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Unified Labour Contract for Employees in Dubai’s Free Zones

Employees in all the free zones of Dubai will have a unified employment contract under a new proposal discussed by a higher body.Chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Free Zone (DFZ) Council, the meeting debated unifying of labour contracts for workers in these hubs in accordance with the labour laws of the UAE.

Sheikh Ahmed directed the Council members to put together a sample contract for working within the free zone areas. Starting January 1, 2016, the UAE implemented new labour contract that standardizes employment terms.

The Dubai Free Zone Council was established in April 2015 to develop and qualify Dubai’s free zones to attract investments and establish an advanced investment environment that contributes to promoting industry, commerce, tourism and the services sectors in Dubai.The Council comprises senior officials of the various free zones in Dubai as well as the Director General of Dubai Municipality and the Director-General of State Security in Dubai.

Ease of Company Transfer

The Dubai Free Zone Council approved a decision to facilitate the transfer of companies among the free zones in the emirate of Dubai.
A company that is looking to relocate to a new free zone can now transfer its complete registration and record to the new hub without having to cancel its outstanding registration and/or liquidating the business. This will give companies wishing to relocate to a more appropriate environment in Dubai the necessary financial and administrative stability to do so.

Following in-depth research and analysis of various measures within the UAE and abroad, the legal committee has developed a framework that will allow seamless transfer of companies between free zones, as directed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Preventing Double Taxation

The members of the Dubai Free Zone Council also underlined the need to cooperate with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in abiding with the international agreements signed by the UAE with regard to preventing double taxation.

The Council committed to providing the Ministry with necessary information and data to improve the classification of the UAE - as per the standards of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information.

For its part, the Ministry of Finance presented the UAE’s obligations in the prevention of double taxation. Till date, the UAE has ratified 97 agreements for the prevention of double taxation and four agreements for the exchange of information for tax purposes.  The Council discussed ways to attract more investments through identifying appropriate solutions to some of the challenges highlighted in the feedback received on the UAE’s free zones.