Advantages of registering a business in Ajman Media City Free Zone were presented in Moscow by Nader Fathy, AMCFZ Business Development Advisor, and Rishi Somaiya, AMCFZ Commercial Advisor.
As they noted, at the moment, there are 45 free zones in the UAE, of which Ajman Media City Free Zone is the youngest, cheapest and fastest. Its residents are offered various benefits, including absolute absence of corporate or personal income tax, 35-40% lower costs of running a business and 40-45% lower living costs, huge range of available licenses including that of a social media operator, various service packages, and Smart Services in its fully smart environment. The free zone offers any services required including offices of all sizes, studios, technology labs, warehouses, all sorts of infrastructure. Ajman is a one-stop-shop where an investor gets assistance in registering a company, getting visas, government approvals, opening bank account, etc.
Speaking to Invest Foresight, the executives noted that “The UAE government supports foreign investors. In AMCFZ procedures are the fastest in the world and a company may be registered – and become fully operational – within two hours while a bank account may be opened within two to three weeks. Residence permit is granted within few days. The overall cost of launching a company is $7K to $8K.”
“Media City is a government organization and part of the UAE economy which in 2019 grew by 2.9%. Local currency is very stable, linked to the US dollar and easily exchangeable into any other currency. UAE is in general a very secure and peaceful country which has never had any problems with any countries and which welcomes all investors of all nationalities. It has a diverse population and representatives of 300 nationalities live in the UAE,” they said.
It was stressed that “UAE is strategically located between the eastern and western parts of the world and has one of the busiest airports and one of the busiest sea ports of the world which helps people target eastern and western markets easily. It has all of the international banks present in the country, as well as a lot of strong local banks. There are no foreign exchange controls, so one can bring money in or take it out without any problems.”
According to the executives, “Startups find it easy to go to the UAE because it is easy to get funding and angel investments, companies get a bigger market and can further expand to other parts of the world. The UAE is a startup capital of the world. Last year alone there were more than 11K startups in the country. A lot of Russian companies come to the UAE to explore the opportunities of connecting with angel investors, seed capital, different sorts of investments. It’s easy to start a company and get moving to the UAE and other markets. Russian investors are among the most important ones for the UAE. Out of the 3K companies registered in AMCFZ, 15% are from Russia.”
“What AMCFZ is offering is appealing to all traditions and all different business requirements around the world. Investors will certainly find staff speaking their language. All advantages combined together make the UAE a very attractive destination for investments, whereas AMCFZ’s target is new media technologies and supporting industries like logistics, transportation, accounting, management consulting,” they said.
It was noted though that “AMCFZ is not responsible for one’s transactions with a bank. It helps at the beginning, but then all monitoring comes from the Central Bank. Yet any transaction is not a problem as long as one has documents to cover such a transaction and explain the source of the money. The Central Bank oversees all transactions, including supervision of money laundering. In general, there are no problems with bringing in or taking out the money. But the watchdog is the Central Bank which has anti-money-laundering processes. If there are suspicious transactions they ask the client to verify where the money came from or is going to, yet in general there are no forex controls and one can transfer money straight from a bank account. AML procedures may be applicable to very large transaction of over $100 mio. If it is a day-to-day business, it’s no problem.”
For any business, safety, security, stability and predictability come first, especially in the digital age. “Like all countries, we do have cybercrime, but it’s not extraordinary. It’s very secure and each bank has a security system and for every transaction they send to a client a security code. The banks will continue to improve their security systems. The UAE is an e-country, one does not need to physically go anywhere. Hence the cybercrime is very carefully, constantly and efficiently monitored by the authorities. Over the last few years there were no major cybercrimes registered in the UAE,” AMCFZ representatives stressed.
“Now UAE is forming crypto regulations. The first one to start issuing licenses for cryptocurrencies will be the free zone in Dubai and they are working with the Central Bank. Once the regulation is in place everyone will have the right to adopt it. Cryptocurrencies are important, people are free to trade them at the moment and definitely the government is working on legalizing cryptocurrencies – and they will come very soon. The discussion over crypto has been going on for two years, and before EXPO 2020 we should have something in place,” they said. “Along with cryptocurrencies, any other currency, including Russian ruble, is acceptable for investment. The UAE is an open country which has no restrictions on financial transactions, accounts can be opened in any currencies same as profit repatriation.”
Advanced technologies and e-government are priorities for Ajman Media City Free Zone. “We are not the smartest area in the world, but from the time we started, the effort was to make the free zone completely smart. Today, we open 10 to 15 companies daily but everything is happening online. With a secure QR code one can get to a secure government website where one can verify anything. Once you have a company, you talk through us to an electronic world,” AMCFZ executives concluded.