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The Dubai Free Zones Council (DFZ Council) held its 19th meeting, headed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Free Zones Council, to discuss the Council’s action plan to support Dubai’s dynamic economy as it promisingly tops ranks of various economic and investment indices. During the meeting, council members also explored how to facilitate opening business bank accounts for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), opportunities to attract Emirati talent to free zones, and other topics related to business sectors that operate within Dubai’s free zones.

Exceptional Initiatives

Commenting on DFZ Council’s meeting, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “The Council’s initiatives is commitment to its role to drive Dubai’s economic development towards a comprehensive economic ecosystem, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The vision reflects directly on enhancing Dubai’s status as a global investment destination and a model for complementary specialized economic free zones serving different sectors, hence enhancing trade of companies in free zones across the emirate.”

Banking Facilities for SMEs

During the meeting, council members also explored how to facilitate opening business bank accounts for SMEs based in Dubai’s free zones, especially those that are facing difficulties, in collaboration with the UAE Banks Federation. These facilities align with Dubai’s strategy to boost ease of doing business and strengthen its status as a global destination for investors and entrepreneurs.

Employee Workplace Savings Plans for Expats

A team from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) briefed DFZ Council members about DIFC’s Employee Workplace Savings Program for Expats. The DIFC team detailed the expected revenue from implementing such a program in free zones and called on council members to benefit from its advantages, noting that such programs play an active role in supporting the economy.

Attracting Investments for the Future

In line with Dubai’s status as one of the most active economic and investment hubs globally, council members discussed circulating the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) revision 4, an international reference classification system of economic activities. Its main purpose is to provide a set of activity categories for collecting and reporting statistics accurately and transparently across Dubai. The implementation of ISIC Rev. 4 will raise the UAE’s rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index, as well as unify data for all relevant authorities, which ensures compliance with local classification and requirements of international bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).


Representatives from DP World and Jebel Ali Free Zone presented the TUMOOHI (My Ambition) program, which encourages and empowers Emirati talent to gain real experience across sectors and industries.

During the meeting, DFZ Council members agreed to support the program, enhance Emiratis’ contribution to the private sector, and train them in large companies based in free zones.

Council members also highlighted their readiness to support the Emirati Human Resources Development Council in Dubai, which DFZ Council joins as a member. DFZ Council members endorsed their support for all initiatives that aim to boost the capabilities of Emiratis and offer them job opportunities.

Source: APCO Worldwide