Complex Made Simple

Ahead of time: How is Dubai driving region’s smart commerce

Home to over 30 free zones, Dubai is catering to different industries while offering varied business opportunities in the region. Allowing 100 percent ownership of the company, regardless of the type of business, Dubai free zones are offering good choices to global investors to opt for an easy licensing process and one of the best locations the region.

As per the reports, Dubai free zones have huge potential. According to a report by a national daily, published from Dubai, currently more than 50 percent of Dubai’s exports are from the free zones and these free zones house more than 33,000 companies, employing approximately 280,000 people. They are designed to encourage foreign direct investments with uncomplicated immigration and start-up procedures.

Going digital

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has recently announced the development of Dubai Blink, the world’s first B2B smart commerce platform. It will utilize artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and virtual business licenses, allowing companies from around the world to connect and trade via Dubai. As one of Dubai 10X initiatives, Dubai Blink was presented to Dubai Free Zones Council, which is being chaired by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Transforming future

Dubai Blink will transform the future of global supply chains by creating a new trade platform for global free zone companies. The project offers a new form of e-commerce known as smart commerce, which utilizes AI algorithms and Internet of things technology that will drive innovation within supply chains, placing Dubai and the UAE in unique positions at a global level.

The initiative will enable both global companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to set up digital businesses in Dubai free zones without the need to be physically there. Blink will be replacing the existing trade licensing solutions empowered through process innovations and technologies by introducing virtual company formation.

The announcement comes in support of Dubai and the UAE’s vision to create smarter digital economies driven by innovation and technology. It is expected that the value of global B2B e-commerce will reach $7.7 trillion in 2017.

Ahead of time

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “The Dubai Blink project will be one of the most innovative models for the future of global supply chains and e-commerce across the free zones. We have directed the free zones to form a joint team to unite our efforts and expertise to make Dubai Blink a success and help achieve the aims of the Dubai10X initiative – to make Dubai 10 years ahead of its time.”

Dubai Blink will speed up trade in free zones by providing comprehensive solutions for companies to search for services and products, negotiate, and make purchases online via a unified platform using blockchain smart contracts and machine learning. The first issue it will help solve is around identification. Currently, there are lengthy supplier identification and validation processes. AI algorithms will provide researchers tailored results in a fractional time.