Sharjah: His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Tuesday issued an Emiri Decree setting up the Sharjah Media City (SMC) Free Zone.

The location of the city will be determined by a resolution to be issued by the Sharjah Ruler.

The decree stipulates that the SMC will be an independent corporate body with financial and administrative independence.

The objectives of the SMC will be to develop and house human resources that operate in the field of media and innovation.

The SMC will also aim to be a regional leader in the field of education, media training, creativity and in the development of high quality innovative content.

The decree stipulates the specialisations of the SMC, while taking into consideration the relevant federal and local legislation.

The city will offer management support services and any other services that help achieve its goals. It will set up companies, institutions and projects in the SMC, in addition to specifying and regulating licensed operations and activities within free zone.

Its specialisations include the purchase, lease or ownership of transferrable or non-transferrable assets that are required in the carrying out its duties. It will also set up agreements with other free zones to allow companies and institutions in the SMC to practice their activities in them.

The decree stipulates that SMC will be managed by an executive body that will consist of a chairman appointed through an Emiri Decree. The chairman will be responsible for generally supervising the SMC, as well as proposing policies, projects and programmes for the free zone and following up on their implementation after they are approved by the Ruler of Sharjah.

The free zone’s financial resources include funds granted to it by the government, self-generated revenue — including operating profits and gains from investments it has made — as well as loans that have been approved by the Sharjah Ruler.

The decree also exempts companies and institutions, as well as individuals and employees in the SMC, from paying any taxes imposed in the emirate, including income tax related to their work in the SMC for a period of 50 years, which can be renewed through a decision issued by the SMC Chairman.

SMC will also be exempted from any form of taxes or local fees. The decree comes into effect from the date of its issuance, and annuls any other laws that contradicts its bylaws. The decree will be published in the official gazette.