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 per cent 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 per cent growth in its customer base with a 20 per cent rise in occupancy and a 49 per cent increase in leased offices, marking its best annual performance.
“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,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World.
The new-comers 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 per cent, followed by Asia-Pacific at 28 per cent, Europe 15 per cent, Africa five per cent and the Americas three per cent.
The electronics and electrical sector continues to lead accounting for 16 per cent of all Jafza-based companies, followed by machinery and equipment with a 13 per cent; foodstuffs, livestock and agricultural products 11 per cent; retail and general trading 11 per cent; and vehicle and transport 11 per cent.
Other industry verticals are metal, steel, construction eight per cent; services eight per cent; chemicals seven per cent; healthcare and pharma five per cent; logistics four per cent; oil and gas four per cent; and other sectors two per cent.
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 per cent of total FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) flows into the UAE and contributes 21 per cent of Dubai’s GDP on a yearly basis. In 2016, it generated trade worth $80.2 billion.