How many free zones are there in the Middle East?
In the Middle East, there are over 130 free zones and other special economic zones. Most are dedicated to Logistics and Distribution activities, while a few tend to focus on Manufacturing. In addition, Services Zones (e.g. Financial Centers; Media; Education; Healthcare) are also common in the Region. The Salalah Free Zone aims to focus on Chemical and Material Processing, Manufacturing and Assembly, and Logistics and Distribution, but will also selectively attract and allow some Services.
What is the Salalah Free Zone?
The Free Zone at Salalah is a global gateway that provides an established infrastructure, recognized international regulations and strong government endorsement. It is a central and cost competitive hub and our commitment to attracting international companies to the free zone is underpinned by a strong set of business-friendly incentives such as 100 percent foreign ownership, zero customs on imports and exports and no income tax.
When was the Salalah Free Zone established and how large is it?
Salalah Free Zone was established in 2006 to leverage the potential offered by Salalah’s strategic location at the cross-road of major east-west trade routes. The total area of the free zoneis 19km2.
Who owns the Salalah Free Zone and what is the name of the management company?
The Salalah Free Zone is a government owned entity funded by the Oman Ministry of Finance. The Salalah Free Zone Company has been established to manage the development, support tenants and attract investment into Salalah.
How much has been invested in the Salalah Free Zone by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and foreign investors?
The Government of Oman has invested USD 130Mn in the Salalah Free Zone development to date. In turn, the Free Zone has attracted over USD 3.5Bn in investments into Salalah.
How strong is the Government’s support of the Salalah Free Zone?
Salalah Free Zone is unique in Oman and the region. Its location and existing operating infrastructure enable an optimal global and regional connectivity. Additionally, the focus is on long term economic development as opposed to short term financial gains since it is 100% owned and operated by the Government. As a government entity, the Salalah Free Zone can better coordinate activities between investors and government entities and can provide enhanced support to investors building on various government tools and programs.
How important is the Salalah Free Zone to Oman in terms of industrial aspirations and employment creation?
Our vision is to make the Salalah Free Zone an international investment hub, in line with government policies aimed at diversifying sources of national economy and creating jobs for local citizens. The zone is committed to attracting vital projects in fields such as logistics services, warehousing, re-distribution, textiles, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastic recycling, manufacturing and assembly and we expect to attract more than $6 billion in foreign investment by 2016. At full maturity we expect the free zone to generate in excess of 50,000 direct and indirect jobs.