Dubai Free Zones Council - About

Mission

To provide a platform for seamless collaboration amongst Dubai free zones in order to enhance their performance and global competitiveness by:

    • Working towards favorable regulations and ecosystems with local, regional and international bodies and regulators
    • Enabling the sharing of best practices amongst council members
    • Providing a fair representation of the various free zones offerings

Vision

To enable Dubai’s free zones in becoming a leading global destination for investments and a key contributor to the Emirates strategic goals.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Chairman, Dubai Free Zones Council

The Dubai Free Zones Council (DFZC) aims to drive the development of free zones in Dubai in order to attract investments and create an enabling environment for boosting diverse areas of the national economy, such as industry, trade, tourism, and services. Furthermore, it seeks to enhance collaboration between the free zones, building synergies based on the exchange of knowledge and best practices. The council’s efforts support Dubai Government’s strategic plans and contribute to establishing the emirate as a leading global investment destination.

Council Members

H E DR Mohammed Alzarooni - Director General - DAFZA Vice Chairman and CEO - DSOA

H.E DR. Mohammed Alzarooni

Director General - DAFZA, Vice Chairman & CEO - DSOA

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H.E DR. Mohammed Alzarooni

Director General - DAFZA, Vice Chairman & CEO - DSOA

Dr. Al Zarooni was appointed Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority in 2002 and Director General of the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) in 2000 and still leads both entities.

In 2015, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, issued decrees No. 23 and 30 regarding the formation of the Dubai Free Zones (DFZ) Council and appointed Dr. Al Zarooni as Secretary General of the council.

In 2014 Dr. Al Zarooni was elected as the chairman of the World Free Zones Organisation, an association for free zones around the world that was established a year earlier in Geneva, which is set to transform the way in which many economies around the world operate.

In 2010 Dr. Al Zarooni was appointed as the Director General of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) and a member of the Executive Committee of DAE in 2006. Additionally, Dr. Al Zarooni is a member of the Dubai Executive Council's Economic Development Committee.

In 1995 Dr. Al Zarooni joined the Department of Civil Aviation as the Director of Administration & Research where he was a key figure in establishing the Free Zone Division. Prior to joining the Department of Civil Aviation, Dr. Alzarooni served at the Ministry of Education for eight years.

Dr. Al Zarooni holds a doctorate in Economic Geography from Durham University in the UK (1994). His doctorate thesis was titled: "The Place of Free Trade Zone in Economic Development". Dr. Al Zarooni also holds a B.A from Emirates University in Economic Geography. Dr. Al Zarooni is a lecturer at the UAE University, where he passes on his extensive executive management experience in building free zones that exceed 20 years to the next generation.

H E DR Mohammed Alzarooni - Director General - DAFZA Vice Chairman and CEO - DSOA
H E Ahmed Bin Sulayem - Executive Chairman - DMCC

H.E Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Executive Chairman - DMCC

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H.E Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Executive Chairman - DMCC

Ahmed Bin Sulayem is the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DMCC and has driven its growth from a start-up of 28 member companies in 2003 to the world’s leading free zone in 2020 with over 18,000 member companies from 180 countries, employing over 60,000 people.

Tasked with enhancing commodity trade flows through Dubai, DMCC has introduced to the market a number of value-added products and services under Mr Bin Sulayem’s leadership. In 2020, DMCC has been named the ‘Global Free Zone of the Year’ by The Financial Times fDi Magazine, for a record sixth consecutive year.

Mr Bin Sulayem oversaw the exponential growth of the DMCC Free Zone master development in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), a 200-hectare business and residential community in Dubai of over 100,000 people living and working across 87 towers. Mr Bin Sulayem also oversees the development of DMCC’s latest real estate project; the much-anticipated Uptown Dubai district.

Mr Bin Sulayem currently serves as the Chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) and the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX).

The Kimberley Process officially appointed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the first and only Arab country to Chair the Kimberley Process in November 2015. Shortly after, the UAE Ministry of Economy officially appointed Mr Bin Sulayem as the UAE’s Chair of the Kimberley Process for 2016.
    H E Ahmed Bin Sulayem - Executive Chairman - DMCC
    H E Dawoud Abdulrahman Alhajri - Directo General Dubai Municipality

    H.E Dawoud Abdulrahman Alhajri

    Directo General Dubai Municipality

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    H.E Dawoud Abdulrahman Alhajri

    Directo General Dubai Municipality

    Eng. Dawood Abdul Rahman Al-Hajri was appointed Director General of Dubai Municipality in 2018.

    He started his career at Dubai Municipality in 1993 as Town Planning Engineer at the Executive Planning Department, then held several positions in the same field, including Head of the Planning Department, Director of the Executive Planning Department, then Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for the Engineering and Planning Sector in September 2016.

    Al-Hajiri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Construction Technology from Eastern University, USA, where he graduated in 1993. He is also a graduate of the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development.

