Monday, January 29, 2007

Businesses hit again.

The future of Dubai relies on it being an international commercial hub, a centre for businesses to set up in and operate from. Oil will run out very soon, is already only a small part of the emirate's GDP and the plan is for business to develop and prosper to create an expanding economy.

For the objective to become a reality the emirate has to be commercially competitive. Viable alternative locations abound - in the Gulf, for example, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

Going against the plan and vision for the future of the country, the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced that VoIP will be banned in the commercial free zones. It currently is available there but not in the rest of the country.

That's yet another added cost of doing business in Dubai, added unnecessarily. Doing business internationally means making lots of international phone calls. As from next month, free zone businesses will have to pay high phone call costs.

Keeping costs under control is a vital part of a successful business. I was already hearing from business owners that they were thinking of moving operations to cheaper locations. Now the TRA has come up with another backward step.

Compete in the modern business world? Not with this kind of retrograde attitude.

Gulf News report is here


nzm said...

Before it's even started operating, du is setting the rules!

It's ridiculous to expect that businesses will pay the extortionate international rates.

As well, the wages paid to people are now on par with what's being paid around the world - especially to IT staff involved in programming and development.

It's probably why that between J getting her first company license at the DIC in 2003 and us getting one at the end of 2004, there's been less than 700 companies start up. We can now walk into the Admin building and get served within 10-20mins whereas we'd have been in there all day about 2 years ago!

trailingspouse said...

Surely it's also a dangerous precedent for the so called "free zones" to take a retrograde step like this. Unrestricted internet access must have been a big selling point for some companies who set up there.