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About Maku Free zone


Geography of Maku

Maku is a city located in the northwest of West Azerbaijan in Iran. The Karasu River in Turkey lies to its north, and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is to its east. Turkey and the Iranian city of Khoy are to its west and south respectively. Zangmar River cuts through Maku that is nestled in a valley. The southern part of Maku, located in the foothills of Sabad Mountain, is not fully developed, but the northern section is much larger and better developed.
Maku is surounded by mountains in the south and north and plains to the east and west. The area is home to a famous monolith called Jodaghiyeh. The fact that the region has been home to an ancient civilization with a rich history and boasts a variety of cultural and natural attractions means it does have the potential to become a tourism hub.
A perfect climate complete with rich fauna, beautiful rivers, caves, falls, ancient forts and castles, and other historical monuments, handicrafts, and colorful plantations and most importantly the hospitality of local people, can set the stage for the influx of tourists which would call for the development of more recreational facilities in the area.
Maku has a semi-arid climate owing to its location in the rain shadow of the Zagros Mountains. The city is hot and dry in the summer, and cold with little snow in the winter. Most precipitation comes from spring thunderstorms.


History of Maku

The oldest historical monuments of the town date back to the Urartu, corresponding to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat or Kingdom of Van. Stone chambers in Sangar, a village situated between Maku and Bazargan, ancient summer resorts which dot the landscape, cuneiform inscriptions dug out in villages in Bastam and near Bazargan, findings of German scientists, the deciphering of cuneiform writings by local and foreign archeologists and statements by historians such as Moses Chorenazi and Piotrowski prove that Urarturs were the first people to take up residence in the region. Their main center of population was built near Bastam.
When Armenians brought the rule of Urarturs to an end, they took control of the land. Armenia annexed Maku. Ancient churches, chief among them the Saint Thaddeus Monastery, and the ruins of the ancient Armenian-inhabited cities in Armavir along the Aras River are proof that Armenians had once been the dominant force in the region.
Almost seven centuries ago, Bishop Zakaria and his brother Botros took power and spent a fortune on fortifying the castle. They set up routes and built bridges and turned the region into a trade hub. The defenses of the castle were so strong that they drew the surprise of every visitor. For over a century Armenian princes used the fortifications of the castle to fend off all attempts at invasion of the region. Even Tamerlane was unable to occupy the castle. Zakaria renovated the routes that led in and out of Maku and built four arched bridges across the river.
Karayusuf conquered Maku after the downfall of Tamerlane. There was always infighting raging among rulers of the dynasty. Ismail took advantage of such feud, defeated them and subsequently set up the powerful Safavid Dynasty. It was during the reign of this young Safavid king that an Ottoman sultan massacred the Shiites in Asia Minor and took his troops east to invade Azerbaijan. Despite enormous bravery by the young Safavid king and the commanders of his army, the Iranian army was defeated and the castle was destroyed. Maku was a stronghold of the Bayat Clan when the Qajar kings were in power. There are many speculations about the origin of the word Maku. Armenians believe it is a variation of an ancient word that meant pastureland. Some claim it is a combination of Mah (moon) and Kuh (mountain) and some others suggest that the name is a variation of an ancient word that meant the residence of the Zoroastrian clergy.

About Maku Free zone organization

Maku free zone organization was established in order to accelerate accomplishing fundamental affairs, construction and development, economic development, investment and increasing public income, providing suitable employment, regulating labor and goods market, active presence in global and regional markets, offering public services, producing different kinds of industrial and technological goods. Maku free zone is governed by an independent legal entity and its capital completely belongs to the government. This organization and its affiliated companies are exempt from the laws and regulations of the public administration and exclusively managed based on managing rules of free trade-industrial zones in Islamic Republic of Iran and related constitutions and follows business rules in exceptional cases. Maku free zone organization is managed by a Board of Directors which is composed of three to five people. Board members are selected by the Council of Ministers. Managing director who presides the Board of Directors is elected out of board members and is the highest executive authority in economic and infrastructural fields in the area.




Maku free trade and industrial zone organization was established with the objectives of providing infrastructure, construction and development, economic development, public investment, increasing income, creating a healthy and productive employment, establishing relations with international and regional markets and production and export of industrial goods.
And in this regard the policy of organization is to achieve the goals as follows:
Providing the required infrastructures
Promoting the quality of services to local and foreign investors in order to realize the investment in the zone and satisfaction of investors
Guidance and leadership of facilities and activities in the zone with a focus on economic development of Zone in trade, industry, tourism, transport, transit, and services
Increasing the efficiency and capabilities of human resources, promoting knowledge and skills and implementing effective training programs
The guidance and leadership of potential facilities of organization in planning, policy-making, supervision and guidance of Zone economic activity by reducing the outsourcing and use of efficient systems of monetary, fiscal and investment
Optimizing business processes for the removal of administrative bureaucracy and continuous improvement of the effectiveness of the organization's quality management system
The guidance and leadership of potential facilities of organization in planning, policy-making, supervision and guidance of Zone economic activity by reducing the outsourcing and use of efficient systems of monetary, fiscal and investmentAll the employees are expected to do assigned responsibilities and authorities through consultation and coordination in the best possible way





  • Development of the zone through providing infrastructural facilities
  • Preparing the ground for economic growth and increase of public income through encouraging investment by private sector in tourism, development of the facilities needed in the zone, production and export of industrial, convertible and service goods
  • Regulating the commodity and labor markets and providing healthy and productive employment
  • Active presence in local and global markets
  • Encouraging the presence of domestic and international universities, scientific and research centers in the zone
  • Preparing the ground for development of a safe, peaceful and clean zone for tourists and families