Dubai's single free zone licenses still under construction

Dubai's single free zone licenses still under construction

Dubai: Regulations are still being worked on to allow businesses to operate out of Dubai’s free zones with a unified license.

“No timelines have been set for now to launch it formally,” said Ahmed Al Haddad, Chief Operating Officer - Parks and Zones at DP World. “There are still some areas where we will need a better understanding to make it work best. But serious discussions are definitely on.

“There will be terms and conditions that will need to be unified across the various free zones before the single license. That’s what we are working on.”

It was in May that the Dubai Free Zone Council, which groups together the 24 free zones operating in the emirate, came out with the “One Free Zone Passport” proposal. Essentially, it means a business licensed to operate at one free zone in Dubai will not need to take out another if it wants to set up a base at another free zone as well.

Apart from the established free zone clusters such as Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Tecom, etc., Dubai is adding new ones based on specific industry needs, such as warehousing, logistics, etc. As and when a unified licensing scheme becomes a reality, businesses will have the freedom to operate from multiple bases… but without the cost and paperwork involving for new licenses.

in a KPMG update issued earlier this year, the consultancy states: “Businesses ought to consider this development and its impact for structuring their operations across Dubai.”