International Humanitarian City (IHC) Free Zone

The International Humanitarian City (IHC) was created in the year 2003 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as an aid and humanitarian hub offering services and facilities to the global operations of humanitarian organizations and commercial suppliers to assist the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian operations. IHC provides an adequate environment to foster partnership and social responsibility in a clear legal framework. IHC was launched by the government as an independent authority and is a non-religious, non-political, and non-profit organization.

The free zone offers commercial companies the opportunity to operate from a highly strategic location in a free zone environment that is adapted to their particular industry while benefitting from the attractive incentives and an array of value-added services.

Benefits of Setting up a Business in IHC

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • Strategic geographical location
  • 100% free transfer of funds
  • 100% exemption of import and export duties
  • IHC gives a stockroom complex that includes cold storage for foodstuffs and supplies of medical
  • A cosmopolitan and an attractive living environment
  • Minimal red tape

Facilities in IHC

  • Office space
  • Warehouse facilities
  • Meeting room
  • Business and training facilities
  • Dedicated UN building
  • Auditorium and cafeteria

How to Set Up a Business in IHC?

Acting both as an operational platform and a physical and virtual meeting place, Dubai Humanitarian City provides non-profit organizations, companies, donors, volunteers, governments and those striving to save lives with a common ground for collaboration. One does not have to go through too many hassles for business setup in Dubai free zones. It is a straight-forward process. Likewise registering with the IHC free zone can help you spread your services and link a lot more people who right need the kind of humanitarian help. The steps to register your organization at the International Humanitarian City Dubai are as follows.

1. Check for the eligibility to apply for a license

There are two criteria to check your eligibility to apply for the license as set by the International Humanitarian free zone authority:

  1. It must be a non-governmental, governmental, company or a non-profit organization which is registered and incorporated in the jurisdiction outside or inside the UAE
  2. It must be a Commercial Company incorporated pursuant to the “International Humanitarian City Commercial Companies Regulations”

2. Fill the application

Any non-governmental, governmental, company or a non-profit organization must apply by filling the application form and mentioning all the details into it and submit the required documents to the relevant authorities.

3. Lease Agreement

The organization must have a valid lease to set up its company in IHC. Note that sub-leasing and sharing of any property are not permitted. Without limiting the terms of any Lease, in the event a Humanitarian Organization or a Commercial Entity’s License or Lease is terminated or expires, it is the responsibility of this International Organization or Commercial Entity to ensure that the property or the office is fully vacated and returned to the authority.

4. Criteria for the name of the organization

  • No organization in IHC shall be registered with a name which in the opinion of the authority is undesirable
  • It must not be identical to the name of an already existing organization in the free zone
  • The name must not contain words which suggest or is likely to suggest the patronage of prominent local persons with no real connection, or connection with any government or authority whether in the Free zone, the UAE or elsewhere, or contains the words like “Dubai”, “Emirates”, “UAE”, “Municipal” or “Chartered”, or any other name which the Authority shall from time to time prescribe as “sensitive”

5. Check all the terms and conditions after acquiring the license

Terms of License

The license is valid for two years from the date of issuance

Appointment of a Manager

It is mandatory for the organization to appoint a manager who shall be the principal representative and will represent the company in all matters with the authority

Nationality of the Organization

The Humanitarian Organization and the Commercial Entity (Branch of Commercial Company) shall hold the nationalities of their existing headquarters

Local Address

The company must have at all times its registered office in the free zone to which all communications and notices may be addressed

Why Set Up an Organization/Company in IHC?

Currently, IHC is the biggest and busiest global humanitarian hub and logistics centre for humanitarian aid in the world. It boasts about nine UN agencies and 65 non-profit organizations, intergovernmental organizations, and commercial entities. Not just this, IHC has also organized delivery of supply to some of the worst crisis in the past 10 years, like

  • 2010 Haiti earthquake
  • Wars in Gaza
  • Nepal earthquake
  • Cyclone Pam
  • Ebola epidemic in West Africa
  • Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan

Setting up a company in this free zone will not just be profitable, but will also bring the needed goodwill to your company. If you are looking forward to forming a business in Dubai or particularly in this free zone and need a helping hand, we at Commitbiz are here for you. Our advisors are well versed with the legal framework and can make the incorporation process hassle-free. Contact us today – we’d happy to help.