Izdihar Index

The World FZO has designed the “Free Zone of the Future” (FZF) Program as a Global Initiative for Local Prosperity. The FZF program, through its flagship Izdihar Index, provides tools to measure, evaluate and improve the performance of individual Free Zones in various areas. This will deliver the basis for targeted capacity building to help enhance any Free Zone’s performance in key areas with the aim to reach a fully mature, “best-in-class” Free Zone – a Free Zone of the Future.
The Index is built around three core dimensions of metrics that measure key areas of a Free Zone’s performance, namely Best-in-class practices, Sustainability and Innovation. Along these dimensions, the Izdihar Index monitors a total of 45 indicators of progress as part of a single complete system. The indicators are qualitative, measuring a Free Zone’s degree of achievement in given fields. These indicators are used by the World FZO to tailor consultancy mandates for each Free Zone, delivered as part of their involvement in the Free Zone of the Future program.
Achievements within each dimension of the Izdihar Index trigger different types of awards and certificates. These enhance a Free Zone’s profile by validating progress in a particular field and overall as they move up the Maturity Curve, a five-stage visual representation of a Free Zone’s performance versus its peak potential. This incentivises Free Zones to continue functioning at their utmost level of performance to reach the coveted Free Zone of the Future status.
To help Free Zones on their journey to the top of the Maturity Curve, the World FZO is partnering with an industry-leading business consultancy firm to deliver world class consultancy services to participating Free Zones as part of the program benefits. This specialised and targeted training and capacity-building supports each Free Zone with customised solutions based on the benchmark metrics that the Izdihar Index provides.

The Izdihar Index enables Free Zones to enhance every aspect of their value proposition on their journey to Free Zone of the Future status.

To achieve Free Zone of the Future status, a mature free zone must achieve and sustain superior levels of performance that meet and/ or exceed the expectations of all their stakeholders. In principle, mature free zones should:
  • Identify areas of high performance and those of necessary improvement
  • Deploy and run systematic and comprehensive processes and policies to achieve said improvements
  • Measure positive results for those policies consistently over a 3-year period
  • Establish comprehensive feedback loops from automated measurements for continuously improved procedures

By achieving Free Zone of the Future status, free zones will drive global prosperity and deliver value to tenants, regulators, governments and society by:
  • Enabling more efficient trade, economic growth and sustainable development;
  • Providing infrastructure and facilities to support tenants and investors to efficiently meet their business objectives and organizational goals;
  • Contributing economic value and growth to their host territories;
  • Supporting the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Facilitating sustainability objectives of tenant companies through the alignment of business value with social value and environmental stewardship


The main aim of this initiative is to recognize and reward free zones that best contribute to the global economy, to local prosperity and to sustainable innovation.

By providing a roadmap to their full mature potential, the Izdihar Index offers free zones the best solution to optimal performance.

Regardless of the type, size and scope of the free zones, the Index provides a holistic view of the maturity state of free zones and can be used as a tool for measuring best practice, innovation and sustainability.

Free ZonesOrganization

The World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) is a not-for-profit entity operating as an association for free zones around the world. Launched and headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2014 and registered in Geneva, Switzerland, the World FZO is open to individuals and organizations from all member countries of the United Nations.

The World FZO engages with a wide variety of public and private stakeholders, including governments and international organizations. The World FZO has gained observer status with UNCTAD, consultative status with UNIDO, and actively cooperates with ITC and WCO through signed MoUs.

The World FZO's mission is to bring together free zones from all over the world and promote their positive impacts by providing guidance, knowledge and services to its members, to enhance free zones' contribution in the economic prosperity and social development of the host country.

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