Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZ) has signed a co-ordination mechanism with the General Directorate of Civil Defence at the Ministry of Interior, which aims to enhance joint co-operation and develop mechanisms and strategies for the necessary procedures to ensure the safety and security facilities.

It also aims to streamline investors’ affairs and procedures and improve operational efficiency of companies operating within the free zones by providing a safe working environment for their employees to help achieve sustainable growth and increase productivity.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Faisal al-Thani, CEO of QFZ, and Major General Hamad Othman al-Duhaimi, director general of Civil Defence, signed the co-ordination mechanism during an official ceremony held at the Business Innovation Park in Ras Bufontas Free Zone.

Sheikh Mohamed said, “Our collaboration with the General Directorate of Civil Defence is an important step towards enhancing the investment ecosystem in the free zones in Qatar. This co-ordination mechanism sets a framework for following fast, easy and effective procedures and protocols that include reviewing designs and conducting inspection operations for buildings under construction in the free zones within a short period.

“Our partnership with Civil Defence is an addition to our efforts to provide a thriving and safer economic environment, and stems from our firm commitment to providing the highest safety standards for our investors while giving top priority to sustainability standards in line with the pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030.”

The collaboration between the two parties will focus on several key areas aligned with the highest international standards, including integrated and effective procedures for reviewing building designs by QFZ before submitting them to the General Directorate of Civil Defence for approval, QFZ’s commitment to implementing Civil Defence codes and recommendations in this regard, and co-ordination of inspection operations for buildings and facilities.

It also stipulates QFZ’s commitment to appointing a consultant to review designs submitted by investors' consultants, ensuring that companies operating in the free zones have maintenance companies accredited by the General Directorate of Civil Defence to carry out periodic maintenance of all fire prevention and safety systems and follow up on their reports, and making the necessary adjustments for a safer environment for their employees.

Al-Duhaimi said, “The co-ordination mechanism signed with Qatar Free Zones Authority is an important step towards ensuring the application of safety standards across the country’s sectors and facilities, which contributes to supporting growth and prosperity at all levels. It also constitutes a cornerstone in the framework of strengthening the joint approach between the two parties to provide the highest levels of safety and security.”

He added: “The General Directorate of Civil Defence seeks, through all fields, to support various entities and authorities concerned in the country to provide the highest levels of public safety and apply requirements that would preserve lives and properties and provide a safe environment that supports economic growth and prosperity.”

Furthermore, the co-ordination mechanism focuses on enhancing the safety of buildings in the free zones and setting a clear framework for co-ordinating intervention operations for Civil Defence through its nearest centres, ensuring a rapid and effective response during emergencies.