The hamriyah free zone (HFZ) was established in November 1995 in one of the cornerstones of the emirate of sharjah, and the UAE’s industrial development strategy. Managed by the hamariya free zone authority, HFZ spans a massive approximate Area of 15 million square meter of prim industrial and commercial land and deep water horbour. its 14 meter deep water port has a 250 meter long cargo berth and a similar one for petrochemicals. A 5-7 meter inner harbour was launched in April 2003 to cater to marine related projects as well as small and medium sized ships.
Sharjah is the only one of seven emirates with ports on the Arabian Gulf’s West and East Coasts with direct access to the Indian Ocean, and an International airport.
The program of road-building is yet another growth area in Sharjah. Anywhere in the UAE is less then four hours drive from sharjah, and it takes less then two hours to drive from the Eastern port of Khor Fakkan to Western port Khalid and HKFZ.
Sharjah offers extensive transportation links to the Gulf States, Indian sub continent and the emerging markets in Asian and African nations. These services are made possible by the “Sharjah link”
The “Sharjah link” gives the investor access to a trade bridge which considerably reduces time and cost. This link is created by Khor Fakkan’s container port on the East cost which are on the Arabian Gulf, and sharjah’s international airport as mentioned above. Since all ports are concerned by a super high way, goods traveling to HFZ will be exempt from tax. This link can save up to 48 hours in selling time and reduce insurance cost.
Sharjah International Airport, currently the largest cargo handling bases in the UAE today, allows for cargos to be routed by sea-air from the far East to Frankfurt via Sharjah. This can cut up to 405 off the cost of pure air freight, while reducing a third of the time taken by sea.
In addition to all the advantages of being located in a free zone, investors in HFZ also have access to a large variety of input materials from the substantial volume of cargo received daily at this free zone. Investors may also take advantage of the well developed infrastructure, geared to the industry at all levels, and able to reach the Gulf, regional and international markets. The major trading partner nations include Australia, major Western European countries, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Ethiopia, Somalia, India, Iran, UK, Russia, and many more. Investors have access to many other facilities including 16 conference line ship calling on Sharjah ports every month, with easy access to south–east Asia, Africa, The Gulf and middle East at large.
Having three sea ports in Sharjah offers a unique strategic advantage to investors in HFZ especially as all have ultra-modern, fully computerized facilities, offering the very best cargo and container handling services. Port Khalid and HFZ is on the west coast leading into Arabian Gulf and port Khor Fakkan on the east coast leading into the Indian Ocean, this ensures that the investor in HFZ will be well connected. Connecting the ports is a network of modern highway offering a direct and speedy link between the two coasts.
Through the link of Sharjah International Airport which connects to 230 cities, investors again have insurance that their destination will be within easy reach. sharjah International Airport has a major growth area, especially the cargo side of its business. Following a growth of 69 % in sea air cargo traffic in 1997, Sharjah International Airport is now the biggest sea-air cargo handler in the Middle East and Africa, thanks to its flexible, efficient system and solid infrastructure. This airport now accounts for 105 of Lufthansa’s world wide cargo operation (its biggest cargo operation outside of Frankfurt)
Almost any activity is permitted by HFZ as the activity is environmentally friendly. Any activity from the following list is considered suitable for companies in HFZ:
rity of free zones round the world,
HFZ is not an export-processing zone.
Companies do not have to add value to their products.
Investors can ship goods in and out of HFZ without necessarily adding any value at all.
Facilities for lease (unit $ price)
Pre built warehouses, factories and offices are available for investors to take advantage of, and for those who require tailor-made facilities there are industrial plots available for lease. These can be developed by investors to suit their exact requirements. Staff accommodation is also available on-site with a choice of senior or junior suites.
The strategic plan for future development of HFZ’s prime property envision the building of a range of industrial plots ranging in size from 5,000 sq.m and up wards in multiples of 2,500 sq.m. These plots can be developed by investors to suit their exact requirements, and up to 605 of the land that is leased can be developed.
Plot sizes: 5,000 sq.m.plus
Land rates depend on the size and location of the plot. Price range from Dhs to Dhs 20 per sq.m. (US$2.18-$5.44)
Although the minimum lease term is five years, investors do have the option of leasing their plot of land for a maximum of 25 year’s and then later renewing the same lease for a further 25 years. Lease rates are fixed for the first 5 years only.
