Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) witnessed a 42 per cent increase in 2013 revenue, as compared to 2012. The Freezone licensed 196 new tenants and contributed to eight per cent of Dubai’s trade.The Freezone saw an increase in the number of registered companies from various regions. These figures stem from DAFZA’s business seminars in the targeted countries, focused on growing bilateral relations between them and the UAE.
As a facilitator of commercial ties between international trade partners and the UAE, DAFZA develops investment opportunities by offering foreign ownership policies. Currently, there is a wide variety of industries operating out of the Freezone some of which are, Electronics and Electrical, Engineering and Building Materials, Aerospace & Aviation, Logistics and Freight, Food & Beverages, Pharmaceutical, etc. and the same applies to the regions they originate from. In the Freezone, 39 per cent of companies are from Europe and North America, 38 per cent are from the GCC & Middle East, 17 per cent from Asia, 3 per cent from Offshore Islands, 2 per cent from Africa and 1 per cent from Australia.
Additionally, new international investors opened offices for the first time in the Freezone, including Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional (LA LIGA), which will act as a base to attract sponsorships, as well as promoting Spanish football teams in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Other new multi -national corporations currently operating out of the Freezone include Metlife Alico, Richard Mille, YAMAHA Motors and ISUZU Motors.
“I am extremely proud of DAFZA’s accomplishments year-on-year as they are a reflection of our nation’s ambitions. The UAE has come far in such a short period of time because of its strong leadership and united people. DAFZA embodies each and every value our great nation stands for and will continue its success for many years to come,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DAFZA.
“Through our customer centric approach and unrivalled determination to attract international investors, our results in 2013 reflect our commitment to excellence as we continuously strive to improve our organization. We managed to cater to our tenants needs through the launch of our new app in accordance with Dubai’s Smart Government initiative and our new company structure supporting the growth of SMEs in Dubai by implementing a minimum of just AED 1000 per share,” said Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, DAFZA’s Director General.
“Through our additional services and growth, we managed to grow our Fortune 1000 companies by 48 per cent, allowing our total operation to contribute to Dubai’s trade by eight per cent.”
Dr. Al Zarooni explained that the Freezone companies, currently standing at more than 1,600 from around the world, cover a diverse spectrum of industries that meet the needs of the Middle Eastern and African markets. He believes this alignment will in turn lead to on-going business integration and boost economic relationships between the UAE and other countries worldwide.
Dr. Al Zarooni said: “In 2014, we will continue to build facilities and services to meet our tenants day-to-day needs. As part of a larger multi-purpose centre for our tenants, we plan on opening a new food court and expect the larger project to be completed by Q1 2015, inclusive of 20 new food outlets, 11 shops, a gym and business centre. Additionally, we will add 1,192 new parking spaces.”
In 2014 and looking forward, in line with the Dubai’s government strategic direction, DAFZA will continue to contribute to the welfare and betterment of the community, observing international standards in all its practices. The Freezone plans to do this by enhancing its profitability through new value-added products and services, seeking opportunities for diversification. DAFZA expects to maintain and expand its market share through attracting investors from primary and secondary markets.
DAFZA was recognized with seven international awards. These awards included the world’s premier business awards, the Stevie Awards, in three different categories: new services and products award, best IT department award and the best marketing department award. In addition to American Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award, the number one Free Zone in the World by Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) magazine, the Quality and Distinctive Performance Award, the Comprehensive Quality in Client Satisfaction Award. DAFZA also obtained the ISO:50001 certificate in energy management as it managed to reduce energy consumption by eight per cent; and ISO:28000 for its effective security management.
“Our employees are key in helping us achieve excellence and are a reflection of each of our accomplishments to date. To date, we have achieved an employee satisfaction rate of 84 per cent. We strongly believe in investing in our community, and one way we achieve this is through hiring young Emirati nationals, integrating them into the corporate world. DAFZA is a partner of the Absher initiative, achieving an Emiratization rate of 71 per cent across employees, and we have encouraged our tenants to do the same,” said Dr. Al Zarooni.