Which industrial sectors is the Salalah Free Zone focusing on, and why?
There are three types of clusters within the free zone that are globally competitive. These are:
- The Chemical and Material Processing sector is focused on non-energy intensive organic, minerals, petrochemicals and other materials from locally available resources and globally traded resources.
- The Manufacturing and Assembly sector that builds on cost competitiveness, proximity to consumer markets and global trade under the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the US and Singapore.
- The Logistics and Distribution sector which is focused on consolidating inbound and outbound flows of goods to between regions such as Africa, Middle East & GCC, India and Indian-Subcontinent.
What is the development plan for the Salalah Free Zone and when is it expected to be complete?
The first phase of the development is now complete and fully leased. In the second five-year phase, from 2015 to 2020, the Salalah Free Zone Co will concentrate on developing the targeted sectors and promoting the zone as an international hub for industries in these sectors. This will be supported by establishing an integrated social, financial, economic and technical support community to attract investors.
The third five-year phase, which will end in 2025, will see the expansion of infrastructure and facilities, and the creation of economic synergetic eco-system to encourage local economic development and innovation. The zone will set up research, development and design centers to further the aims of the overall vision.
How many tenants does the Salalah Free Zone have currently and who are they?
The Free Zone is home to various fully operational tenants, accounting for several USD billion of CAPEX investment. They include:
- In the Chemical and Material Processing sector: Octal, Saltic, Salalah Methanol, Associated Industries Limited.
- In the Manufacturing and Assembly sector: TVS - Dune Oman, Sapphire Marine, Crystal Packaging,
- In the Logistics and Distribution sector: DHL and Saga.
The Free Zone has recently announced new Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) for Logistics, Limestone, Textile, and Foods among others.
What financial incentives does the Salalah Free Zone offer?
In addition to the Sultanate of Oman having one of the most liberalized economies in the Middle East, the Salalah Free Zone offers several business-friendly benefits to investors. These include:
- 100% foreign ownership.
- 30-year tax holiday on profits and dividends.
- Zero corporate and personal income tax.
- No restriction on repatriation of capital and profits.
- Very competitive labor costs.
- Very competitive utilities costs.
- No customs or excise duties.
- No minimum capital requirement.
What are the Salalah Free Zone’s unique selling points, compared to other free zones in the Middle East?
The Salalah Free Zones differentiates itself from other regional competitors with the culmination of its strategic location, Free Trade Agreements with the US and Singapore, and the fact that Oman is one of the most liberalized economies in the region. The government’s strong commitment to economic diversification provides a genuine business advantages for investors.
In addition, with access to the deep sea port, an international airport and regionally competitive labour rates, Salalah is set to provide investors with a world-class infrastructure supported by value added services and incentives that are helping to cement its profile as a major international business and investment hub.
What is the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, and how does it benefit businesses that set up in the Salalah Free Zone?
Oman's Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States is a very strong value proposition – the only other country in the Middle East with such an agreement is Bahrain. The FTA allows for products with 35% or more of their value created in Oman to be imported into the US at low or no custom duties, and with the assurance that intellectual property rights have been protected