Dubai's JLT sees 40% rise in residents in 2010

DMCC says 725 new companies registered last year, taking occupancy rates in free zone to 50%
Dubai's JLT sees 40% rise in residents in 2010
DUBAIS JLT: The state-owned zone registered more than 725 new companies in 2010, an average of 60 per month, and as of December 31 had 2,642 total licenses (Bloomberg Images)
By Karen Leigh
Mon 24 Jan 2011 04:16 PM

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority saw a 40 percent increase in the number of companies operating from Jumeirah Lakes Towers free zone in 2010, it said on Monday.

The state-owned zone registered more than 725 new companies in 2010, an average of 60 per month, and as of December 31 had 2,642 total licenses.

About 85 percent of those companies were new to the Dubai market, DMCC said in a presentation to media.

A report from Jones Lang LaSalle on Sunday said office vacancy rates in Dubai reached 41 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, as new supply flooded an already saturated market.

In commodities trading, DMCC said the value of diamonds traded through the emirate in 2010 rose from $7.6bn in the first half of the year to $16.3bn by its end.

Tea trade reached a record 10.6m kilos, while cotton trade hit $57m, DMCC said.

DGCX, the world's largest derivatives exchange, marked a 28 percent increase to record 1.93mn contracts, worth $104bn.

DMCC executive chairman Ahmed bin Sulayem said that financial hardships of the last two years had benefited the 200-hectare free zone, where tenant occupancy rate is around 50 percent.

"It played to DMCC's advantages - key businesses had a difficult time finding [stable] property," he said.

"There's a huge amount of work that's been done," said CEO Malcolm Wall Morris. "When the DMCC launched Almas Tower, only companies registered with the DMCC could purchase [in the building.]"

When space was sold off-plan to non-registered companies, "it sold out in 24 hours" -- so much demand that a decision was made to expand the square footage.

“Now our main infrastructure is completed and we're looking forward to leveraging off that," Morris said. "We have 53 completed towers, and 13 more to be completed in 2011."

He said the DMCC had made its registration process more efficient, with 90 percent of companies completing it in two weeks.

"We're going to make this a place where people really want to come work, live and play," he said.

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