As a proactive step to enhance the contributions of the business sector to overall development, the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) recently developed a new and unique model of corporate governance based primarily on spreading the concept of ‘corporate national responsibility’ (CNR), a more comprehensive version of the ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) paradigm. The new model provides institutions with solid ground to establish a leading commitment to strengthening the national identity based on international standards set forth by ISO 26000 related to social responsibility. It includes foundations for promoting distinctive individual behaviours, ethics and corporate concepts which uphold the national spirit. DAFZA is now preparing to offer this innovative model to local, regional and global governmental and private institutions, with an aim to promote the adoption of national responsibility as an integral part of the corporate culture.
The model is designed to include six main pillars in line with the ‘corporate governance system’ and enables organizations to play their role and fulfil their commitments to the country. It includes policies and strategies covering corporate social responsibility, system for corporate ethics and financial and human resources management, and strategic planning. The first pillar is the Employees and their role in enhancing security, safety and preservation of the environment as well as institutional resources, along with the extent of their institutional loyalty and positive behaviours. The second pillar is related to Suppliers, their participation in the community and their contributions towards ensuring adherence to the highest health, safety and environmental standards in line with corporate policy. The third pillar deals with the concept of Sustainability and focuses on the role of an institution’s leadership in consolidating sustainability as part of the corporate culture and core values on which decision-making processes and the management of daily operations are based.
The fourth pillar deals with Strategy and emphasizes the impact of harmony between corporate and national strategies in driving the growth of the economy and the achievement of targets and future ambitious goals. The fifth pillar highlights the role of Strategic Partners in the promotion of national identity, while the sixth and most important pillar relates to Customers as it measures their participation in national events as well as their level of commitment to corporate values that help create an honourable image of the UAE.
The Corporate National Responsibility model reflects DAFZA’s commitment to innovation as an integral feature of corporate culture and daily practices in the framework of regular operations, in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who stated during World Government Summit 2016 that ‘competition in innovation is the highest form of competition.’
The Freezone adopts an integrated portfolio of innovative initiatives aimed at promoting national responsibility and spreading the values of commitment, dedication and high professional ethics. The initiatives are designed to achieve the indicators of the national agenda of UAE Vision 2021 ‘to preserve a cohesive society proud of its identity and sense of belonging’ and boost people’s happiness which has become a key indicator for measuring the performance, efficiency and effectiveness of government services in the UAE.
The new model is of strategic importance as it offers a forward-looking vision and an innovative concept to drive the contributions of the business sector as a major partner in advancing the process of comprehensive development led by the UAE. The Freezone adopted the model in order to uphold the national spirit and promote loyalty, the sense of belonging and responsibility towards the nation, which are all considered as solid pillars for raising the banner of the UAE high. This step will contribute to a radical change in the features of the administrative, strategic, operational and community systems of DAFZA, in line with our tireless efforts to represent the UAE in the best way in regional and international forums.
The Freezone looks forward with confidence and optimism to applying the concept of ‘national responsibility’ which is based on key pillars that provide an integrated framework for accelerating the pace of sustainable social, economic and cultural development. It seeks to spread the concept of national responsibility and pursue continuous development of the corporate system, human resources, strategies and policies. This concept embodies the Freezone’s motto of ‘raising standards,’ for the benefit of the national economy, community well-being, and the comprehensive march to development.
DAFZA plans to implement the pioneering model across all its departments and divisions as part of its ongoing commitment to highlighting the Emirati identity and strengthening patriotism. This is in line with the directives of the leadership to consolidating the commitment and pride to belonging to the United Arab Emirates, representing the country’s inherent values, and introducing its rich cultural heritage at the regional and international levels. DAFZA looks forward to establishing more efficient, inclusive and transparent standards through the innovative model, which will be applied to some categories of Customers in order to inspire noble national values from them.