Middle East and North Africa region, or better known as MENA, or the Greater Middle East covers an extensive region from the Maghreb counties and Middle East to Iran and Morocco thus incorporating seventeen countries within its boundaries. This region has always been well known for its many port cities throughout the centuries. In the modern context, this region is yet again being built up as a commercial and trade hub having a significant impact on the global economy. The new trend of Free Zones was introduced at the end of the millennium to MENA with the UAE playing a significant role in the development and success of this scheme. The MENA region has a seventy three such free zones with the UAE alone boasting over twenty two such free zones, the Tangier Free Zone through to the Gulf of Suez in Egypt.
UAE and Dubai
Dubai has a number of specialized zones such as the Internet City, Airport Free Zone, Investment Park, Silicon Oasis and Media City offering specialized services and facilities for the companies to operate from with specialized work force and equipment within easy reach thus successfully capturing the e-economy of the world. Dubai free zone company setup is also a lot easier than business setup in other parts of the country and thus, facilitates and encourages the setup of multinational corporations within the boundaries of MENA.
Tangier Free Zone
TFZ or the Tangier Free Zone is a Moroccan Port just 14 kilometers from Europe and is now becoming a significant business hub along that part of the world. While it used to be associated with the writers, poets and musicians as being a romantic port city, it is now being known for its radically new approaches in doing business and moving away from the traditional export processing zone to one which is more focused on developing multiple sectors at the same time. It has over 345 hectares and is home to over 400 companies thus providing over 40 000 jobs since its inception in 2000. Sixteen years down the line, the port city and free zone is significantly contributing to the national economy of Morocco as well as to the European region as a whole.
Similar to TFZ, other regions of MENA have been moving away from the renewal of trade license in Dubai and are moving to more specialized sectors thus giving focus to such industries as the automobile and e-economy. This is an approach which has been taken in order to improve economic diversification and add value to a certain zone, thereby creating more jobs for the public.