Like much of the Kurdistan Region, Duhok has witnessed significant growth in both local and foreign investment in recent years. Although the private sector in Duhok was largely non-existent as recently as 2003, the city now boasts roughly 3,000 registered businesses in a variety of sectors, and the DCC has a membership of over 12,000 people.
Duhok is home to a diverse range of business opportunities across a wide spectrum of sectors. Agriculture is strong in the governorate, and the popular tourism industry is rapidly developing. Industry has expanded significantly as a result of the 2006 Investment Law, and trade has become increasingly important given Duhok’s proximity to the Turkish border. Moreover, Duhok will open an international airport in 2015, which will provide the city with the regional and international connections already enjoyed in Erbil and Slemani.
Duhok’s strong relationship with Turkey is perhaps its most unique asset. As noted by Ayad Abdulhalim, “The border represents a critical gate for business in Iraq, and its importance stretches throughout the entire country. For this reason, our import/export market is very rich and open.” Thus, the DCC actively seeks to foster strong Turkish-Kurdish business relations. The two sides recently negotiated the opening of a Free Zone in the border city of Zakho.
The tourism industry in Duhok has grown rapidly in recent years. To that end, a major resort area located in the Zawa Mountains was recently authorized, and is slated to include hotels, restaurants, fitness facilities, and a golf course. A second resort, located near the Duhok Dam Lake, is also in the planning stages, and other such projects are expected to capitalize on the scenic mountain ranges surrounding Duhok.