    Positions and Awards:

    The Director General has extensive experience in the field of planning, investment and urban development, and he has represented Dubai Municipality in many forums, conferences and seminars, and won the Creative Leader Award in the Dubai Government Excellence Program.

    Al-Hajri is also a member of many committees at Dubai Municipality and within other organizations, most notably:

    Board of Directors of the Society of Engineers, United Arab Emirates (SOE UAE)
    The Higher Committee of Dubai Urban Plan 2020
    American Society of Urban Planners
    Board of Directors of Al-Nasr Sports and Cultural Club
    Educational Schools Committee
    Dubai Municipality Industrial and Investment Allocation Committee.
      H E Dawoud Abdulrahman Alhajri - Directo General Dubai Municipality
      H E Essa Abdulfattah Kazim - Governor - DIFC

      H.E Essa Abdulfattah Kazim

      Governor - DIFC

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      H.E Essa Abdulfattah Kazim

      Governor - DIFC

      His Excellency Essa Kazim is the Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Chairman of Borse Dubai, Chairman of Dubai Financial Market (DFM), Deputy Chairman of Supreme Legislation Committee in Dubai and a member in Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee.

      His Excellency Kazim began his career as a Senior Analyst in the Research and Statistics Department of the UAE Central Bank in 1988 and then moved to the Dubai Department of Economic Development as Director of Planning and Development in 1993. He was then appointed as Director General of the DFM from 1999 to 2006.

      His Excellency Kazim holds an honorary Doctorate from Coe College, a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Iowa, a Master's Degree in Total Quality Management from the University of Wollongong and A Bachelor degree from Coe College.

      His Excellency Kazim currently sits on a number of official advisory committees and boards; he is Member of the Higher Board of Directors of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Chairman of DIFC Authority Board of Directors, Chairman of DIFC Investments Board of Directors, Board Member of Nasdaq Dubai, Board Member of Free Zones Council, Board Member of Nasdaq, Member of the Board of Etisalat, and Member of the Board and Secretary General of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center.

      His Excellency Essa Kazim also serves as a board member for a number of educational institutions, both in the region and around the world.
        H E Essa Abdulfattah Kazim - Governor - DIFC
        H E Hamad Buamim - President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

        H.E Hamad Buamim

        President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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        H.E Hamad Buamim

        President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

        President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hamad Buamim also serves as deputy chairman of the World Chambers Federation –  ICC in Paris, and chairman of National General Insurance (PJSC).

        He is a board member of the UAE Central Bank and Dubai World, and chairman of Hawkamah, the Institute of Corporate Governance. He helped Dubai seal the bid to host the World Chambers Congress in 2021.
          H E Hamad Buamim - President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
          H E Helal Saeed Khalfan Almarri - Director General - Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Director General of Dubai World

          H.E Helal Saeed Khalfan Almarri

          Director General - Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Director General of Dubai World

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          H.E Helal Saeed Khalfan Almarri

          Director General - Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Director General of Dubai World

            H E Helal Saeed Khalfan Almarri - Director General - Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Director General of Dubai World
            H E Ibrahim Bumilha - Vice Chairman of the Boards of Directors - International Humanitarian City

            H.E Ibrahim Bumilha

            Vice Chairman of the Boards of Directors - International Humanitarian City

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            H.E Ibrahim Bumilha

            Vice Chairman of the Boards of Directors - International Humanitarian City

              H E Ibrahim Bumilha - Vice Chairman of the Boards of Directors - International Humanitarian City
              H E Jamal Abdul-Salam - CEO Dubai Healthcare City Authority - Regulatory

              H.E Jamal Abdul-Salam

              CEO, Dubai Healthcare City Authority - Regulatory

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              H.E Jamal Abdul-Salam

              CEO, Dubai Healthcare City Authority - Regulatory

                H E Jamal Abdul-Salam - CEO Dubai Healthcare City Authority - Regulatory
                H E Khalifa Al Zaffin - Executive Chairman Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South

                H.E Khalifa Al Zaffin

                Executive Chairman Dubai Aviation City Corporation & Dubai South

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                H.E Khalifa Al Zaffin

                Executive Chairman Dubai Aviation City Corporation & Dubai South

                H E Khalifa Al Zaffin - Executive Chairman Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South
                H E Malik Al Malik - Director General of the Dubai Development Authority

                H.E Malik Al Malik

                Director General of the Dubai Development Authority

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                H.E Malik Al Malik

                Director General of the Dubai Development Authority

                Malek Al Malek is the Group CEO of TECOM Group, the core enabler of 11 thriving business communities that host over 5,400 companies with over 86,000-strong workforce operating across the rapidly expanding technology, media, education, design, manufacturing and science sectors. Previously, Al Malek served as Chief Executive Officer of TECOM Business Parks. In this role, he led the transformation of TECOM Group’s tech, media, education and science communities into destinations of choice for world-renowned companies and entrepreneurs.
                Al Malek has played an integral and strategic role in TECOM Group’s growth story since joining in 2002, evolving TECOM’s status as a key enabler of Dubai’s Knowledge Economy Plan.