HFZ’s customer-oriented approach allows customers the freedom to develop their factories, office infrastructure, warehouses and other buildings in custom fit manner. However, for those investors who require ready-made, immediately available warehousing space, HFZ provides the investors with a choice of pre built buildings in three sizes: 275 sq.m, 416 sq.m.and 614 sq.m. These pre-built units are suitable for storage, assembly and light manufacturing purposes and all activities within these units should conform to HFZ environment and safety requirements.
1. 275 sq.m Units
2. 416 sq.m Unit
3. 614 sq.m. Units
|Other charges may include:||Dhs /US$|
|General service charges||Dhs 2,500 ( US$680 )|
|Refundable deposit||Dhs 3,500 ( US$953 )|
|Warehouse can be modified subject to approval from HFZE Eng. Dept||Dhs v800 ( US$ 218 )-only-|
|Modification fee||Normally 20-25|
|No.of visas allowed per warehouses||(based on operational requirement)|
The minimum lease terms is one year. Lease can be for up to 25 years and renewable for a further 25 years. Rents can only be fixed for the first five years with a rent view at the end of this period. The full rental fee is payable annually in advanced. All offices have wall opening for air conditioning units. Provision and installation must be undertaken by the investor. No changes may be made to these units without the express written permission and supervision of the Hamriya Free Zone Authority, and at the end of lease period the units must be returned to the original condition.
For those investors who required more then mere factory shells and instead need a broad range of technology and communication intensive service, Hamriya free Zone business centre provides space for 100 executive office suites with state-of-the-art conferencing and internet facilities. Office suits range in sizes from 22 sq.m to 41 sq.m depending on availability.
Investors can choose the services that suit their business needs. These services include : the latest, state-of-art communication facilities i.e. private telephone/fax line with IDD facility, Customized voice-mail and paging and all forwarding; conference/meeting room ; 24 hour accessibility; parking and in-house cafeteria. Included in the rent of executive offices are utility charges (electricity, water and air conditioning)daily house keeping, car and toilet use.
|Other charges may include:||Dhs/US$|
|General service charges||Dhs 2500 ( US$ 680 )|
|No. of visas per office:||4 only|
The minimum lease term is one year, renewable with one month notice period required for termination, and the full rental fee is payable annually in advance.
Staff accommodation is provided for any investor’s employees who need one site housing, facilities which are comfortable, brand new and within a few minutes from the warehouses and office blocks
All technical and non technical staff are permitted to reside in the HFZ staff accommodation facilities only. No business facilities, including those constructed by the investor, may be used for any accommodation purposes.
All rents , charges and fees except those specifically mentioned are annual. A/C, water and Electricity included. Furnishing and meal provided at the location at a very reasonable extra cost.
For leased plots of land and for warehouses, factories and standard office units, utilities are charged to the investor and are paid as per consumption based on the price below. However, investors renting executive offices in the international Business Centre will not pay for electricity, water and air conditioning as these charges are included in the annual office rent.
All application for utilities are submitted by the investor directly to the respective suppliers listed below:
|Electricity||Dhs 0.20 ( US$ 0.05 ) per KWA|
|Water||Dhs 30 ( US$ 0.8 ) per 1,000 gallon|
Post and Telecommunications
|Telephone line ( 1st line )||Dhs 330 ( US$ 90 )|
|Telephone line (2nd line )||Dhs 230 ( US$95 )|
|P O Box charges||Dhs 250 ( US$ 68 )|
|Internet web pages||Dhs 250 ( US$ 68 )|
The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) is providing assistance and information to international investors on how to do business and maximize profits. Membership to SCCI is optional, and the member ship fee is Dhs 2,225 ( US$606 )
Membership registration is done via Hamriya Free Zone Authority.
A clear advantage of investing in HFZ is that HFZ imposes no quotas or personal restrictions, investors are able to bring in the 1005 of their workforce if they wish to do so.
HFZ includes a Human Resources Department dedicated to easing the immigration and lab our requirement for investor. This department provides two important services: the first is obtaining permits and visas – with the guaranteed quick turn–around on processing all applications. This process includes entry permit application and follow–up, Co-ordination of personnel entering the UAE at the airport, medical test and health card insurance and residence permit arrangements. The second is providing a recruitment service with the help of local recruitment agencies to provide personnel at various levels.
|Provisional of employment visa (including entry permit employment card, medical & residence permit-3 years)||Dhs 695/US$189.00|
|Provision of entry permit||Dhs 272/US$93.00|
|Provision of visit visa||Dhs 342/US$192.00|
|Extension of visit visa (per 1 month )||Dhs705/US$192.00|
|Provision of transit visa||Dhs382/US$151.00|
|Provision of residence permit 2 year||Dhs 573/US$156.00|
|Provision of residence permit 3 year||Dhs 573/US$156.00|
There are no banks located in HFZ, although money changing facilities are available. All of Sharjah and Ajman banking facilities are available to the investors at the short distance away .
