Dubai has opened a new free-trade zone specifically for e-Commerce businesses, in the United Arab Emirates’ latest effort to modernise and diversify its business interests.The Dubai CommerCity trade zone will be located in the Umm Ramool district, just south of Dubai International Airport. Investment in the project is expected to total Dh2.7 billion, or around 623 million euros.
Encompassing 2.1 million sq ft of land, the site will be split into three clusters: a business area for offices, a logistics area for services providers and customers, and a social area with amenities for visitors and employees including a range of galleries, cafes and restaurants.
The project aims to capitalise on the growing popularity of e-Commerce in the Arabian Gulf region. Local e-Commerce sales are projected to quadruple to Dh73.4 billion by 2020. This includes around Dh20 billion in Dubai, a tenth of its total projected retail sales. Dubai authorities plan to roll out the project in two stages. Existing regional producers will first be offered state of the art storage facilities, to foster distribution within the gulf. The rest of the zone will then be opened up to foreign investors, with a focus on attracting innovative startups.
Like the majority of new builds in the UAE, Dubai CommerCity also plans to be sustainable. Solar power, water reclamation and recycled building materials will form part of the Smart Dubai initiative, and solidify the country’s position as a leader in combating climate change.The e-Commerce free-trade zone is the latest in a line of similar schemes around the United Arab Emirates. There are more than twenty free-trade zones in Dubai alone and dozens more around the country, each offering benefits to a specific industry segment.
Each free-trade zone is governed by the same rules, offering substantial benefits to homegrown and foreign businesses. Businesses can be entirely foreign owned, with 100% import and export tax exemptions and no personal income taxes.
All capital and profits from the enterprise can be repatriated, while eligible businesses may be exempt from corporation tax for as much as 30 years. Businesses can also benefit from support services, including sponsorship and help with recruitment. The UAE has proven to be particularly forward thinking in its cultivation of businesses. As well as being quick on the uptake of ‘smart city’ technology, the UAE has an appointed Minister For State of Artificial Intelligence, and has centralised many of its services and payment processes in a single digital portal.
We’ll endeavour to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments from the UAE. For more information on starting a business in the United Arab Emirates or for helping setting up a business bank account or tax advice or don’t hesitate to contact us.
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