Smart commerce and ease of doing business will be among the key indexes of world economies in the next decade. Free trade zones will emerge as critical hubs guiding investments, creating jobs and leading innovation.
Simple company setup procedures, affordable rates, and a favourable trading location will all come together to create an environment that’s hard to beat.
Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) Free Trade Zone (FTZ), a strategic initiative of the Government of Umm Al Quwain, UAE, aims to do just that – creating a strategic economic hub and industrial smart city by 2025.
So here are five big reasons why you should look to Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone as the platform to help your company flourish.
1. Advanced infrastructure that embraces the future
Located 45km from Dubai, UAQ’s status as a prosperous emirate with a progressive infrastructure is increasing as it heads for smart city status from 2025.
The redevelopment plans confirmed in March 2019 will see UAQ become a sustainable industrial smart city perfectly aligned for startups and SMEs. It has a lot to offer, whether you work in logistics, or outsourcing, or setting up a research and development hub. From fintech to green energy, UAQ is your new home.
Why? Well, the smart city will function as an independent business and industrial hub, with amenities for families and employees such as housing, schools, hospitals, hotels, shopping malls and even an art and exhibition centre.
Smart city infrastructure can save you money
Umm Al Quwain remains somewhat under the radar with many entrepreneurs as compared to other cities. But this means you will save on costs including basic setup, office rental, labour, and living expenses.
The investment behind the city is growing rapidly. According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UAE’s economy is forecasted to grow by 3.8 per cent between 2019 and 2023. So UAQ’s own development plans are pointing towards a thriving future.
UAQ is embracing the future of business
The recent Startup Weekend Umm Al Quwain 2019 (in partnership with Techstars, Google for Startups, and UAQ Council), illustrates the growing status of the emirate and the potential for the UAQ Free Trade Zone to become a hub across diverse startup sectors including technology, beauty, and fashion.
Sheikh Khalid Bin Rashid Al Mualla, Chairman of the UAQ Free Trade Zone, noted that UAQ is keen to ‘Embrace innovative ideas and technological companies’ and see this ethos adopted by SME owners and entrepreneurs.
2. Cost saving for entrepreneurs and manufacturers
When it comes to economics, you’re likely to find that UAQ Free Trade Zone is an intriguing option that may save you large amounts of money, without sacrificing on quality.
Trade licence savings
The UAQ’s economy is structured to attract entrepreneurs, with attractively priced trade licences that can be issued within one working day. The UAQ Free Trade Zone helps you free up capital to focus on areas such as recruitment, marketing, stock, and new product development.
Office space and warehousing
Office, warehouse and land space can all be leased in UAQ Free Trade Zone, potentially saving hundreds or thousands of dollars a month. Crucially, the quality of business property available is comparable and in many cases superior to other locations.
3. Investor-friendly rules and regulations
Thanks to forward-thinking authorities who are keen to attract startups at UAQ Free Trade Zone, there are several investor-friendly rules and regulations.
No proof of capital needed to start up
No proof of capital is required to get started, which is very useful if you’re still waiting for official investor confirmation or you simply want to start the process before your plans are finalised.
The setup process is one of the easiest you will find in the UAE when it comes to company formation and obtaining the legal right to start trading.
Modern business laws
You can benefit from some very innovative regulations, such as the option to have up to 50 shareholders, as well as multiple license options within the same entity.
4. Strategic economic hub
The free zone location in UAQ will give you the option to start up in a strategic logistical hub, located alongside the highway (Mohammed Bin Zayed Road E311) which connects UAQ with other emirates including Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
UAQ Free Trade Zone is also positioned close to two international airports as well as multiple seaports – offering excellent logistics for different types of import and export businesses.
Set up in a strategic economic hub
The redevelopment of UAQ Free Zone has been designed to turn it into a strategic economic hub, so you can expect to see business increasingly flow between the UAE and Africa and Asia, with UAQ as a key centre point.
Benefits for back-end operation
One key feature of the UAQ Free Trade Zone’s two million square metre redevelopment for the future is the feasibility of running your back-end operations at very affordable rates compared to cities with inflated rates.
If your business relies on back offices, R&D centres, data management and processing, business process outsourcing and legal outsourcing, a UAQ setup could be even more valuable.
5. Quick setup
The UAQ Free Trade Zone is geared to help first-time entrepreneurs navigate the legal and practical requirements necessary when creating a new business.
By tapping into its network of consultants and experts, you can start up in UAQ Free Trade Zone without worrying that you’re making mistakes during the setup process. You can also discuss the ideal location for your business before the redevelopment’s prime locations are filled.
Earlier this month, the UAQ FTZ won the Qadat Al Tagheer Award 2019 for the Best Free Zone for Startups and SMEs at the 5th UAE-India Economic Forum 2019 (UIEF).
Get a feel for UAQ
It’s well worth visiting the emirate to get a feel for its work and lifestyle culture and to take a look at the UAQ Free Trade Zone.
From smart city evolution, sustained investment and strategic location – to fast company setup and low business costs, UAQ Free Trade Zone could be your ideal startup location.