Helping associations set up in Dubai and opening them to the Middle East community is all what the Dubai Association Centre is about. An initiative designed to facilitate the licensing of associations, whether local, regional or international, is a first and must be applauded and studied.
Dubai offers competitive advantages many of you are already familiar with: a leading international centre for business, commerce, industry and tourism, it boasts a dynamic workforce while the government is constantly investing in strategic infrastructure and transportation projects to ensure a prosperous economic future. The Emirate prides itself on its business-friendly policies. Always a trading society, it has brought its ‘open doors’ spirit into the modern world, attracting foreign business and investment through free-trade zones, zero income tax and VAT, and a favorable corporate taxation policy.
When it comes to hosting associations and making it easy for associations, Dubai is a pioneer, opening its doors wide to organisations looking to establish a Middle-Eastern presence. Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which was signed earlier this year, the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) offers assistance for the establishment of international non-profit, professional associations and trade bodies in Dubai. Once set up, the associations have access to the UAE and GCC markets, as well those in the wider Middle East, Africa and Asia. This allows for a formal environment where associations can form a membership-based community or open a regional representative office to conduct business in the UAE and beyond, the Middle East region being a relatively untapped market for international organisations.
The Dubai Association Centre is a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DTWC). When asked about the underlying idea behind Dubai Association Centre, His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and head of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), said: ‘It is our aim to ensure that doing business in Dubai is made as easy as possible and to grow Dubai into an international hub for associations. This centre offers a professional and supportive environment in which worldwide associations can base their headquarters. DAC will foster the development of scientific knowledge and professional education in the Emirate.’
Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events (DBE) adds: ‘Dubai today is an international centre for hosting major global events, exhibitions and conferences and is the world’s next door neighbour at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. We offer easy access to many of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies. The associations will benefit from economies of scale, experience in the association marketplace, flexibility and adaptability, increased buying power and centralised facilities at the centre.’
A DAC license enables associations to open an office at the DWTC’s Sheikh Rashid Tower in Dubai and enjoy use of the complex’s numerous facilities. In terms of services, DAC has partnered with MCI, a leader in association management and congress organisation. With a proven record of helping associations grow in a sustainable manner, MCI staff is at hand not only regarding day-to-day operations and business development, but also to plan a strategic vision and define the best way forward when expanding in the Middle East.
Home to more than 200 nationalities, Dubai has a (short) history of welcoming individuals of all backgrounds and faiths and a pleasant and cosmopolitan lifestyle. With the establishment of the Association Centre, it continues the path and enlarges its vision of a multicultural, across-all-trades society.
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