                Through his efforts, he promoted entrepreneurism, built an intellectual framework, and contributed to creating a unique business environment making TECOM a key accelerator of economic development in line with the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021. The outcome of his resilient efforts is evident through TECOM’s unique business destinations that continue to attract investments from Fortune 500 companies helping to transform Dubai into one of the most innovative cities worldwide.

                In addition, Al Malek spearheaded the launch of in5, an integrated innovation platform providing a well-rounded ecosystem that incubates talents, entrepreneurs and start-ups nurturing them to their next phase of growth.

                Formerly at TECOM Group, Al Malek was the Managing Director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City.

                TECOM Group’s portfolio of successful business communities include Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Design District, Dubai Industrial Park, Dubai Outsource City, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Science Park and Emirates Towers District.

                Al Malek serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Media Council, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (DU), DXB Entertainment, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, as well as actively serving in the development of the UAE’s education sector through his roles on the Board of Trustees of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), as a member of HCT’s Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training (CERT) and as Chairman of the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation. Previously, Al Malek was a member of the Dubai Free Zones Council, as well as a board member of Energy Management Services International, SmartCity Kochi and SmartCity Malta.
                  H E Malik Al Malik - Director General of the Dubai Development Authority
                  H E Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani - Chairman of the Board and CEO - Meydan City Corporation

                  H.E Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani

                  Chairman of the Board & CEO - Meydan City Corporation

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                  H.E Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani

                  Chairman of the Board & CEO - Meydan City Corporation

                    H E Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani - Chairman of the Board and CEO - Meydan City Corporation
                    H.E Sami Al Qamzi - General Director - Department of Economic Development

                    H.E Sami Al Qamzi

                    General Director - Department of Economic Development (DED)

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                    H.E Sami Al Qamzi

                    General Director - Department of Economic Development (DED)

                    His Excellency Mr. Sami Ahmad Dhaen Al Qamzi was appointed Director General of the Dubai Department of Economic Development in September 2008, and Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) in November 2012.

                    Prior to this appointment, Mr. Al Qamzi held the position of Director General of the Department of Finance where he worked directly with the Ruler’s Court and Executive Council of Dubai to develop strategies that supported the economic and financial objectives of the Emirate.

                    Mr. Al Qamzi started his professional career with the Central Military Command of the UAE in 1986 in a financial administrative role. In 1998, he joined Al Bayan Press as Finance Manager and in 2003 he was appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Dubai Media Incorporated. The following year, Mr. Al Qamzi became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Al Bayan Press where he played a key role in designing a strategy that led to the re-branding of the Al Bayan newspaper.

                    Mr. Al Qamzi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Economics and Accounting, from the Emirates University in 1985. With a strong commitment to professional development, Mr. Al Qamzi attends a range of specialized training courses and conferences.

                    Mr. Al Qamzi is extensively involved in business and industry through his board affiliations. His leadership, vision and commitment to the economic development of Dubai perfectly complement his ability to lead Dubai Department of Economic Development into the future.

                    Current Board memberships and Affiliations:

                    Member, Executive Council of Dubai
                    Member, Strategic Affairs Council
                    Board of Trustee member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives
                    Member in the National Industrial Coordination Council
                    Member in the UAE Soft Power Council
                      H.E Sami Al Qamzi - General Director - Department of Economic Development
                      H E Sultan Bin Sulayem - DP World Group Chairman & CEO, Chairman of Ports Customs and Free Zone Corporation

                      H.E Sultan Bin Sulayem

                      DP World Group Chairman & CEO, Chairman of Ports Customs and Free Zone Corporation

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                      H.E Sultan Bin Sulayem

                      DP World Group Chairman & CEO, Chairman of Ports Customs and Free Zone Corporation

                      Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem was appointed to the Board as Chairman on 30 May 2007 and as Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer on 8 February 2016. With a career spanning three decades across a wide range of industries, he brings a wealth of leadership experience to the Boardroom.

                      In his previous role as Chairman of Dubai World he established and led diverse businesses, including Nakheel, a real estate and tourism property development firm; and Istithmar World, a major global private equity investment house.

                      He oversaw the rapid development of the Jebel Ali Free Zone into an unrivalled business park of more than 7,500 companies and pioneered the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. As Chairman of DP World he has been at the forefront of the Company’s international expansion, including the $6.85 billion acquisition of P&O Group.

                      Mr. Bin Sulayem holds a BS in Economics from Temple University, United States.

                      He is a Board member of the Dubai Executive Council, the Dubai Economic Council, a Non-Executive Director of Asteco LLC, Noor Bank and Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One.
                        H E Sultan Bin Sulayem - DP World Group Chairman & CEO, Chairman of Ports Customs and Free Zone Corporation
                        H E Talal Humaid Belhoul - Director General State Security - Dubai

                        H.E Talal Humaid Belhoul

                        Director General State Security - Dubai

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                        H.E Talal Humaid Belhoul

                        Director General State Security - Dubai

                          H E Talal Humaid Belhoul - Director General State Security - Dubai
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