Martin G. Pedersen, Chairman, IFZA

How does IFZA stay at the forefront of innovation and support the development Of SMEs in the UAE?

All successful economies worldwide have one key factor in common - a strong and growing presence of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). In the UAE, SMEs are responsible for over 43 per cent of the total workforce and 40 per cent of the total GDP.

IFZA is committed to enhancing the performance of SMEs to ensure that they can compete with their counterparts in other developed nations. Our strategy involves providing a fully digitised and personalised company incorporation process through our strong network of globally located Professional Partners.

What are some of the key trends and developments that you see shaping the future of business in Dubai?

The UAE is currently experiencing a digital paradigm shift with 40% of all ICT investment being allocated to this transformation. Entities of all sizes are incorporating emerging technology into their core strategy, leveraging new capabilities unlocked by the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). Among other business trends, the introduction of the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai helps businesses comply with specific rules for digital assets available, including NFTs and utility tokens. This is only the beginning. The D33 plan will drive the dynamic landscape of business setup in Dubai and pave the way for sustained economic growth and prosperity.

How Does IFZA Build a Strong and Supportive Community of Businesses, And What Role Does Trust Play in This Process?

Despite the rapid advancements in technology, business is still based on relationships between people, with trust as its essential foundation.

People only trust when they have a sense of understanding from people they know. This line of trust encourages the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and, yes, business.

Our international team of Free Zone experts either come from or are deeply familiar with the cultures of our target markets – to build relationships and establish trust. We have also formed strategic collaborations with government organizations, business councils, and international associations such as the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO).

IFZA exists to bridge international investors to Dubai and to contribute to its economic prosperity by offering world-class benefits through its unique Free Zone community.

What can we expect from IFZA in the future?

We will continue to forge strategic partnerships and collaborations, both locally and internationally. Dubai provides the perfect environment to help us achieve this ambitious goal and as a Free Zone community, we are confident in our ability to nurture the growth of a wider spectrum of investors and industries in the region.

We aim to consolidate the thriving environment that SMEs, start-ups, and established businesses find in Dubai Free Zones by offering support beyond business.