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Latham & Watkins and VentureSouq Launch the UAE Free Zone Navigator

By 01/05/2018June 7th, 2020No Comments

Latham & Watkins and VentureSouq Launch the UAE Free Zone Navigator

Interactive comparative online tool designed to help entrepreneurs and investors navigate the UAE’s most popular economic free trade zones

Latham & Watkins, in partnership with VentureSouq, is pleased to announce the launch of the UAE Free Zone Navigator, an innovative online resource to help entrepreneurs, investors, and fast growth companies determine the most appropriate free trade zone when looking to establish a presence in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE Free Zone Navigator compares 11 popular free zones across 19 industries, from e-commerce and fintech to gaming and augmented reality.

The UAE Free Zone Navigator offers two online interactive comparative tools to assist with the navigation of popular free zones across multiple industries:

  • The Industry Matrix identifies which free zones permit businesses operating in specific sectors; and
  • The Free Zone Comparator provides a side-by-side comparison of the various legal, regulatory, and economic considerations to establish a business in different free zones.

Brian Meenagh, a corporate partner in Latham & Watkins Dubai office who chairs the firm’s emerging companies practice in the Middle East, said: “The UAE’s free zones have played a significant role in establishing the Middle East as an attractive destination for entrepreneurs, investors, and start-ups. Having spent many years helping clients navigate the myriad of issues facing fast growth companies in the region, we believe these comparative tools will be an invaluable resource for those looking to identify the most appropriate environment to conduct their business.”

Tammer Qaddumi, a partner at VentureSouq, added: “The Free Zone Navigator is intended to help early-stage companies, both regionally and internationally, move into new markets quickly and efficiently in order to help them grow. We view market access as the principal obstacle for companies looking to scale regionally. The Free Zone Navigator will be one of many tools that we roll-out to help provide transparency in doing business across the entire region.”

The UAE’s 45 Free Trade Zones are designed to attract start-ups and investors by offering simpler establishment processes as well as labor and immigration procedures, and by permitting 100% foreign ownership. Each free zone is governed by its own authority and has distinct rules and regulations conducive to specific industries.

Visit the UAE Free Zone Navigator at


About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins delivers innovative solutions to complex legal and business challenges around the world. From a global platform, our lawyers advise clients on market-shaping transactions, high-stakes litigation and trials, and sophisticated regulatory matters. Latham is one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono services, steadfastly supports initiatives designed to advance diversity within the firm and the legal profession, and is committed to exploring and promoting environmental sustainability.

Notes to Editors

Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in France, Italy, Singapore, and the United Kingdom and as affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong and Japan. Latham & Watkins operates in South Korea as a Foreign Legal Consultant Office. Latham & Watkins works in cooperation with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

About VentureSouq

VentureSouq (VSQ) is a GCC-based venture investing platform that strives to democratize capital by enabling individuals to invest into high-growth technology companies globally. To date, VSQ has an investor network of over 1,000 angels & institutions across the GCC, and has made over 30 investments. VSQ also develops rich educational content around venture investing, and delivers this content through a number of programs throughout the region. VSQ’s goal is to create a new class of informed angel investors that will serve as a viable funding source for emerging companies regionally and internationally.