Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 31 May 2017: Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), a company of global trade enabler DP World and a major destination for foreign direct investment in the Middle East, Africa and CIS states, registered 122 new companies from 33 countries during the first three months of 2017.
More than half (55 percent) of new companies were from the Middle East region, followed by 22 percent from Asia-Pacific , 16 percent from Europe, 4 percent from Africa and 3 percent from North America.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO DP World, said: “The number of companies reflects investor confidence in Jafza services and facilities in a wide range of industry sectors.
“Jafza's innovative approach is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to adopt international best practice in the business sector to attract foreign investments to the UAE and Dubai.“Our strategy is also guided by the UAE 2021 Plan and Dubai 2021 Plan in the country's preparation for the post-oil economy.
Mr. Bin Sulayem noted that as a result of the business expansion by existing companies and the inclusion of new ones, Jafza has leased more than 158,000 square meters of space with plots of land totaling 148,000 square meters and warehouses 5,700 square meters.
Mr. Bin Sulayem said that the occupancy of warehouses and light industrial units had reached 82 percent after new units were added last year, while the occupancy of staff accommodation had exceeded 95 percent.
The occupancy for office space in the Free Zone was now 66 percent following the addition of new office space in Jafza's new office building, Jafza One. Showroom occupancy stands at 78 percent, with small offices and workstations for SMEs at 98 percent.
Of the 122 companies registered, 20 percent were in the general trading and retail sector, followed by 11 percent in steel and building materials, with 10 percent each in the automotive & transport, equipment, machinery and services sectors.
Meanwhile, Jafza is working on an integrated project to re-engineer its operations and services In Q1 2017, it completed the automation of more of its services with customers no longer required to physically visit the service centre for additional services. These can now be completed through the Group's Dubai Trade portal or by calling the Jafza Call Centre.
The Free Zone has also implemented a digital signature system in coordination with its strategic government partners, embassies and consulates in the country so that the documents can be directly emailed to customers' registered email address.. Verification can also be done through a dedicated website.
In cooperation with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Jafza is building another six-lane two-way bridge to link Jafza North and Jafza South, to ease traffic on the Dubai Logistics Corridor, especially container traffic headed from Jebel Ali Port to Al Maktoum International Airport. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
During the first quarter, Jafza also began the construction of a 150,000 square meter residential complex for workers, with 13 buildings and 3,536 rooms.