DUBAI — A total of 513 new companies chose Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the region’s premier trade facilitator and hub as their operational base in 2017, reaffirming its position as a destination of choice for businesses.
New companies represent a nine percent increase in Jafza’s portfolio compared with the 470 new companies that registered in 2016. The number of countries from which they come from also rose from 56 to 64 year-on-year.
Jafza’s flagship commercial property, Jafza One, achieved 42 percent growth in its customer base with a 20 percent rise in occupancy and a 49 percent increase in leased offices, marking its best annual performance.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World, said: “Jafza’s has again proved its ability to attract businesses, retain them and act as a catalyst for growth. The dynamic model we’ve created through more than 33 years of experience reduces cost for investors, while enabling new opportunities for growth. Our ability to consistently outperform the industry even in adverse global economic conditions confirms the status of Jafza as a global destination for foreign companies keen on expanding across the Middle East and Africa markets.
Jafza is one of Dubai’s success stories that has developed in line with the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make the emirate a hub for business and commerce.”
The newcomers increase the Free Zone’s active customer base to over 7,500 in 2017. A regional breakdown of the number of companies in Jafza shows that the Middle East dominates with 49 percent, followed by Asia-Pacific at 28 percent, Europe 15 percent, Africa 5 percent and the Americas 3 percent.
The Electronics & Electrical sector continues to lead accounting for 16% of all Jafza-based companies, followed by Machinery & Equipment with a 13%; Foodstuffs, Livestock & Agricultural products11%; Retail & General Trading 11%; and Vehicle & Transport 11%.
Other industry verticals are Metal, Steel, Construction 8%; Services 8%; Chemicals 7%; Healthcare & Pharma 5%; Logistics 4%; Oil & Gas 4%; and other sectors 2%.
Jafza One, is located at the heart of the business community adjoining Jebel Ali Port, rated among the Top 10 container ports globally.
Jafza is a dynamic base for more than 7,500 businesses, from over 100 countries, sustaining over 150,000 jobs. It accounts for almost 32% of total FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) flows into the UAEand contributes 21% of Dubai’s GDP on a yearly basis. In 2016, it generated trade worth USD 80.2 billion.
Last October, the fDi Magazine named Jafza as Free Zone of the Year 2017 for Large Tenants in the Middle East and globally and was highly commended for its facilities upgrades and contribution to the UAE’s national economy. — SG