Dubai, ‘The Capital of Freezones’

With over 20 freezones peppered around the city, Dubai is a leading force in the industry of trade and commerce. Freezones have a long history in Dubai, thanks to the City’s historic role in regional Asian trade and due to it’s central location between East and West (China & Europe/US), South and North (Africa & Central Asia).

So much has been the influence of freezones to both local and regional trade, the Department of Economic Development (DED) here in Dubai estimates that freezones have contributed over 30% towards the 2018 GDP of Dubai (source: DED Dubai Economy Report, 2018).

Freezones in Dubai range across different industries ranging from Media, Technology, Aviation and Logistics. However, the industry is now being seen as saturated and recently ‘mainland’ laws around ownership and ‘ease of doing business’ are making it more challenging for freezones to differentiate themselves.

So what’s next for freezones in Dubai? Our recent blog around ‘Freezone 2.0‘ shed’s some light on this and provides ideas for regional leaders and decision makers to consider.

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