Launched in the year 2003, the International Humanitarian City (IHC) provides a common location where humanitarian aid organizations and the commercial businesses that support them could operate. The common location allows for easier cooperation between the organizations, easier access to support services companies, and international logistics systems. It is the world’s largest and busiest place for humanitarian aid. There are currently nine UN agencies, 50 non-profit organizations, and commercial entities that are members.
The IHC has a unique transport and logistics advantages both in terms of air and maritime transport. It is strategically located as Dubai is within eight hours by air. IHC has the broadest geographical reach stretching from the MENA region to Asia, America, and Africa. The free zone has delivered supplies to some of the worst crisis of the past ten years, such as-
- Wars in Gaza
- Nepal earthquake
- Ebola epidemic in West Africa
- Cyclone Pam
- 2010 Haiti earthquake
- The Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan
The IHC free zone has also carried out several evacuations, protecting over 600 UN staff from the conflict in Afghanistan, Egypt, and Yemen.
The non-profit organizations operating in the humanitarian zone must meet the following code of ethics.
- The humanitarian imperative is primary
- The organization must not promote a religious or political agenda
- The organization is accountable both to those being assisted and to those that provide resources
- Major funding must be from contributions from non-governmental sources
- The organization must follow a democratic decision-making process
- Integrity and independence must be maintained
The commercial entities operating in the IHC are also provided with a certain code of ethics. They are as follows.
- The company must embrace the humanitarian imperative
- The company supports and respects international standards of human rights
- The company must not condone forced labor or child labor
- The company must not practice any form of discrimination against employees
- Company actions must demonstrate integrity, independence, transparency and accountability
- The company must embrace environmental and social responsibility
Who Can Join the IHC Community?
The IHC free zone brings together humanitarian non-profit organizations and business entities in an environment that encourages effective partnerships and social responsibility, while offering clear legal and physical zoning partitions between commercials and non-commercials in the spirit of safety and transparence. The community included here can be split into two parts. They are-
- Non-Profit Organizations
- UN agencies
- Specialized agencies
- News, research, and educational institutions
- Non-governmental organizations
- Commercial Companies
- Manufacturers and suppliers which are related to aid like shelters, medical equipment, food items, vehicles, etc
- Service providers like logistics, maintenance, security, consulting etc
Currently, there are more than 55 organizations and commercial companies currently registered in IHC. The free zone authority also issues a license to the following entities-
- Branches of international nonprofit organizations and commercial companies
- Subsidiaries of commercial companies
- New commercial companies
Services Provided by IHC Free Zone
At present, IHC provides its member organizations with a range of specialized services to facilitate their operations out of Dubai. They are-
- Facilities Management: Maintenance and security
- Governmental Services: Registration, licensing, leasing and visa services
- Recruitment e-Portal: Access to online CV Database and Job Opening posting system
- Volunteer e-Portal: Access to online Volunteer Database and Volunteer Appeal posting system
- Pro Bono e-Portal: Access to online Pro Bono Database
- Donor Assistance: One-to-one donor/project matching services
- Events e-Portal: Providing members’ events with enhanced visibility through the IHC website
- Press Office: Promoting members’ latest news and offering the possibility to post media materials through the IHC website
Business Setup in IHC Free Zone
All the non-profit organizations and commercial entities must fill in an application form and send it supported by required documents to the IHC Registration and Licensing Department. The approval/disapproval of registration lies in the hands of the registration department. The applicant will be informed when the department decision is finalized.
Why IHC for Business?
There is a range of reasons why one should prefer IHC over other free zones. They are-
- A centre of local and global humanitarian nonprofits and commercial suppliers
- A completely integrated one-stop-shop, with passage to procurers, suppliers and business partners and fast multi-modal logistics capabilities
- Office, warehousing and meeting facilities
- A complete set of value-added services
- Increased distinctness and networking opportunities
- A platform for humanitarian information and knowledge exchange
- A socially responsible operating environment
- Facilitated access to job seekers, volunteers and CSR endeavors
We at Commitbiz can help you start a business in IHC Free Zone. Our advisors have developed comprehensive capabilities and have emerged as the chosen partner in several innovative and path-breaking initiatives undertaken by various businessmen across the world. Contact us today to know more.