BUS IFZA Zarouni
Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman of the World Free Zones Organisation, addresses delegates at AICE 2023 in Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai has become a global model for the development and expansion of free zones, said Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman of the World Free Zones Organisation (World FZO), ahead of the 9th Annual International Conference & Exhibition (AICE) that got under way in Dubai on Tuesday.

“Dubai is home to some of the most successful free zones, which vary in terms of specialisations and sectors,” Dr Al Zarooni said, adding that the emirate’s free zones continue to serve as a benchmark of excellence for free zones globally by adopting the latest technology and innovation in their operations, policies, and laws.

“Undoubtedly, free zones in Dubai play a major role in driving the concept of the free zone model globally. On a local level, this sector conveys a message of success, providing the ideal infrastructure, services, facilities, economic incentives, and a dynamic business environment,” he added.

The opening ceremony of the event, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was attended by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

The event, which is one of the most significant organised by the World FZO since its establishment, is set to be a platform for representatives from free zones across the globe to discuss crucial topics and priorities related to the sector over two days – May 2 and 3, 2023.

The theme of this year’s edition is “Global Trade 2.0: Zones, An Ecosystem of Trust Driving Prosperity”, in keeping with the World FZO’s commitment to position free zones as one of the most reliable ways to promote intra-regional trade and the development of global supply chains at a local, regional, and global level.

Apart from more than 600 industry leaders and officials, investors, entrepreneurs and experts from the free zone, trade, and logistics sectors from more than 70 countries, the event is also being attended by ministers and high-level government delegates from several countries.

Dubai, which is the official headquarters of the World FZO, was chosen as the destination for the event due to its magnitude and strategic importance.