Dubai Customs, “The Mother of Government Departments”
Inception and Development
Dubai Customs is one of the earliest government departments known as “Al Furdha”, a classic Arabic term for “berth”, i.e. the designated location in a port or harbor used for mooring ships when they are not at sea. Firmly established, Dubai Customs was called "the Mother of Government Departments”, particularly because some of the other departments were based at the Customs old building and financed through the revenue collected by Customs.
Over its long history spanning over a century, Dubai Customs never stopped evolving. In the era of the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Said Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Customs adopted an institutional direction. The first floor of the Customs old building was used by the Ruler of Dubai as his official office, reflecting the critical role of Customs and its position in Dubai, which was renowned for its trade and traders.
Keeping on its corporate building and development process, Dubai Customs gained a wide regional and international reputation. Due to its advanced infrastructure and state-of-the-art management facilities and services, Dubai Customs became a destination of choice for investors and businessmen.
On April 1st, 2001, Dubai Customs entered a new stage when the late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai issued Law No. (1) of 2001 establishing the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, i.e. merger of Dubai Customs , Dubai Ports and Free Zone Authorities. On May 1st, 2001 H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-president, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who was then Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) issued a decree appointing Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem as the Executive Chairman of PCFC.
Being part of a major corporation contributing to Dubai’s economy, Dubai Customs started to reconcile its new organizational position. To do so, a comprehensive review of its organizational structure, strategy and operations was conducted. A detailed report identifying areas of weakness and strength was produced. The report was a startup point for reconsidering the organizational strategy, objectives, processes and procedures. A new strategy, organizational structure and future plan in-line with Dubai’s vision, expectations and future expansion plans have been developed. Dubai Customs undertook a reform and modernization program in order to accomplish its goals and objectives while meeting its vision as the leading Customs administration in the world.