ATTRACTIVE BASE

UAE 2018 | DIPLOMACY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, on close cooperation with other Emirates, attracting international investment, and its competitive advantages.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi
BIOGRAPHY
Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi is the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Fujairah. He has a master’s degree in international relations from Webster University in London, UK. He is the Chairman of Fujairah Foundation for Regions Development, one of the largest charity foundations in the region. He is a patron of sports and his contributions and support of athletes and sports in the UAE and internationally has earned him the UAE Sports Personality Award. He was also named the Honorary President of the UAE Taekwondo Federation.

How does Fujairah Port collaborate with other ports in the region?

Fujairah Port, as the main gateway to the UAE and the Gulf states, will benefit from the growth and expansion of Dubai's and Abu Dhabi's ports, all serving the mixed and integrated economy of the UAE. Such cooperation and integration between Fujairah and other major ports in UAE will be achieved through direct delivery, transshipments, and feeder services. Fujairah Port, a multi-purpose facility, has been recognized as a leading hub for the handling of oil and liquid products, aggregate, and dry bulk operations, and is continuously developing capabilities to handle general cargo, Ro-Ro, and passenger operations. The steady growth of the Fujairah economy in general and of the free zone in particular will continue to increase customer bulk for inbound cargo, which will include more shipping lines to Fujairah. The government of Fujairah continues to support future development and investment to expand and upgrade the port's infrastructure and facilities, and overcome any challenges it may face.

How has FDI developed over the last few years in Fujairah?

Fujairah has been successful in attracting international investment to different fields. Encouraged by the great economic potential, transparent and flexible investment policies, and attractive incentives offered by Fujairah Free Zone and other entities, Fujairah has become an attractive investment base for investors from all over the world, offering a gateway to emerging markets. Fujairah has made rapid strides in social and economic development that made Fujairah a competitive destination for FDI. FDI has contributed to developments of many sectors, including bunkering and oil storage terminals, aggregate and rock bulk handling, mining and manufacturing industries, tourism, training and educational training, as well as health and other complementary services. The Emirate's investment attractiveness increases in share of the rising investments, which mainly target manufacturing and tourism enterprises, education, and healthcare. Having a variety of investments in Fujairah that have been influencing the economy, trade, manpower, and financial movements is a clear indication of the stability of doing business in Fujairah and UAE. We focus on growing steadily toward achieving sustainable development and attracting diversified added-value investments to keep abreast of progress and support Fujairah's Strategic Masterplan Project 2040.

What are the competitive advantages of Fujairah compared to the other Emirates?

Fujairah enjoys a strategic position outside the Strait of Hormuz from the open seas to the Gulf region that offers a gateway to emerging markets. It is geographically suited for bunkering oil and liquid products, petrochemical operations and refineries, ship repairing, and other trading activities. It is a leading hub for port-related transactions due to the ease of logistics support and business-friendly environment. Tourism is also a vital aspect of Fujairah, and we expect to capitalize on its abundant picturesque coastal scenery and unique historical and urban sites. We had more than 1 million tourists last year and are looking to increase the number in the coming years. The Emirate has promising investments in the rocks, aggregates, and mining sector due to the rich natural resources that have resulted in the development of related industries such as quarrying, cement plants, and other manufacturing and processing activities. The economics of doing business in Fujairah is relatively competitive and lucrative. The government's policies are suited to the interests of business, ranging from petrochemicals to hotel industries. The working of the government machinery regarding licensing, permits, and other legal formalities is transparent and the state permits the full repatriation of profits and capital. The stable currency is another plus point. Investors find it easier to carry out their activities owing to its unique logistic links, especially feeder vessel services to places such as India, Pakistan, Iran, the Mediterranean, Europe, and North America. The authority provides easy accessibility, connectivity, and economic benefits like lower start-up costs and overheads as well as exemption from custom duties and corporate taxes. The policies are investor-oriented, and strong security support is provided to all investors.