A Quarterly Newsletter from the UAE and Oman member firms of the PKF International Ltd.

VOL 14, Issue 1 January 2012

Free Zone Update

Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone – one of UAE’s fastest growing free zones

The Jumeirah Lakes Towers (‘JLT’) Free Zone is a dynamic waterfront community encompassing both commercial and residential towers alongside hotels and retail outlets. The JLT Free Zone provides the perfect location for any company to set up, offering a full range of business activities and a guarantee of 0% corporate and personal Income Tax, 100% business ownership, as well as products and services such as flexi desks and serviced offices for clients looking for a fast and efficient ‘plug and go’ solution.

Designed to provide the physical infrastructure for businesses looking to set up in Dubai, JLT offers both a living and working environment in a 200-hectare mixed-use free zone development. Envisioned as a unique master development, nurturing both business and community living, the free zone offers freehold property for sale and lease and is already home to over 4,000 companies and 23,000 residents in 63 towers – making it one of UAE’s fastest growing free zones.

Central to the development is the majestic Almas Tower, housing the headquarters of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). DMCC is the licensing authority for the JLT Free Zone. A strategic initiative by the Dubai government aimed at providing both physical and financial infrastructure and the support required to further develop commodity trade through Dubai, DMCC offers a fast and efficient well regulated licensing process, a fit-for-purpose modern infrastructure, free-hold property, trade networking platforms and a full range of value added products and services.

With its close proximity to the Dubai Logistic Corridors, the world’s largest multi-modal logistics platform linking sea, land and air, JLT is the ideal location for international companies seeking to establish regional headquarters in Dubai. With over 150 shipping lines and more than 200 air destinations worldwide, Dubai has a vast logistics network ensuring fast transportation of goods. Moreover, JLT is centrally located, just 30 minutes from both Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport, and 45 minutes from UAE’s capital city, Abu Dhabi and is adjacent to an extensive roads network that links Dubai with the other Emirates and surrounding countries. The free zone is also served by a vast public transportation system, which includes two metro stations.

During 2011, the JLT Free Zone has achieved numerous successes, including registering 1,354 companies during the year, an increase of 85%+ over 2010. DMCC has registered an average of more than 110 new members each month, bringing the total of registered members to over 4,000.

2011 also witnessed the introduction of DMCC’s new Client Service Centre, located on the first floor of Almas Tower. The new Centre gives companies access to all free zone services under one roof: from setting up and licensing new businesses to visa applications and locating the most suitable office space. The Centre also offers direct access to all major government services, utilities and business support services. Together with other procedures to speed up registration and licensing introduced earlier this year, the Centre will ensure that the JLT Free Zone retains its position as one of the most efficient and business-friendly free zones in Dubai.

In addition to the centre, DMCC also launched a new online portal that features available commercial or retail properties within JLT Free zone, helping existing and potential member companies looking to find the most suitable space for their businesses. This portal is the first of its kind launched by a free zone, and the DMCC Commercial Property Sales and Leasing division is available to provide further help by offering property consultancy services to both sub-developers and to individual clients and investors, advising them on the wide choice of available property to lease or buy in JLT.

The JLT Free Zone continues to grow and attract individuals and companies from all business sectors across the globe. Proximity to the growing markets and developments in new Dubai makes JLT one of the most sought after mixed-use developments, and it is fast becoming the destination of choice to live, work and play.