The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones(OPAZ)
When was OPAZ established?
OPAZ was established in August 2020 hereby Royal Decree No. (105/2020).
What are the functions of OPAZ?
OPAZ is concerned with proposing policies and strategic plans related to special economic zones and free zones, overseeing Duqm Special Economic Zone, Al Mazunah Free Zone, Sohar Free Zone, Salalah Free Zone, and any other special economic zone or free zone.
Where is OPAZ HQ?
Can I visit OPAZ to complete my transactions in Sohar free zone?
It is not within OPAZ functions to process applications of investors and companies, you can visit Sohar Free zone website to find out the available options for completing your transactions.: https://soharportandfreezone.com
Special Economic Zone at Duqm
What are the objectives of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD)?
SEZAD was established to attract a variety of economic activities such as refineries, petrochemical industries, commercial, tourism, logistics activities, light and medium industries, fish industries and real estate’s development project. Its spacious land of 2,000 square kilometers is capable of providing the areas needed by investors to build their projects.
SEZAD also allows developers wishing to implement various projects on areas more than (50) hectares to implement their projects while giving them additional advantages. In addition, the area aims to be one of the attractive areas to work and live in.
Where is SEZAD located?
SEZAD is located in Duqm at Al Wusta Governorate on the coastal strip of the Arabian Sea open to the Indian Ocean and is about 550 km away from Muscat
Is there airport in Duqm?
There is an airport in the zone that currently receives flights from Muscat, and it is hoped that it will obtain the international license to be an international airport. The airport’s capacity is 500,000 passengers annually, and it can be increased to two million passengers in the future.
What are the main sectors for investment in SEZAD?
- Refineries, oil storage and petrochemical industries.
- Heavy, medium and light industries.
- Transport and Logistics Sector.
- Investment in the mining sector
- Real Estate Development
- Fish and food industries
- Health and treatment services and the establishment of hospitals and health centers
- Tourism investment and the establishment of hotels and tourist resorts
- Development of markets and residential and commercial complexes
- Establishment of private schools, training institutes and university colleges
What are the exemptions and incentives offered by SEZAD?
- Exemption from income tax for a period of up to 30 calendar years from the date of commencing the activity, renewable.
- Exemption from customs tax for goods imported from outside the Sultanate to SEZAD and goods exported from the zone abroad.
- usufruct agreements over state owned lands within the Zone for a period of up to 50 calendar years, renewable.
- 100% foreign ownership
- Exemption from minimum capital requirements
- No currency restrictions & free repatriation of profits & capital
- Exemption from implementing Commercial Agency Law provisions.
- The enterprises have the right to open representation office inside the custom jurisdiction subject that they are registered in accordance with the laws and regulations in-force in the Sultanate
- Freedom to import all kinds of goods (except the legally banned imports) without prior approval or permit unless classified as explosives or chemical products. To import such products, investors should abide by the laws and regulations in force.
- Speedy and efficient processing of applications through the One stop Shop which provide all necessary services for investors such commercial registration services, issue of permits, licenses, approvals and visas.
- Omanisation percentage in projects is 10 %
Do I need to have Omani partner in order to establish my company?
Is income tax applicable on companies and individuals in the zone?
Companies have been exempted from income tax for a period of up to 30 years from the date of commencing the activity, renewable. As for income tax on individuals, it is not applicable in the Sultanate.
What is the minimum capital required to establish a company in SEZAD?
Are there facilities for SMEs?
The zone welcomes the projects of SMEs, fees for some services to SMEs have been reduced by (50%), only if the SMEs are wholly owned by Omanis and that they are registered with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA).
OPAZ & government wholly owned companies and government projects operating within SEZAD are obligated to allocate a percentage of no less than (10%) of the total purchases and tenders for SMEs.
How can I start my project in SEZAD?
- Submit your usufruct request electronically via SEZAD website.
- The concerned will allocate the appropriate land for the project according to SEZAD master plan.
- Register in the Commercial Registration
- Register the consulting office in charge of designing project maps.
- Prepare the necessary maps for the project
- Obtain the necessary licenses and visas according to the type of activity to commence the project
How long does it take to complete investment procedures in SEZAD?
The management of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm has set certain periods for the completion of each service offered to investors. 15 minutes for company registration. 5 days for obtaining usufruct right, and 1 day for obtaining a license to operate the activity: for more information please visit https://www.duqm.gov.om
What are the services provided by the One Stop Shop in Duqm?
