Ismail Al Naqi
Ismail Al Naqi, Director General of Free Zones Authority of Ajman, addressing a keynote session, 'An ecosystem designed for growth' at the Gulf News Invest UAE seminar Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/ Gulf News

Free Zones Authority of Ajman is targeting to register over 10,000 companies this year, which marks a 100 per cent increase from last year, Ismail Al Naqi, Director General of Free Zones Authority of Ajman, told Gulf News on the sidelines of Invest UAE seminar at Taj Dubai, Business Bay.

“Last year we successfully registered 5,000 companies. This year, reflecting our ambitious spirit, we have set a target to double this number. This growth target is an expression of our confidence in the conducive business environment we strive to create and maintain within the UAE,” he said.

Free Zones Authority of Ajman operates Ajman Free Zone, Al Zorah Free Zone, Ajman China Mall and Ajman Car Souq, and Ajman Media City, Platinum Sponsor of Gulf News’ Invest UAE seminar. Bringing together industry experts from free zones, business set-up, legal, taxation, and accounting realms, Invest UAE showcased lucrative business opportunities within the UAE.

Achieving this target required a transformative overhaul of Ajman Free Zones’ internal processes. “We've revamped our entire product offerings through collaborative effort with industry experts and entrepreneurs. This includes streamlining licence set-ups, facilitating employment visas, and providing seamless access to banking, finance and co-working spaces,” said Al Naqi.

Zero bureaucracy in business set-up

Embracing the UAE's zero bureaucracy approach, Free Zones Authority of Ajman has eliminated unnecessary red tape involved in establishing and running a business.

“We are among the fastest growing authority globally in terms of company registrations. Entrepreneurs can now establish businesses at Ajman Free Zone and Ajman Media City with just one click— this is a testament to our commitment to efficiency and support for entrepreneurial success in the UAE.”

Free Zones Authority of Ajman aligns closely with the strategic vision of the UAE to position itself as a global hub across various industries.

“To support this vision, we focus on understanding the needs of start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to establish or expand their businesses within the UAE. Our approach involves co-creating products, solutions, and services through a scientific process with our current and potential clients. This method ensures that we listen to their needs, address their challenges, and proactively eliminate any obstacles they may face. By doing so, we aim to provide an optimal ecosystem that fosters their success and contributes to both their individual achievements and the overall success of the UAE,” he explained.

To achieve its goal of registering 10,000 companies across diverse industries, Free Zones Authority of Ajman is expanding its international alliances and aggressively promoting the UAE worldwide. “This effort spans countries like Russia, India, Pakistan, the UK, Germany, China, Korea, and the US, aiming not just for investments but also to realise the UAE's vision of a knowledge-based economy. We attract talent, entrepreneurs, and businesses that contribute to the region's rapid growth.”

Regarding sectoral growth, Free Zones Authority of Ajman caters comprehensively from freelancers to start-ups, SMEs, and large industries. “Our support extends to 120 freelancer categories. For start-ups and SMEs, we offer licensing across 4,000 activities, classified under the International Standard Industrial Classifications (ISIC) standards, covering various verticals. We also facilitate industrial ventures such as oil and gas, food processing, healthcare, logistics, supply chain management, and engineering. Additionally, we provide licensing for offshore structures,” he pointed out.

In its journey to support entrepreneurs, Free Zones Authority of Ajman aims to be more than just partners.

“We strive to be integral to their success. Beyond registration, we offer comprehensive concierge services, understanding the challenges entrepreneurs face. Our goal is to incorporate cross-sector benchmarks to maximise value for our business community. Our ultimate objective is sincere and honest: add value to our business community and play a significant role in contributing to the development of the creative and knowledge economy in the UAE.”