To open a account in any of the bank in the UAE, a business is required to submit the following documents
For opening a bank account in the U.A.E, a bank may ask for legalization of the documents-Attestation by the U.A.E Embassy in the parent country followed by attestation by the ministry of foreign affairs in the UAE.
Types of trade license available and fees per annum.
The types of license that will be issued to an applicant company will be defined by the activity the applicant company is permitted by HFZ to undertake, as follow:
This license will allow the holder to import raw materials for the purpose of manufacturing, processing and/or assembly of specified products are sold in U.A.E. If the finished products are sold in the U.A.E market then the license holder will need to do this through a local distributor or a local agent. Industrial license will be categorized as: Manufacturing, processing and assembly. License Fee hs 2,750 ( US$ 749 )
This license will allow the holder to import, export, sell, distribute and store items specified on the trade license. If the finished products are sold in the U.A.E market then the license holder will need to do this through a local distributor or a local agent. Commercial licenses will be categorized as: manufacturing, Processing and assembly.
License Fee: Dhs 2,750 ( US$ 749 )( 5 item )
Dhs 12,000 ( US$ 3,266)(general trading )
A list of all items will have to be submitted.
All sale and distribution through a local distributor or agent will attract customs duty which will be applicable at a rate of 5% approximately.
This license allows the holder to carry out the service which is specified on the license within HFZ only. It is generally for consultancy and accounting services and/or legal and domestic services.
Companies holding this license are automatically allowed customs duty Exemption on their products imported into the UAE. This license provides the license holder the same statues as a local or AGCC (Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council) countries. The additional requirements for this type of company differ from the standard FZE or FZC and are as follows:
Establishing a Hamriya free Zone-based company being a quality conscious and ISO certified, HFZ procedures and formalities involved makes it possible to obtain a license or incorporating a new company are as follow:
Complete the investor project profile, preliminary form that tells us about your project. The Free Zone Authority review the details submitted and approves’ or reject’ the projects.
Once the IPP is approved, the investors complete the license application form and provides the Free Zone authority with three company names option to reserve with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry
The project is given a Provisional Approval so that legal documents may be prepared
The investors provide all documents relevant to the type of company being established-either a branch of a local or international company or a new incorporation i.e a free zone company ( “FZC”) or a free zone establishment(“FZE”)
Upon signing the lease agreement, HFZ prepares the trade license and personnel secondment agreement
Types of company Legally allowed in the zone
Free zone establishment (FZE), Free zone company(FZC), branch of a UAE company, branch of international company.
An FZE/FZC is a limited liability entity.
HFZ lease and trade licenses are issued only to legal entities. Any of the following are acceptable:
|Type of entity||Incorporation chargesDhs/US$||Capital requirements
|Free zone establishment||9,000/2,450||150,000||40,827|
|Free zone Company||9,000/2,450||150,000||40,827|
|Branch of UAE company||None||None||None|
|Branch of an international||None||None||None|
Incorporation is the basic requirement for obtaining a trade license in HFZ. If the investor is not incorporated anywhere, he can incorporate a company in the free zone as a single shareholder FZE, a multiple shareholder FZC.
|Minimum capital requirements||Dhs 150,000 ( US$ 40,827 )unless a branch office|
|License fee for all activities||Dhs 2,750-Dhs12,000 depending,(US$749-Dhs3, 266 depending)per annum|
|Registration fee ( branch offic||N/A|
|Registration fee (Free zone establishment/ company ):||Dhs 9,000 (US$2,450)|
|Fees for one Employee:||Dhs,1,190 (US$ 324)(including entry permit, company Employment card, Health card, Medical & Residence Visa for 3 years|
Legal documents required for incorporating an FZE/FZC Individuals
An FZE/FZC Application form needs to be submitted with documents. On approval of the project for which the FZE/FZC is proposed, HFZA will issue a letter to a UAE bank of the investor’s choice to open an account in the name of the FZE/FZC, and to deposit the minimum capital.
On production of the bank account’s letter confirming receipt of the minimum capital in the new FZE/FZC bank account, HFZA will issue a FZE/FZC certificate of incorporation.
The investors can start withdrawing funds from the FZE/FZCs bank account on submission of the original certificate of in corporation to the bank.
PO 1377, sharjah, UAE