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Dubai Clarifies Rules On Free Zones

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

26 November 2012


Dubai's Department of Economic Development has reiterated that businesses based in Free Zones across the UAE require a licence and registration in order to take advantage of a law passed in 2011 allowing Free Zone businesses to operate within Dubai.

Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, who is Chief Executive Officer of Business Registration and Licensing at the DED, said that: "Under no circumstances can a Free Zone company in Dubai operate outside its jurisdiction unless it has a branch licensed by DED. The same applies to companies in any Free Zone in the UAE. Alternatively, such companies may appoint an intermediary to sell their products or services in Dubai, but the intermediary should have a DED licence."

"Recently, we have been receiving complaints from various Free Zone companies, most of them operating outside Dubai, that their licensors had promised they can do business in Dubai under the Free Zone license. We have clarified to them that there is an established route to doing business in Dubai."

"Through Law No.13 of 2011, Dubai has acknowledged the role of Free Zone companies in economic activity in the UAE and the leadership wants to allow such companies to contribute further to overall development. DED's role is to enable businesses that choose Dubai as their base to benefit from a competitive environment and best practices."

Dubai licences are dependent on continuing Free Zone activity, and the involvement of a local service agent to sponsor employees.

TAGS: tax | business | law | international financial centres (IFC) | corporation tax | offshore | Dubai

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