VentureSouq And Latham & Watkins Launch Platform To Help UAE Entrepreneurs Evaluate Free Zones

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While entrepreneurs working to set up shop in the UAE are sure spoilt for choice when it comes to the number of free zones across the country, comparing the myriad options and identifying the most appropriate environment to set up their business remains a difficult task. Recognizing that this process could do with a bit of expert guidance, GCC-based investment platform VentureSouq in partnership with law firm Latham & Watkins, has launched the UAE Free Zone Navigator, a platform to help entrepreneurs, investors, and companies "determine the most appropriate free trade zone when looking to establish a presence in the UAE." According to a statement, the Free Zone Navigator compares 11 popular free zones across 19 industries ranging from e-commerce and fintech to gaming and augmented reality.

The online guide is said to offer two interactive comparative tools to assist with understanding the implications of setting shop in the popular free zones across multiple industries. The first tool is the Industry Matrix that identifies which free zones permit businesses operating in specific sectors; the second is The Free Zone Comparator, a tool providing a side-by-side comparison of the various legal, regulatory, and economic considerations to establishing a business in the different free zones. The statement by the two companies adds that while "the UAE's 45 Free Trade Zones offer startups a simpler establishment, labor, and immigration procedures, and permit 100% foreign ownership," each of these zones are governed by their own distinct rules and regulations that need to be understood well before setting up business.

Image credit: VentureSouq.

The platform was unveiled by Tammer Qaddumi, partner at VentureSouq, at the just-concluded ArabNet Digital Summit 2018 in Dubai. Launching the platform, Qaddumi noted, "The Free Zone Navigator is intended to help early-stage companies, both regionally and internationally, move into new markets quickly and efficiently in order to help them grow." He added: "We view market access as the principal obstacle for companies looking to scale regionally. The Free Zone Navigator will be one of many tools that we roll-out to help provide transparency in doing business across the entire region."

Aspiring entrepreneurs in the UAE, so what are you waiting for? Hurry and visit the UAE Free Zone Navigator here, to find out the best option for your business.

Related: The Pros And Cons Of Setting Up An Enterprise In A UAE Free Zone