Wednesday 22, June 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Free Zone (DFZ) Council, chaired the third council meeting held at the Emirates Office Tower. The session highlighted the UAE’s responsibility in seeing through to completion the international agreements signed on the prevention of double taxation. The Council also explored suitable solutions for increasing the ratings of free zones within the emirate to ensure their compliance with global standards of transparency and exchange of information.
During the meeting, the Council implemented a new procedural system to simplify the transfer of registered companies between free zones in Dubai. Members also discussed items and recommendations on the agenda including the draft Strategic Plan of the Dubai Free Zone Council, the development of a law to finance infrastructure projects in free zones and the unifying of labor contracts for workers in these hubs in accordance with the labor laws of the emirate of Dubai.
Preventing Double Taxation
The members of the Dubai Free Zone Council also underlined the need to cooperate with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in abiding with the international agreements signed by the UAE with regard to preventing double taxation. The Council committed to providing the Ministry with necessary information and data to improve the classification of the UAE – as per the standards of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information.
For its part, the Ministry of Finance presented the UAE’s obligations in the prevention of double taxation. Till date, the UAE has ratified 97 agreements for the prevention of double taxation and four agreements for the exchange of information for tax purposes. The Council discussed ways to attract more investments through identifying appropriate solutions to some of the challenges highlighted in the feedback received on the UAE’s free zones.
Ease of Company Transfer
The Dubai Free Zone Council approved a decision to facilitate the transfer of companies among the free zones in the emirate of Dubai. A company that is looking to relocate to a new free zone can now transfer its complete registration and record to the new hub without having to cancel its outstanding registration and/or liquidating the business. This will give companies wishing to relocate to a more appropriate environment in Dubai the necessary financial and administrative stability to do so. Following in-depth research and analysis of various measures within the UAE and abroad, the legal committee has developed a framework that will allow seamless transfer of companies between free zones, as directed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Strategic Plan of the Council
A strategic committee prepared the Strategic Plan of the Council that is aligned to the goals and objectives of the Dubai Strategy 2021. To be shared with an international firm in the field of evaluation and assessment, the Strategic Plan will realize the Councils’ ultimate goals through proposing appropriate projects and initiatives.
The Dubai Free Zone Council members also reviewed a draft law on the governance of the relationship between government entities and free zone areas. The draft was generated following a meeting of the legal committee with the individual free zones, their legislative committees and the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai.
Unified Employment Contracts
Furthermore, the Dubai Free Zone Council debated the recommendation to unify employment contracts across free zones, in accordance with the regulations stipulated in the UAE Labour Law. His Highness directed the Council members to put together a sample contract for working within the free zone areas.
The Dubai Free Zone Council was established in April 2015 through law No. 13 of 2015 issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to develop and qualify Dubai’s free zones to attract investments and establish an advanced investment environment that contributes to promoting industry, commerce, tourism and the services sectors in Dubai. The Council comprises senior officials of the various free zones in Dubai as well as the Director General of Dubai Municipality and the Director General of State Security in Dubai.