different restrictions.

The Decree-Law came into force starting January 2, 2021, except for the provisions abolishing minimum Emirati ownership levels, the nationality requirements for directors of public and private joint-stock companies, and the removal of the local service agent requirement for branches and representative offices of foreign companies. Several of the new amendments provide for additional regulations and rules to be adopted. Hence, more clarity is required in this.

Free zones are exempt from corporate tax and customs duties. Further, free zones provide a one-stop solution to the customers like company formation, licencing, visas, facilities like office, warehouse or land, issuance of building and construction permits and all approvals, making it the best choice for foreign investors in the UAE.

What makes UAQ Free Zone unique in terms of location and services?

Our primary USP is the customer-friendly approach with personalised attention to all our clients.

We are one among the few designated free zones in the country, offering serviced and accessible industrial plots of land, ready-to-move-in warehouses of various sizes, and bespoke offices. The free zone provides a wide range of business activities like no other as well as easy access to major highways, seaports and airports.

Source: Opportunities and challenges for start-ups during the pandemic | Business – Gulf News