Over the years, free zones have made a vital contribution to economic growth of a country by promoting international and national trade. It is an integral part of the UAE’s trade and commerce and has made a notable impact on the influx of international investors and businesspeople who want to start their own business in the country.
Free zones have made it possible for expats and locals to set-up the foundation of their businesses and, which has in turn helped in accelerating the region’s growth. The credit for the success of a particular free zone is primarily due to its ability to achieve business excellence and contribution to economic growth. But in reality, the backbone of free zones is its infrastructure.
While the word infrastructure is a commonly used term in the construction sector, in broader terms, it also refers to a free zone’s facilities, operations and amenities. Free zones are home to businesses across various sectors including agriculture, automotive, chemicals, construction, education, entertainment, food and beverages, health, insurance, jewelry, legal, marine, media, oil and gas, packaging, real estate, shipment, sport, technology, and textiles.
A strong infrastructure helps a free zone function and operate seamlessly. Sections of free zones are designed for different purposes which are dependent on the trade activity of businesses. It is crucial to have a dependable infrastructure which serves every industry. Not just physical assets, but human assets also make up the infrastructure of a free zone along with efficient administrative processes.
The top priority for a free zone should be its location. Ensuring easy accessibility to roads, airports, and seaports is one of the major attractions for people looking to set up business. Warehouse placement within the free zone also plays a major role as manufacturing processes in factories or laboratories may be hazardous and noisy, and it would be optimal to place it at secure sections. Use of modern technologies in warehouses is also a contributing factor to the infrastructure.
Parking spaces, medical facilities and employee residences are also some of the important parts of the infrastructure. Additionally, its is important to have efficient administrative processes that facilitate application processes for resident and employment visas.
Essentially, setting-up a business in a free zone has proven to be easier and beneficial for numerous investors. But it should be kept in mind that the glue that holds a free zone together is its infrastructure, which makes processes at all stages of a business seamless and hassle-free.