Number of companies in UAQ free zone soars to 2,500

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The number of the companies in the the Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ) has soared to more than 2,500 from a few hundred when it was set up in 2014, the Emirates News Agency WAM reported.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain, the free zone has undergone a complete infrastructure makeover – both physically and digitally.

A wide range of companies from FMCGs, IT companies and specialised consultancies to precious metals, jewellery and auto spare-part sellers has been granted licences by the UAQ FTZ.

“Once Phase 2 comes to fruition, the free zone will function as an independent industrial city with amenities for its employees and residents like a hospital, shopping centres, a school, a hotel and even an exhibition and convention centre, thereby promoting the ‘walk to work’ concept. Renewable energy, education, health, technology, water and space will be the primary target industries” said Sheikh Khalid bin Rashid Al Mualla, Chairman of Port, Customs and Free Zone Corporation of Umm Al Quwain.

‘Year of Innovation’

The year 2015 was the ‘Year of Innovation’ in the UAE and since then, the UAQ FTZ has made great strides  in attracting more white collar businesses like IT companies, back offices, call centres, R&D centres, etc. into the free zone. Facilities like online submission of documents for formation of companies and issuing of licences automatically will also be made possible soon.

Sultan Saeed Sultan Al Ali, Executive Director of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation of Umm Al Quwain, said, “This has been possible because of the foreign direct investments by UK, France, India and other Asian countries. This year, we have had an incredible run with over 1,500 new business licences issued in the free zone, and participation in several marketing activities in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in 2016.

Healthy economy

Johnson M. George, General Manager of UAQ FTZ, said, “The free zone has enjoyed a success-brimmed 2016. The proximity to ports and UAQ’s super-reasonable costs of living and of doing business are sure to bring in more numbers in the coming years. There is no doubt that the free zone is on an upward trend and will contribute more to the UAE’s healthy economy.

”Our success has stemmed from our promise of easy access, one-to-one interactions with investors, who we regard as partners, in setting up their businesses and being there at every step to service their requirements. Facilitating quick company set up through minimal documentation and fewer procedures to complete for clients, without compromising on compliance, has been our modus operandi since our inception. Once word spread about our investor-friendly system, the numbers picked up and we upped our services even further. Micro-businesses and freelancers have also come to us in good numbers because of Umm Al Quwain’s pocket-friendly costs of living and healthy business opportunities.”

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