- Providing the necessary data to investors about investment opportunities and procedures in the zone.
- commercial registration services, including: registering the project, its economic activities and its data in the commercial register, updating project data on a regular basis, and registering mortgage contracts on usufruct rights and projects assets.
- Issuance of usufruct licenses and registration of usufruct contracts
- Demarcation of plots allocated to investors through GIS programs, issuance of cadastral drawing plan (sketch) , and demarcation of plots.
- Issuance of licenses to operate the activity in the zone, including licenses for industrial, tourism, mining and other economic activities.
- Provide public services such as registering lease, issuance, renewal and amendment of building permits and issuance of drilling permits, and issuance of building completion certificate, and utility services (electricity, water, etc.), licenses, health cards, permits, advertising and commercial billboards, etc.
- Review requests for tax exemptions
- Provide classification services for hotels and tourist facilities.
- Receive requests for environmental permits and licenses and coordinate with relevant departments to obtain the required licenses
- Prepare technical reports for projects and issue approvals
Can I obtain investor visa in Oman?
Yes, an investor visa is granted to foreigners who wishes to invest in the Sultanate, provided that he is not less than 21 years old, and visa is valid for six months from the date of issuance after signing the land use contract.
What are the types of licenses granted by the one-stop shop in Duqm?
There are many licenses and they vary according to the project, for example:
- Usufruct license
- License to start the economic activities
- License recruitment of foreign manpower
Salalah Free zone
When was SFZCO established?
Where is SFZCO HQ?
Is there international airport in Salalah? and does it operate direct flights?
Yes, Salalah has an international airport, and the airport receives direct flights from specific destinations in various countries of the world.
How much land does the Zone covers?
What are the main sectors for investment in SFZCO?
- Processing chemicals and auxiliary materials
- Manufacturing and assembly
- Logistics and distribution
Are non-Omanis allowed to invest directly in the SFZCO?
What are the procedures for requesting investment in SFZCO?
- Choose the facility you want to invest in
- Starting your business
How long does it take to complete investment procedures in the SFZ?
What are the services provided by the One Stop Shop in Salalah?
- Reserving the trade name and issuing commercial register and affiliate certificate.
- Issue of labor licenses and visas in coordination with the concerned authorities
- Ratification of certificates of origin from the competent authorities
- Ratification of customs clearance forms for SFZ for (export, import and re-export) operations.
- Registration of suppliers providing services in SFZ
- Registration of companies, issuance of contracts and all licenses for activities in the free zone
- Follow up on all transactions for investors with the competent authorities
What are the incentives offered by the SFZCO to investors?
The Omani business environment offers businessmen, entrepreneurs and multinational organizations several incentives that provide ease, security and profitability, which include:
- 100% foreign ownership
- No restrictions on currency
- Exemption from income tax for 30 years from the date commencing the business
- Full exemption from import and re-export duties
- No minimal capital requirements
- Exemption from paying municipal fees, real estate and land fees, except for those fees that are due through the one-stop shop
- The possibility of establishing representative offices in the customs zone in the Sultanate
- The minimum required Omanisation percentage is only 20%
- Export guarantee insurance
- Exemption from all taxes
What are the competitive advantages of SFZ?
- Access to regional and global markets through its location nearby Salalah Port which is situated at the key Shipping route. Salalah port is the first gateway that provides swift access to the wider Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and East Africa overall freight costs.
- Close proximity of Salalah Free Zone to Salalah airport acts as a catalyst for multi-modal connectivity ensuring seamless movement of goods, creating value chain integration opportunities.
- Key global markets are within 2 weeks sailing time.
- Highly competitive in the region for labour, utilities and infrastructure costs.
Sohar Free Zone
Where is Sohar Free Zone HQ located?
SFZ is located in the Wilayat of Sohar in the Governorate of North Al Batinah of the Sultanate, midway between Muscat and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates..
Who manages Sohar Free zone?
The Sohar Industrial Port Company manages Sohar Port and the free zone adjacent to it, and this company is a 50-50 joint venture between Asyad Group and the Port of Rotterdam.
When was SFZ established?
SFZ was established in 2010 by Royal Decree No. 123/2010
How much do investments in SFZ worth?
