Martin G. Pedersen, Chairman, IFZA

How does IFZA position itself in Dubai's vision for the future?

Earlier this year, Dubai laid out its ten-year vision for the future, the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), which aims to double the size of Dubai's economy throughout the next decade and consolidate its position among the top three global economies.

As a dynamic and truly international Free Zone community in the UAE, IFZA has strategically positioned itself to contribute to this transformational vision. We are committed to supporting the growth of Dubai and its Free Zone sector by working with SMEs, investors and entrepreneurs to set up operations in Dubai to thrive in its can-do and business-friendly environment.

By supporting the establishment of thousands of businesses in Dubai each year, we are actively contributing to the growth and stability of the economic environment in Dubai and supporting the Government’s bold vision to develop the UAE’s economy.

We are committed to contributing to the government’s efforts in sharing the incredible story of UAE as a world-class destination to live, study and do business - both now and in the future.

From day one at IFZA, we took an active approach by stepping away from our desks. We went out into the world and developed a huge network of partners and agents to tell the story of Dubai and to encourage business set up in the UAE, because our fundamental purpose is to contribute to the UAE’s FDI by presenting Dubai to the world, and bringing the world – and its investors – to Dubai. Our mission is driven by our unique approach and our fast-growing, global network of 1,500 trusted representatives.

At IFZA, our vision aligns with that of the UAE – to grow, to prosper and to create economic value. We do this by spreading the word about Dubai and the UAE in key global markets – supporting and working with international high net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors, to consider Dubai as the best option for their business set up.

Our expansion plan is for sustainable growth and development. In addition to Dubai, we currently have IFZA offices in Switzerland, the USA and Seychelles, and this month we opened an office in Mallorca, Spain. From these locations, business and entrepreneurs will have unprecedented access to the growing range of services offered by our Dubai offices.

Later this year we will open additional IFZA branch offices in Germany, Austria and China and we plan to open further offices in key areas including the UK, France, India, Pakistan, as well as across Africa, in the coming months.

By having an on-the-ground presence in these key global markets, we have direct access to entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors, to highlight the enormous benefits of setting up a business in Dubai: the business-friendly environment, lifestyle and tax benefits, world-class schools, and more – all of which attract people to live and work here. Our expansion plans in these and other markets, directly support the stated objectives of the government to further grow the economy as outlined in D33.

How has IFZA retained its competitive edge?

Our competitive edge lies in a unique set of approaches we refer to as clear manifestations of ‘The IFZA Way’.

We see ourselves very much as an important component of the UAE Free Zone landscape by playing a determined role in presenting the UAE, and especially Dubai, to the world.

As outlined above, you can see that IFZA is investing its own capital in key feeder markets to support the overall growth of business and the economy in Dubai and the wider UAE economy by bringing a substantial number of investors into the country each year.

We are unwavering in our commitment to constantly think from the perspective of our target groups. It is our goal at IFZA to provide a broad scope of products and services within a dynamic IFZA ecosystem that matches the needs of entrepreneurs throughout the different phases of their growth.

Also, our focus on the principle of “People First Approach” in our delivery of service excellence is an important priority for both our people and our global network of agents and representatives whom we call our “Professional Partners”. This is underpinned by our investment in the IFZA Academy for Training, which provides opportunities for our people to establish a critical foundation of knowledge and skills for their success, and in our commitment to building a community bound beyond business through networking events, social activities and initiatives designed with a purpose. This fosters a culture of genuine relationships with our Professional Partners.

This principle is also the spirit behind IFZA Cares, our dedicated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm, which encourages members of the IFZA Free Zone community to give back to the greater UAE through sustainability and community programs inspired by the nation’s efforts such as the hosting of COP 28 and its commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

We are relentless in forging longstanding partnerships that enable us to take these businesses to greater heights. For example, our collaboration with global technology company Zoho has been instrumental in our next-generation support to our Professional Partners through the IFZA Partner Portal. Through our cloud-based digital tool, our Partners have secure access to important processes and information anytime, anywhere.

Dubai offers boundless opportunities for prosperity and growth and IFZA remains committed in its role to bridge international investors to Dubai and to contribute to its economic prosperity by offering world-class benefits that serve both local and global communities.