Business Setup in International Humanitarian City

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The International Humanitarian City (IHC) was created in 2003 to provide a common location where humanitarian aid organizations and the commercial businesses that support them could operate. The common location allows for easier cooperation between the organizations, easier access to support services companies and international logistics systems. Dubai is already recognized as a transport and logistics center with modern infrastructure to support both the logistics of humanitarian aid and the requirements of aid organizations’ administrations. Non-profit aid organizations must meet this code of ethics:
• The humanitarian imperative is primary
• The organization must not promote a political or religious agenda
• The organization is accountable both to those being assisted and to those that provide resources
• Major funding must be from contributions from non-governmental sources
• The organization must follow a democratic decision-making process
• Integrity and independence must be maintained.

Proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport connects aid providers to two-thirds of the world’s population within eight hours. The nearby Jebel Ali Port offers transport of large aid shipments to anywhere in the world. It is possible to move shipments from sea to air in as little as ten minutes through a dedicated customs corridor.

Commercial businesses located in IHC are required to follow a code of ethics based on humanitarian ideals. These companies are granted license for the purpose of providing operational services to the non-profit aid organizations. A brief description of the code of ethics for commercial entities in IHC:
• The company must embrace the humanitarian imperative
• The company supports and respects international standards of human rights
• The company must not condone forced labour or child labour
• The company must not practice any form of discrimination against employees
• Company actions must demonstrate integrity, independence, transparency and accountability
• The company must embrace environmental and social responsibility

The proven Dubai Free Zone model makes the operation of international aid organizations much easier. The common location with a secure environment and minimal red tape promotes cooperation and collaboration with minimal duplication of effort. The commercial entities in the same location can respond quickly to aid organizations’ needs.

How to register a charitable aid organization in International Humanitarian City

International non-profit organizations must complete an application form and send it with required documents to IHC Registration and Licensing Department. The approval or denial of registration lies in the hands of the registration department. The applicant will be informed when the department’s decision is finalized.

Selection Criteria to register a branch of NPO

• Applicant must be an autonomous non-profit organization (NPO)
• Applicant should provide proof of having international presence and being operational and active in the international humanitarian arena
• Applicant’s main scope of work or activities must include any of the following:
-providing disaster relief aid in response to humanitarian, natural or environmental disasters,
-assisting United Nations agencies or other international NPOs through providing on-ground assistance or through provision of funds,
-carrying out development projects in response to humanitarian or natural disasters,
– any other work of humanitarian nature
• Applicant must endorse a voluntary code of conduct or charter stipulation adhesion to the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality in delivering humanitarian assistance


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Registering a commercial business in International Humanitarian City

Commercial Businesses operating in IHC are limited to activities supporting humanitarian efforts of UN, NPO, NGO and recognized charitable organizations. Allowed commercial activities include:
• Manufacturers and suppliers of aid related goods e.g.: shelters; medical equipment, food items, and vehicles
• Service providers of security, maintenance and consulting for aid organizations

IHC allows two types of commercial businesses in the Free Zone: a branch of an existing company or a new commercial company (FZ-LLC).

Documents required for starting a new business (FZ-LLC) in International Humanitarian City

A: Required documents for an individual applicant:
• A trade name must be registered and proof of registration submitted with the application. Our firm (Push Digits*) can register the trade name and provide the required document.
• Before any registration activities begin, the applicant must obtain initial approval from the proper authorities. We* can arrange this approval and get the proper documents.
• A completed application form. We* can provide the form and help filling it out.
• The applicant/owner must provide a passport copy.
• If a manager is designated the manger must provide a passport copy and C.V. (resume)
• A completed Personal Information Sheet is required from owner/shareholder and designated manager. We* can provide a template.
• The business must have a physical address in the Free Zone. We* can locate appropriate space and get lease documents.
• If a local agent (Push Digits) is utilized, the local agent must have a notarized power of attorney to act on behalf of the applicant.

The authorities may require additional documents at the time of registration.

B: Required documents for a corporate (shareholder-owned) applicant:
• A trade name must be registered and proof of registration submitted with the application. Our firm (Push Digits*) can register the trade name and obtain the required document.
• Before any registration activities begin, the applicant must obtain initial approval from the proper authorities. We* can arrange this approval and get the proper documents.
• A completed application form. We* can provide the form and help filling it out.
• Shareholders must provide a passport copies.
• Designated the manger must provide a passport copy and C.V. (resume)
• A completed Personal Information Sheet is required from each shareholder and designated manager. We* can provide a template.
• A Memorandum of Association/Article of Association from the corporate applicant. This must be attested by the UAE embassy in the place of origin.
• A resolution from the board of directors of the corporate applicant indicating the intent to establish a new setup abroad. This must be attested by the UAE embassy in the place of origin.
• A certificate of registration for the corporate applicant from the Registrar of Companies (or equivalent) in the origin country. This must be attested by the UAE embassy in the place of origin.
• The business must have a physical address in the Free Zone. We* can locate appropriate space and get lease documents.
• If a local agent (Push Digits) is utilized, the local agent must have a notarized power of attorney to act on behalf of the applicant.

The authorities may require additional documents at the time of registration.

Documents required for setting up a branch of an existing company in International Humanitarian City

• A trade name must be registered and proof of registration submitted with the application. Our firm (Push Digits*) can register the trade name and obtain the required document.
• Before any registration activities begin, the applicant must obtain initial approval from the proper authorities. We* can arrange this approval and get the proper documents.
• A completed application form. We* can provide the form and help filling it out.
• Shareholders must provide a passport copies.
• Designated the manger must provide a passport copy and C.V. (resume)
• A completed Personal Information Sheet is required from each shareholder and designated manager. We* can provide a template.
• A Memorandum of Association/Article of Association from the parent company. This must be attested by the UAE embassy in the place of origin.
• A resolution from the board of directors of the parent company indicating the intent to establish a branch abroad. This must be attested by the UAE embassy in the place of origin.
• A certificate of registration for the corporate applicant from the Registrar of Companies (or equivalent) in the origin country. This must be attested by the UAE embassy in the place of origin.
• The business must have a physical address in the Free Zone. We* can locate appropriate space and get lease documents.
• If a local agent (Push Digits) is utilized, the local agent must have a notarized power of attorney to act on behalf of the applicant.

The authorities may require additional documents at the time of registration.

* Push Digits is an independent partnership formed in the UAE to provide industry leading accounting and book keeping services. We also offer first class business formation assistance.

We can help you set up your business

Push Digits has a staff of experienced, professionally qualified chartered accountants with up to date accounting knowledge of international standards. We are well versed in the use of advanced technologies and accounting software. We maintain the highest quality standards and deliver full satisfaction of our clients by providing our unique services at amazingly affordable and cost competitive prices. In all our day to day activities we work to ensure our clients are contented with the services we provide and they derive value from them.

In addition to our complete UAE business formation assistance we provide these services after the new business is operating:

• Complete accounting services with highest quality standards at affordable prices per month (full or part time)
• Financial services on an hourly basis
• Financial projections based on our in-depth financial accounting and analytical skills
• Feasibility studies for new businesses or new expansion
• Internal audits
• External audit preparation
• and many more


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