Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) has posted over 21 percent growth in the number of new companies conducting business there in the first half of 2014 compared with the same period last year.
363 new multi-nationals have chosen the Free Zone as their regional base in the first six months. Quite a few of these new joiners are Global Fortune 500 companies, according to the flagship free zone operation of Dubai.
More than 50 percent of these new companies come from the Asia Pacific, led by India and China, while 10 percent are from the Americas and the U.K., which reinforces the strategic importance of JAFZA as the hub to serve the thriving Middle Eastern markets.
Ibrahim Mohammed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO of JAFZA and Chief Commercial Officer of Economic Zones World (EZW), parent company of Jebel Ali Free Zone, commenting on the robust growth of the Free Zone, said, "The large number of high profile multinationals that we have attracted in the first half reinforces JAFZA's invincible status as the gateway to the Middle East and a key driver to attracting foreign direct investment into Dubai and the country. JAFZA accounts for almost 40 percent of FDI into the emirate and 20 percent into the U.A.E. The leading sectors that attracted new companies into the Free Zone include machinery and equipment, it and electronics, building materials and foodstuff." JAFZA remains one of the key drivers of Dubai and the U.A.E.'s non-oil economic development. The Free Zone accounts for more than a half of Dubai's exports and a quarter of its total non-oil trade. JAFZA, according to a PwC report, contributes more than 21 percent to the GDP of Dubai.
Al Janahi continued, "Dubai's right to host World Expo 2020 provides further push to the continuously growing trade and commerce in the U.A.E. and the region. As a facilitator, we have launched a number of important initiatives such as Matajircom and Halal Zone that follow and support the government's strategy to fulfil the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the most dynamic economy in the world." During the first half of the year, JAFZA has announced two important initiatives: Matajircom and Halal Zone that are expected to have a strong impact on the U.A.E. and the entire Middle East.
JAFZA is one of the most diverse free zones in the world. It is currently home to 7,500 of the world's finest companies. 17 percent of these companies are in IT and Electronics, 15 percent in construction material, 12 percent in chemical and petroleum products, 12 percent in machinery and equipment, 10 percent in food and healthcare, 9 percent in automotive and 5 percent in logistics sector.