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International Humanitarian City

International Humanitarian City (IHC)

Q) What is International Humanitarian City (IHC)?

The Dubai International Humanitarian City (IHC) is the largest humanitarian hub in the world. Founded in 2003 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, through the merger of Dubai Aid City and Dubai Humanitarian City.


The International Humanitarian City is the only non-profit, independent, humanitarian free-zone Authority hosting a community of around 80 members comprised of UN organisations, non-profits and non-governmental organisations, in addition to commercial companies. The International Humanitarian community in Dubai consists of about 500 people representing more than 68 nationalities.


In 2011, the International Humanitarian City was relocated into its current strategic location near Al Maktoum Airport and close to Jebel Ali Port, by tripling its size from the previous 30,000 square meters to 90,000 square meters and giving members the ability to move shipments from sea to air in as little as 10 minutes. Today, the International Humanitarian City offices and warehouses have further expanded to 135,000 square meters in size.


The International humanitarian city together with its community is continuing its journey by preparing itself for any new challenges, creating new synergies and partnerships with innovators, in addition to partnering with private sector players operating with high-level standards. IHC is also partnering with academic institutions, to share knowledge and experiences to create opportunities for preparing the future generation of humanitarian workers.


International Humanitarian City


Q) What are the benefits do we get at International Humanitarian City (IHC)?

Well, there are so many benefits that comes with IHC’s presence:

  • IHC is a designated Free Zone
  • IHC gives 100% foreign ownership
  • A community of humanitarian experts
  • Commercial companies are free to move from one free zone to another
  • Government Support and Services
  • Assistance with customs formalities, visas issuance, and other government services
  • Mobility of Resources
  • Private Sector and CSR Advisory
  • Cost-effective Procurement Options
  • Administrative Support
  • Minimal Red Tape – Two-Year Licensing Option
  • Focus on development and emergency response
  • Fundraising Facilitation
  • Warehouse / Facility Management
  • One-Stop-Shop for Registration & Licensing
  • A variety of licensing options


Advantages of Two-Year Licensing Option:

  • Seamless operation to ease the business of the members by giving a longer licensing period
  • Reduce the frequency, documentation, and preparation for license renewal from the member side
  • Lower cost of renewal as the Legalization of overseas documents needs to take place once in two years



Q) What type of licenses are available at International Humanitarian City (IHC)?

There are two types of licenses International Humanitarian City issues:

  • Non Profit License
  • Commercial License


Each type of license comes with two office options to choose from:

Standard Office: With IHC Standard Office Packages, following services are included:

  • Utility charges included
  • Establishment Card Visa (2)
  • 24-hour security and access
  • 20 sq/mtr office space
  • Free conferencing and meeting facilities
  • Free Transportation (From nearest metro station to IHC)
  • Free Wi Fi
  • Fundraising option for NPOs
  • Access card
  • Registration & License fees, Maintenance, General Services, Utilities
  • Note: Visa cost will be an additional charge when using IHC services


Business Centre Desk: With IHC Business Centre Packages, following services are included:

  • Common Reception service
  • Fully connected work station
  • Conferencing and meeting facilities
  • Free Transportation (From nearest metro station to IHC)
  • Free WiFi
  • Common Pantry
  • Sharing Stationary Basket
  • Inclusive of all utility charges Establishment Card
  • Visa (2)
  • Smart Printing (controlled: First 100 pages free)
  • 24-hour security and access
  • Access card
  • Minimum Business centre Usage – 10 hours per week
  • Dedicated Hot Desk
  • Registration & License fees, Maintenance, General Services, Utilities
  • Note: Visa cost will be additional which should be paid upon taking the service from IHC


Q) Where is International Humanitarian City (IHC) Located?

Due to Dubai’s strategic geographic position on the path between Middle East, Asia and Africa, and IHC being located only 10 minutes away from the Jebel Ali seaport and Al Maktoum airport, it enables the humanitarian community to reach, within 4-8 hours, two-thirds of the world population living in hazard-prone areas. The IHC Humanitarian community has been able to dispatch and serve populations affected by disasters in the Pacific Islands as well as into the Caribbean, hence proving its international role.


Corporate tax applicability to the companies in International Humanitarian City (IHC):

Corporate tax law is going to be applicable for all the companies registered in UAE including the free zones in UAE. The UAE Corporate tax is going to be effective for the financial year beginning on or after 1 June 2023 for the businesses in UAE. Corporate tax will be levied at zero percent on the taxable income (adjusted net profit) of the businesses in the free zones as long as they comply with all the regulations of the respective free zone and do not do any business with the mainland companies, otherwise there is a possibility of levying 9% corporate tax on the taxable income (adjusted net profit) in excess of AED 375,000. Hence companies in the Free Zones need to make sure that they are complying with all the regulations of the free zone and do not do any business with the mainland entities to enjoy the benefit of zero percentage of UAE corporate tax.


{NOTE: Kindly note that the authenticity of this article is limited to the day of publishing this blog. As policies and rules pertaining to each free zone keeps changing from time to time based on the necessity of the respective authority, it is hereby advised you to check the website of the concerned free zone directly to get the latest update on the same. We do not assume any liability if you have taken any decision based on the information provided in the article. We have ensured that the presented information to the visitor is legible to the maximum extent possible so that all the information is available in one page, at one go. Thank you.}



Q) How can Spectrum help you set up a business in International Humanitarian City (IHC)?

Spectrum provides an easy and simple start-up process for companies seeking to setup office in International Humanitarian City Free Zone (IHC). Spectrum’s dedicated team will guide you through the process, answer your questions, provide the necessary forms, and serve as your primary point of contact to support you through the whole process.


Spectrum is an expert firm in the Company Formation and Company Liquidation process. Our passion and heart lie in serving the clients and we aim at the utmost client’s satisfaction. We are registered Auditors under the Ministry of Economy UAE and also registered Tax Agent from Federal Tax Agency UAE, Dubai providing dedicated Audit, Accounting, Tax services and various Business Advisory Services complying regulatory requirements.


Call us today for any kind of assistance at +971 4 2699329 or email us at [email protected] to get all your queries addressed. Spectrum is your partner in your success.




Balaram Vuchidi

Managing Director
+971 50 9866 466
[email protected]
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