Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone welcomes Indian publishers!

SPC Free Zone is an apt investment destination for Indian investors, as the free zone is not only strategically located, but also offers a greater scope for various businesses, given the fact that the country is a melting pot of diversities with a potential consumer demand market. “In addition, other reasons like a straightforward setup process, welcoming business culture, and vast opportunity to tap into the Middle Eastern market makes it a clear choice,” shares Salim Omar Salim, Director of Sharjah Publishing City, in conversation with Emma House of Oreham Group.

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Salim Omar Salim, Director, Sharjah Publishing City

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ) was incepted as the world’s first publishing and printing free zone, with an aim to boost and sustain the rich industry within the region, as well as globally. Launched in the year 2017, SPC Free Zone boasts of an array of contemporarily designed structures, ranging from furnished to unfurnished offices, storage spaces, shell and core areas and flexi-desk options. Each facility is systematically designed to cater to a client’s overall business needs. Apart from the facilities, SPC Free Zone also offers company registration services, licensing services, print-on-demand, and offset printing facilities, among other related services.

The target audience…

“SPC Free Zone has been established to cater to a wide variety of global as well as the MENA region audience. We aim to create a hub that accommodates any nature of business that will incubate entrepreneurs and businesspersons from across the world. The Free Zone acts as a hotbed for attractive investment options in the UAE, while offering the investors a plethora of options within the region. Likewise, the Free Zone also acts as a bridge between trading countries due to its strategic position,” tells Salim.

Why Sharjah?
Emma House, Oreham Group
Emma House, Oreham Group

“Over the years, Sharjah has grown into a center for arts and culture as well as a leading industrial hub. The Emirate gives a holistic and balanced approach to economic and social development by creating human-centric experiences in conjunction with the development of physical assets and infrastructure.Sharjah’s cultural scene has flourished under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah. In 1998, Sharjah was designated as UNESCO’s “Cultural Capital of the Arab World” and today it is home to nearly a quarter of all of the U.A.E.’s museums andpopular events such as the Sharjah Biennial and the Sharjah International Book Fair,” answers Salim.

“In the age of digitization and modernization, the concept of books and reading has become obsolete and outdated, therefore, in order to sustain the significance of reading, SPC Free Zone serves as an apt platform for the industry, given its strategic location, and the Emirate’s reputation and earning of the title as the ‘World Book Capital 2019.’  Likewise, the Free Zone caters to the modern-age business requirements, thereby retaining a balance between the rich cultural reading practices and offering up-to-the-minute features and amenities,” he adds.

How does the SPCFZ work?

“We strive towards providing our clients with the most hassle-free company registration, licensing and related services. The initial step would be to register via an application, followed by which the documents shall be requested along with the payment, before the license is issued. Once the customer is on board, we ensure that he/she is assisted throughout consecutively,” tells Salim.

Facilities at SPCFZ…

SPC Free Zone offers practical business setup options ranging from the smallest facilities such as the flexi-desk options to medium sized office facilities and large sized storage and shell and core options, which include:

Flexi-Desk: Synonymous as the hot desk, Flexi-desk options in SPC Free Zone come in two variants, wherein an investor can accommodate the desk space for the given number of hours, along with the Free Zone license, and go about his/her business.

Dedicated Desk: A third variant of the Flexi-Desk packages, dedicated desk lets an investor to use the desk space for non-restricted number of hours, while operating with the license from the Free Zone.

Office Spaces: Available in both furnished and unfurnished options, the offices are adeptly designed with finesse, thereby offering a fine operational space to the clientele. These spaces start from a minimum of 25 square meters.

Storages: Spaciously designed, and equipped with the cutting-edge fire-fighting system, the storages are available in various sizes, to meet the varied customer demands.

Shell & Core: While offering utter flexibility to our clientele, the shell and core areas are bare spaces that lets an investor customize the area as per the business requirements.

Benefits to companies in the publishing ecosystem…

The companies benefit from the largest gathering of publishers and professionals in the world in the following areas:

  • Obtaining content: Unprecedented access to a wide range of content provided by companies operating at Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone and the regional markets.
  • Review & editing: Access to professional editors and copywriters.
  • Translation: Connect with the best translators available for accurate, clear and authentic replications of publications.
  • E-book publication: Acquire the tools and support needed to launch your E-Books.
  • Paper acquisition: Procurement support to acquire the best materials for projects.
  • Distribution and sales: Presence at the heart of the industry, allowing you to reach potential clients in the regional & international markets.
  • Advertising, marketing and promotion: Reach out to an increasing number of customers from the MENA region, Asia, Africa and Europe with marketing and sales support.
  • Royalty and rights management: Support in negotiating global distribution and licensing arrangements with publishers in the MENA region, Asia, Africa and Europe.
  • Export promotion: A platform for publications to be shown at various events and programmes including: Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), Publishers Conference, Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), Translation Grant Programme, Sharjah Award for Translation, and other book fairs across the globe that the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and SPCFZ take part in.
Opportunities for Indian publishers…

“SPC Free Zone is a suitable investment option for every business type. Investors who are looking to either expand their business or launch their business in the UAE or the MENA region or prefer to collaborate with global investors can consider the various options available in the Free Zone. Apart from having their business in the Free Zone, investors can also benefit from the innumerable benefits like:no taxation, 100% ownership, exemption from all commercial levies,repatriation of capital and profits, access to the huge African, Asian, European and the Middle Eastern markets, cost-effective POD and offset printing, zero restrictions to economical wage structure/on-hiring expatriate workers and zero currency restrictions and taxation on fund repatriation,” tells Salim.

Apt for Indian start-ups & investors too

“SPC Free Zone offers the thriving start-up companies from an attractive platform wherein an investor is not required to make huge investments, rather can start with a minimum capital. This shall allow the investor to not only own an office space in one of the most lucrative Arab regions, but will also help him/her in obtaining a license, with innumerable other amenities,” shares Salim.

“Since there is no limit on capital repatriation, it promotes growth for global firms because there is flexibility. Additionally, there is no currency exchange control,” he adds.

Thus, be it a start-up or conglomerate, Indian investors can benefit from SPC Free Zone in terms of zero taxation, given the mammoth-sized tax the investors end up paying in India, for their businesses.“Additionally, other key benefits also include the modern, contemporarily equipped infrastructure within the country, to ensure that the investors have easy access to the peripheral regions,” concludes Salim.

Emma House is an international publishing consultant based in the UK. Her previous roles included Deputy CEO of the Publishers Association UK and Head of International Development at the London Book Fair.

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