MOVE AIMED AT PRESERVING ARAB-ISLAMIC HERITAGE, PROMOTING KNOWLEDGE AND DIALOGUE
SHAJAH, Dec 8 — His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah has issued a new decree, establishing the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone Authority (SPC — Free Zone).
According to the decree, the SPC shall be incorporated as a body corporate with financial and administrative autonomy with the purpose of enhancing the emirate’s image as a global hub for publishing and printing.
The SPC is mandated to carry out several activities, including the development, designing, using and maintenance of materials, programs and databases of relevance to publishing and printing, as well as publishing, printing and distribution of newspapers, magazines and books and other associated media services.
The SPC’s executive management shall be headed by the Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, who shall be tasked with the following: proposing general policies of the SPC and overseeing their subsequent implementation following approval by the ruler; sanctioning administrative and financial regulations and managing day to day operations of the city.
It shall also have an Executive Director who is to be appointed following the Chairman’s recommendation and who shall be tasked to manage the city, submit regular reports to the Chairman, and to prepare the city’s annual budget and closing accounts.
The decree provides for exempting all companies and staff based in the SPC from all taxes levied in the emirate, including income tax, for 50 renewable years from the date of operation.
Sheikh Sultan also issued the decree no. 13 for 2013, establishing the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) which will act as a platform for knowledge and intellectual exchange among peoples and cultures.
The SBA’s is tasked with collecting and properly preserving Emirati, Arab and international ancient manuscripts, as well as development, designing, using and maintenance of materials, programs and databases of relevance to publishing, printing, translation, libraries and other book-related matters.–Wan