Free zones in Dubai have done well in terms of linkages to downstream production chain, labour market and banking sector outside the free zones in the emirate, according to the findings of a recent study.
The findings are with the exception of Jebel Ali Free Zone with regard to sourcing of local inputs. Presently, a total of 23 free zones are now operating in Dubai and more are under planning stage or under construction.
The Economic Policy & Research Center (EPRC), the operational arm of Dubai Economic Council, recently conducted an economic policy study entitled: ‘Assessing Linkages between free zones and Dubai main,’ with the theme that aimed to assess the relationship between the free zones and non-free zone in the emirate and its impact on each other.
The presence of incentives have made the Dubai free zones an attractive prospective for potential business investments. Some of these incentives include the absence of customs duties and quotas, 100 per cent foreign ownership, competitive land rates with long term renewable leases etc.
Firms located in free zones have similar to better linkages capabilities than their counterparts in Dubai main. In addition, suggestions were made by the study to implement policies that would enable further contribution to the overall economy.
As of 2010, free zones in Dubai are home to over 14,300 companies of all types.