State-developer Dubai South said on Monday it aimed to spend two billion dirhams ($545 million) to build an e-commerce free trade zone offering foreign firms 100 percent ownership.
Foreigners operating outside of free trade zones in Dubai and the wider United Arab Emirates can usually only hold a maximum 49 percent stake, with UAE nationals holding the rest.
The new 920,000 square meter trade zone, known as EZDubai, aimed to attract e-commerce, logistics and other related industries, the developer said, adding that construction was expected to start in 2019.
Dubai is already the headquarters of the region’s largest e-commerce company, Souq.com, which was bought by Amazon in 2017. It is also home to noon.com, an online shopping site set up by Dubai billionaire Mohammed Alabbar
Dubai South aimed to invest two billion dirhams over four years in the zone, although the timeline for spending the cash would depend on demand, the logistics district head for Dubai South, Mohsen Ahmad, told Reuters.
Ahmad said the funds, which Dubai South planned to raise from banks and other institutions, would be spent on infrastructure, offices and warehouses.
EZDubai will be located in the south of the emirate near industrial and residential developments and Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International.