HE Dr. Hissa Abdulla Ahmed AL Otaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Swiss Confederation (centre), attended the road show, with DMCC Executive Chairman & CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem on the left and Swiss Business Council President Michael Lane on the right of her. Image provided by Swiss Business Council UAE

Dubai's largest free trade zone attracts Swiss companies

14 September 2023 14:45


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Zurich/Dubai - DMCC has visited Geneva and Zurich to showcase its profile to Swiss companies. Dubai's largest free trade zone provides an office in the Gulf as an attractive complement for companies across industries. More than 400 Swiss companies are already based at the DMCC. It is now planning a representative office in Switzerland.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is the largest and fastest growing free trade zone in Dubai, with more than 23,000 companies and rising. 11 per cent of the investments coming into the emirate from abroad flow into the DMCC. Founded in 2002, it is home to commodity traders in energy, diamonds, gold, coffee and tea, as well as numerous internationally active companies. The target group also includes small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups and independent entrepreneurs.

Swiss companies have a rapidly growing and highly visible presence at the DMCC: Switzerland is the only country to have its own tower in the emirate. The Swiss Tower – featuring the coats of arms of all Swiss cantons at the entrance – houses the Swiss Business Council UAE and many of the more than 400 Swiss companies at the DMCC.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem wants to increase the number of Swiss companies further. "The DMCC is a driver of bilateral trade and investment," commented the DMCC CEO in a statement. Through a road show to Geneva and Zurich he was looking at companies active in future-relevant fields such as artificial intelligence, among others, as well as at a suitable location for a DMCC representative office in Switzerland. Since his first road show in Switzerland two years ago, the number of Swiss companies has increased by 30 per cent, according to Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

Karin Lorez is the owner of one of these companies. The founder of ScaleCompliance in Zug and Dubai offers banks advice on how they can ensure the regulatory compliance of crypto companies. She praises the emirate's quality of life and economic dynamism. Peter Harradine goes further. "Dubai is a miracle," says the Honorary President of the Swiss Business Council and initiator of the Swiss Tower. The golf facilities developer has been active in Dubai since 1976.

For Michael Lahyani, “the miracle continues”. The native from french-speaking Switzerland came to Dubai in 2004, where he has built up Property Finder, a real estate platform for the entire Middle East. Dubai has grown tremendously, he says. There will be more to come: "Dubai is just getting started." 

The DMCC roadshow in Switzerland was co-organized by the Swiss Business Council. The keynote speakers included HE Dr. Hissa Abdulla Ahmed AL Otaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Swiss Confederation. She recalled that the UAE and Switzerland could celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations these days. ce/stk

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