The Dubai Free Zones Council (DFZC) has announced new e-commerce regulations for free zones.
The initiative has been developed by an integrated organization that will enable greater foreign direct investment (FDI) in the e-commerce sector to flourish in Dubai.
DFZC set out details of its free zones e-commerce regulations that will increase the inflow of FDI and enhance the experience of free zone companies engaged in e-commerce activity, allowing them to realize the investment and trade opportunities generated by the sector globally and regionally from Dubai.
The initiative will primarily focus on establishing e-commerce conditions and controls by cooperating with Dubai Government authorities, in the form of joint teams and workshops that will support the adaptation to procedures and generate proposals that will make Dubai one of the most attractive cities in the world for free zone companies related to e-commerce. It will also examine mechanisms for adopting blockchain technology in order to enhance transparency and speed up the completion and automation of procedures and will create a stimulating and attractive environment for major global e-commerce companies as well as work hand-in-hand with DFZC members.
The Council believes that the initiative will have significant economic implications, such as reviving and expanding air cargo traffic in Dubai and addressing the rise in demand and supply of logistics services. Major logistics companies will have to compete against time and speed of delivering to consumers, aside cost and efficiency challenges demonstrated in managing the warehouses and logistics operations of local and global e-commerce companies. The UAE’s national economy will also witness high competition in e-payments, the IT sector and the emergence of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to provide different services within the e-commerce ecosystem, which will enhance their regional presence in Dubai.
“The Initiative will have a significant economic and social impact at the national level by increasing its competitiveness in operational efficiency. This in turn will lead to the design of intelligent and sophisticated solutions that will improve the overall experience of global supply chains in the e-commerce sector,” said HE Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Secretary-General of DFZC.
He added that the initiative will also encourage local talent and human resources to enter the sector, which will certainly enhance local competitiveness and generate plenty of career opportunities in both the UAE and the region, as well as act as the foundation to establish local companies to compete with international firms in the future, which will drive better opportunities for SMEs both locally and regionally. It will also change the retail ecosystem in Dubai and its neighboring markets to adopting non-traditional approaches in line with e-commerce-led developments.
The DFZC anticipates a promising future in e-commerce, which will transform Dubai to a regional hub across the Middle East, the growth of e-commerce investments is expected to reach $69 billion by 2020 in the Middle East, of which the GCC represents about 34 per cent. These indicators make Dubai an intuitive destination due to its geographical location and its advanced infrastructure, as well as the exceptional experience it offers to foreign investors and companies to enter markets and manage their business and operations easily through the free zones.