23 Feb 2024 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
UAE leaders congratulate Saudi King on Founding DaySharjah Ruler opens Al Eqd Al Fareed School in Dibba Al HisnSharjah's panel explores Japan-Singapore educational modelsKhalifa Fund launches 'Business Opportunities in Priority Sectors' workshopRTA announces opening of Deira Old Souq Marine Transport StationUAE sends thousands of food and medical parcels to Palestinians in Gaza StripEmirates Flight Catering fully acquires BustanicaUAE leaders congratulate President of Kosovo on Independence DayMohammed bin Rashid: UAE non-oil foreign trade of goods and services surpassed AED3.5 trillion in 2023 for first timeNASA looking for volunteers to live in isolation for a year, simulating Mars missionDigital Dubai awarded great place to work certificateMinister of Justice showcases UAE's digital government strategy at WGSAbu Dhabi to host 'Annual Financial Restructuring MENA Conference' on February 19WGS 2024: MBRSG launches Arab Region Sustainable Development Index and Dashboard 2023/2024Rain 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solidarity with China; offers condolences‘Islamic Affairs’ opens Al Tarahum Mosque in SharjahSultan bin Ahmed witnesses graduation ceremony of UOS’s studentsUAE leaders greet King of Denmark on his accession to the throneBahrain participates in World Economic Forum'Inclusivity a key factor in our success; COP28 had to be a COP of action, COP for all': Sultan Al JaberSecond edition of 'Rising Stars Arabia' to begin tomorrow in Abu DhabiDepartment of Community Development launches 'Sports for All Policy' in Abu DhabiSharjah Ruler establishes Sharjah Digital DepartmentSharjah draws key industrial investmentsDubai Investments confirms first overseas project - in AngolaSheikh Mohammed announces launch of winter tourism campaignADX confirms Ghannam Butti Al Mazrouei as new ChairmanDubai's Umm Suqeim Street set for Dh332m upgradeGold prices in Dubai Today Sunday 7 January 2024Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi appointed to UAE Cabinet in reshuffleUAE delegation participates in UN Peacekeeping 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demise of Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-SabahGPSSA: New Federal Decree Law No. 57 of 2023 encourages Emiratis to join labour marketUAE launches three water desalination plants to supply Gaza with drinking waterAl Qassimi Hospital saves patient with early heart attack using Japanese Makoto deviceNCM warns of fog formation and poor visibilitySharjah Chamber rolls out strategic business leadership programme for government directorsDubai set to become a '20-minute city'Sharjah Council elections record 87 per cent voters’ turn outDubai Taxi Company makes good first impression on DFM - stock up 17% in 5 minutesUAE National Banks’ sustainable finance pledge reaffirms leadership’s goals: UBFRas Al Khaimah hosts 6th International Conference on Global Warming: The Critical Role of OceansUAE set to provide humanitarian response stationsOn 52nd Union Day, UAE President, Bahrain King, and Mauritanian President witness March of the Union by tribal membersEmirati integrated field hospital 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organisers stress need to use Dubai Metro as tens of thousands of visitors dueTheyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed visits Palestinian children & their families receiving treatment in UAE hospitalsUAE aid convoy sets off towards Rafah crossing, bound for Gaza StripUAE unveils roadmap to target of halving food waste by 2030UAE welcomes first plane as part of its initiative to host 1,000 Palestinian childrenOn behalf of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Sheikha Alyazia bint Saif participates in the 'United for Peace in Palestine' meeting hosted by TürkiyeUAE to have new space law by first quarter of 2024: Space agency chiefdubai Airports’ 2023 forecast sees DXB soar beyond 2019 traffic to reach 86.8mDubai Airshow 2023: Emirates signs 'big' deals with SafranEmirates to build new US$ 950 million engineering facilityMohammed bin Rashid issues Law on ‘Dubai Taxi CompanyUAE dispatches 100 tonnes of food and medical supplies to support Palestinians in Gaza as part of 'Tarahum for Gaza' humanitarian 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Businesses to get 'operational' flexibility if Dubai allows them to choose free zones

Businesses in Dubai have already experienced significant flexibility in terms of licensing and operational reach. The potential for companies to select their free zone base would further enhance this flexibility. A consultant noted that such a decision would provide businesses with extensive operational flexibility, rather than solely focusing on tax considerations. Currently, licensed businesses are required to operate within free zones that are operationally aligned with their activities. Any change to this requirement would be advantageous for businesses. 

The Dubai Free Zones Council recently discussed the possibility of allowing businesses to choose their free zones, as well as regulating free zone licensed entities with operations on the mainland. This could involve obtaining a permit from the relevant licensing authority and opening a branch in the emirate to conduct business from the same location as the free zone. 

Pankaj S. Jain, Managing Director at AskPankaj Tax Advisors, noted that the potential decision to allow companies to choose their operational free zones was previously discussed in relation to Dubai's 'D33' vision. The market is eagerly awaiting clarity on whether this decision would apply to both existing licensed businesses and new entrants.What are the current regulations in place? According to Marco De Leo, Managing Partner at the consultancy BonelliErede, the company incorporation regulations in certain free zones in Dubai, namely DIFC and DMCC, already contain provisions that permit companies to transfer to or from the relevant free zone. This option is commonly referred to as "transfer in continuity." The applicant company may choose to transfer to a new free zone from another jurisdiction or transfer away from its current free zone of incorporation, which may involve another free zone in the UAE or a jurisdiction outside the UAE. However, the transfer process is document-intensive and subject to thorough review by the relevant free zone authority.MAINLAND PRESENCE FOR COMPANIES IN DUBAI FREE ZONES

According to current laws in the UAE, a free zone entity can only establish a mainland business through the use of agents. Atik Munshi, Managing Partner at Finexpertiza UA, stated that any move allowing free zone companies to establish a branch on Dubai mainland by obtaining a license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) would be significant. This would also simplify corporate tax compliance, as a mainland-based business could be easily separated. It is expected that the DED will soon permit Dubai free zone companies to open branch licenses on the mainland, and other emirates may follow suit.

Cost-effectiveness is another advantage of transferring to a new free zone. According to De Leo, the fees involved in completing a transfer of free zones are generally lower than those for liquidating an entity or incorporating a new one in the desired jurisdiction. Additionally, companies that transfer to a new free zone have the opportunity to select larger premises in more central and prominent locations in Dubai.

It is important for the transferring company to determine whether their chosen free zone offers the specific activity that the company carries out in its existing free zone, as certain free zones are tailored towards particular industries or sectors. Furthermore, the transferring company must ensure that the new choice provides sufficient office or warehousing space to meet its current and future expansion goals.