The Zone, along with Sohar Port, has succeeded in attracting investments of more than 27 bn US dollars.
What distinguishes SFZ?
Its competitive location overlooking the world's leading shipping routes, which provides access to major global ports within two weeks sail, and offers swift access to the growing Middle East, Indian and East-African markets.
How much area was allocated for the zone?
An area of 4,500 hectares, 500 hectares has been in operation and 63 % has been leased by the end of 2019
Is there airport in Sohar?
Yes, there is airport in Sohar, nearby the free zone.
What are the incentives offered by SFZ to investors?
- 100% foreign ownership of projects
- Full exemption from import duties and re export
- Exemption from corporate tax for up to 25 years
- Exemption from income tax for individuals
- Situated alongside sectorspecific zones and clusters which address the unique infrastructure needs of individual industries
- Offers integrated, bespoke logistics solutions across the value chain.
- Free trade agreements with the US, Singapore, Europe, and the GCC
- Access to various governorates of the Sultanate through a modern highway network
What industries are included in SFZ?
How long is the lease term in the zone?
Long term lease (for industrial or logistic use )
What are the existing taxes?
What is the percentage of Omanisation required in SFZ?
The minimum Omanization required is 15%.
How far is the free zone in Sohar from Dubai?
What are the environmental controls required to set up projects in the zone?
The Environmental Assessment and Permits Center of the Environment Authority is responsible for issuing environmental permits and implementing the regulation regulating the issuance of environmental permits.
What are the services provided by the one stop shop in SFZ?
- Choose trade name, issue commercial register and affiliate certificate
- Issue labor licenses and visas
- Issue all necessary permits to start any project in the Free Zone
- Ratification of certificates of origin by the competent authorities
- Ratification for customs clearance forms
- Ratification of employee’s contracts for the companies operating in the zone
Al Mazunah Free Zone
When was Al Mazunah Free Zone established?
Al Mazunah was established in 24 November 1999 as the first of its kind in the Sultanate. It was granted the powers and laws of the free zones contained in Royal Decree No. 56/2002 issuing the Free Zones Law. On December 21 , 2005 , Royal Decree No. 103/2005 was issued to establish a free zone in Al Mazunah , which was entrusted to the management of the Public Establishment of industrial zones " Madayen " , the regulations organizing Free zone of Al Mazunah issued hereby ministerial decree No. 22/2010 has determined the incentives, benefits and requirements for operating the zone.
In August 2020 , Royal Decree No. 105/2020 was issued to establish the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones ( OPAZ), which is responsible for supervising the Special Economic Zone at Duqm, the free zones in Sohar, Salalah, Al Mazunah and any other economic zone or free zone..
Where is Al Muzuna Free Zone located?
AL Mazunah Free Zone is located in the far south - west of the Sultanate on the borders of the Republic of Yemen, 14 km away from the Yemeni city ( Shahen) , and away from the city of Salalah , about 260 kilometers, about 1130 kilometers from the capital Muscat.
How much land does Al Mazunah free zone cover?
How can I reach the zone?
What are the achievements of the Zone?
What are the basic facilities and services that are available in the zone?
How many companies are currently operating in the Mazunah Free Zone?
According to the statistics issued at the beginning of 2020, the number of companies registered in the Al Mazunah Free Zone is 230 companies.
What are the investment opportunities offered by Al Mazunah Free Zone?
The investment opportunities available in Al Mazunah Free Zone are divided into two sectors
What are the incentives offered by Al Mazunah free zone?
Al Mazunah Free Zone offers a set of incentives and benefits for investors, namely:
- Exemption from income tax for 30 years and without the need for income statement.
- No restriction on currency and easy entry of capital.
- Exemption from Commercial Agencies Law.
- Exemption from customs duties to and from the free zone.
- Allowing import of all goods eligible to be traded in the Sultanate.
- Exemption from minimum investment requirement and the freedom to use currencies.
- 100% foreign ownership.
- Allow Yemeni workers to work in the zone without entry visas.
- Reduced omanisation rate to 20 %
- Approving the Yemeni customs statements for the goods imported from them.
- Issuance of certificates of origin.
- Granting the factories of the free zone a national certificate of origin.
- Facilitate the granting residency and visas to non-Omani investors.
- Permits the establishment of a representative office in the customs office of Oman.
- Diversity of Omani and Yemeni goods and products at reasonable prices through one common market.