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Middle East Focus – February 2019

UAE’s fintech adoption picks up pace

The UAE has taken a lead in regional ‘fintech’ investments and banking technology adoption in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to a recent study by the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

“Fintech can deepen and enhance the efficiencies of financial systems, broaden access to financial services, support economic development and promote inclusive growth in developing and emerging economies,” said Boban Markovic, IIF research analyst at the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

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KIZAD – the new and improved JAFZA?

The Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) is a massive 417-km2 industrial park that is strategically located halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Launched in 2012, it has already emerged as a serious competitor to the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA).

KIZAD specialises in industrial activities, logistics and trading and is intrinsically linked to Khalifa Port, one of the world’s most advanced deep-sea ports. This strategic joint port and industrial zone proposition has assumed a major role in the region’s manufacturing and transportation sectors.

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Buy a house and get a free trade licence!

Emaar, one of the largest Dubai-based real estate companies, is offering a trade licence to buyers of the 184 units it is currently developing at the Dubai Hills Estate. The project is primarily targeted at entrepreneurs and small businesses that opt to work from home or require home-based offices.

Emaar has signed an exclusive agreement with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) to offer a three-year renewable trade licence worth AED130,000 to buyers putting down a 20% deposit of the asking price.

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New deal tor Tech Start-ups in Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has introduced a new ‘Tech Start-up Licence’, a commercial licence that is not sector specific and which enables entrepreneurs to operate with the same advantages as other ADGM companies, including the benefits of an English common law framework.

The ADGM is a financial free zone located in the heart of Abu Dhabi. It occupies the whole of Al Maryah Island and has been designated the financial centre of Abu Dhabi, with its own civil and commercial laws. Established by Federal Decree in 2013, the ADGM is designed to act as a catalyst for the growth of a dynamic financial services sector in the UAE.

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