Saud Salim AlMazrouei, Director, Hamriyah Free Zone Image Credit: Supplied

The Dubai Expo 2020 launched on October 1, 2021. What is your personal message to the citizens of Dubai, the UAE and the world on this momentous occasion?

Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo to be held in the MENA region, with the participation of over 200 entities, inviting visitors from all over the world to celebrate innovation, creativity, progress and culture towards building a new world.

This event will be a major catalyst for the UAE and comes at the right time to set the tone for economic recovery and create a positive environment for businesses to thrive.

I wish the UAE government all the best and I am sure Expo 2020 will be a huge success.

As one of the leading free zone bodies in the UAE, what does Hamriyah FTZ have to offer potential investors and global entrepreneurs visiting Expo 2020 and looking to set up shop in the UAE?

Hamriyah Free Zone Authority’s vision is to provide an excellent reliable and trusted economic environment that nurtures innovation, growth and transformation for the global economy by offering partners and investors seamless solutions when incorporating companies within its tax-free economic zone, providing world-class logistics, manufacturing and operational infrastructure. All this is while providing global connectivity that supports financial efficiency and commercial support regulated by the Emirate of Sharjah in the UAE.

How do you see the UAE’s vibrant free zones sector expanding after Expo 2020, and how does HFZA plan to contribute to this growth story?

The Expo 2020 will serve a significant boost to the UAE economy. Introduction and expansion of various free zones will help stimulate economic development, create jobs, boost and diversify exports, and expedite the industrialisation process of the economy at lower costs for the government.

HFZA aims at ensuring the business continuity of our investor companies and providing them the support they need to successfully run their operations. New businesses and existing companies will find our investor-friendly ecosystem built around the emerging needs of the markets in a growth climate beyond the pandemic.

What roles will technology and digital solutions play as HFZA becomes future ready?

We are aiming to future-proof ourselves through innovation in our product and service offerings and driving digital transformation across our various departments to continue to offer top of the line customer experience to our partners and investors.

What unique value propositions do HFZA have to offer local businesses planning to set up operations in Sharjah?

As part of our commitment to our investors, we offer the following after-care support:

- Access to VIP Lounge – to fast track visa, licensing and other business-related requirements

- E-services portal – convenient access to over 300+ online services for visas, renewals and other services

- Collaboration with Bee’ah – the premier waste disposal management company delivers unique services, including audits, permits and lab services, to all investors that operate at Hamriyah Free Zone.

- Networking opportunities with other investors

- Marketing Support – HFZA regularly conducts joint marketing campaigns with HFZA investors including event participation, marketing communications like photography, videography, success stories and press releases etc.

- Interface with Customs and Ports Authority, Sharjah Municipality and other relevant regulatory bodies

- Food safety and quality training, food testing and lab services, consultancy and certification services

- Engagement with experts, consultants and business investors

- Coaching and mentoring for 100 per cent compliance

Sharjah is looking to expand its industrial footprint in the coming years. How is HFZA aligned to the needs of the Emirate in this regard?

Over the last few decades, HFZA has emerged as a strong pillar in Sharjah’s economic performance. From attracting foreign investment to creating employment and implementing latest technologies, HFZA has laid the ground for a future where business transcends geographical borders and economic divisions.

HFZA is committed to building a business conducive ecosystem for our investors and accelerate their growth and competitiveness. This stems from our strong commitment towards our investors and is a part of our mission to provide an incubating environment for their business.

This commitment has reinforced the deep confidence and global reputation that HFZA enjoys as a leading destination for international and local investors.

How is HFZA steering business and sectorial trends in a new direction in anticipation of change in consumer demand in a post-Covid world?

The pandemic brought about an unprecedented effect on the world. HFZA proactively responded by shifting to digital transactions and minimising face-to-face contact to mitigate risk. Moving forward, we offer an array of products and services often personalised to an investor’s specific need. We focus more on developing strong logistics infrastructures, transformative technology without losing sight on sustainability. As HFZA evolves, we remain to be the hub where businesses thrive and reach their full potential.