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DED issues permits to 163 free zone companies


The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has permitted 163 free zone companies to operate in mainland Dubai following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed earlier this year between DED and the Dubai Free Zones Council. The MoU sought to enable free zone entities in Dubai to expand their operations across the emirate, and strengthen Dubai's reputation for attracting investments, promoting entrepreneurship and facilitating business development.

Nearly 34,780 free zone companies in Dubai are expected to benefit from the agreement between DED and the Dubai Free Zones Council. Free zone companies in the services sector can apply for a DED permit by producing a no-objection certificate from their respective free zone authority. The service for which the DED permit is sought must not be subject to any other regulator in the emirate and the application must be submitted to DED in the prescribed format.

The DED launched 'Dubai Blockchain Business Registry' as part of 'Dubai Blockchain Strategy' launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with the goal of achieving a quantum leap in the efficiency of government transactions. The project seeks to integrate business registration and licensing thereby creating an efficient and seamless experience that will further simplify the process of starting and running a business anywhere in Dubai. The Registry will be a repository of digitised business licenses and related documents and will ensure regulatory compliance across the business ecosystem in Dubai.

The 'Dubai Blockchain Business Registry' is now being implemented at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated technology park of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, where licensing information is shared across the blockchain to provide quick and easy access to data.

Free zones that are not linked to the 'Dubai Blockchain Business Registry' yet can register manually through the approved service centres within a period of three months, thus upgrading their services and simplifying their licensing processes. Unifying business registration and licensing date will further enhance the role and relevance of free zones while also rendering overall economic outcomes in Dubai stronger and sustainable.

The Blockchain Business Registry Project reflects the economic strategy of Dubai to advance towards Industry 4.0 and enhance the efficiencies across government transactions. It also aims to integrate best practices and state-of-the-art technologies for improved competitiveness, value added services and customer satisfaction while also achieving increased security of digital data and reduced operational costs.

The Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in DED has also signed an agreement with axs, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, to license and register free zone companies in TECOM. A smart gateway for integrated services, axs serves as a one-stop shop for TECOM Group entities to fulfill their varied requirements, from business licensing and registration to office space leasing.

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