In cooperation with Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority has developed two initiatives with the aim of placing Dubai 10 years ahead of other leading cities. The first of them, ‘Dubai Blink’, is the world’s first B2B smart commerce platform while the second is the ‘Free Zone Exchange – FZExchange’, the world’s first stock exchange dedicated to trading shares of free zone businesses.
Both initiatives were launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of DFF’s Board of Trustees in February 2018.
‘Dubai Blink’ and ‘FZExchange’ are two among 26 ‘Dubai 10X’ initiatives from 24 government entities in Dubai approved by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed. The 26 initiatives were chosen by a committee of experts and specialists after evaluating more than 160 ideas submitted by 36 parties in less than 365 days.
HE Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, said ‘Dubai Blink’ and ‘FZExchange’, will contribute to opening new fields of investment, redefine the concept of investment development in the free zones and also provide an innovative model for free zone trade in the digital space, which will provide vital opportunities for companies to grow and prosper locally, regionally and globally. The ‘FZExchange’ will enable foreign investors to tap capital in the region, without the need to return to their country of origin. ‘Dubai Blink’ will encourage more regional and international companies to establish their headquarters in Dubai’s free zones and accelerate their trade and investment flows through digital trading.
His Excellency further said, “The global B2B business market is estimated at $ 7.7 trillion, which is larger than the B2C market, while the growth rate of digital commerce in 2020 is expected to reach 40% in the Middle East and North Africa region. Through these innovative projects, we seek to capture a significant share of this growth, positively impacting Dubai’s economic standing and enhancing the GDP of the Emirate.
“The ‘FZExchange’ project aims to help investors in the free zones gain easier access to the financial and capital markets by creating a simplified regulatory environment that facilitates lower costs and speedier procedures,” he said. Al Zarooni added, ‘Dubai Blink’ will be the world’s first blockchain and AI enabled digital free zone platform which enables companies from around the world to connect with each other for trading purposes. The platform will further enhance user experience by providing a one-stop-shop solution that lists various services for customers”.
“The challenge today is to simplify the procedures for listing and bidding for SMEs and free zone companies by creating a streamlined regulatory environment with minimal financial cost and high time efficiency, and ensuring that investors are protected from the risks surrounding financial markets within an organised and fully secure business environment. With regard to the ‘Dubai Blink’ project, our role is to pave the way for potential investors by facilitating the process of establishing a business,” His Excellency said.
DAFZA is also exploring strategic relationships with IBM and a number of government and international organizations to ensure the success of the ‘Dubai Blink’ project, .
The ‘Dubai Blink’ project will be implemented in four phases. In the first phase that will start in the last quarter of 2018, DAFZA companies will be able to sign in. Later, companies registered in various free zones in Dubai will be able to avail of the project’s services, followed by companies in other UAE free zones. ‘Dubai Blink’ will eventually be available to companies registered in free zones worldwide
“The Dubai 10X initiative has broadened our vision and encouraged our teams to innovate,” His Excellency said. “The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority has a strong desire to meet the ambitious challenge and demonstrate our ability to deliver a complete and integrated project that contributes to the growth of Dubai and the UAE globally.
“We are proud that two of our Dubai 10X ideas have been selected and we are confident that these ideas will be a driving force for new investors to establish their businesses in Dubai, one of the world’s leading business and investment hubs,” he stated.