By Karen Leigh
DMCC says 725 new companies registered last year, taking occupancy rates in free zone to 50%
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.
JLT is a nice place to live, however they failed to include community services such as provision for a Mosque, or a centralised services cluster that includes supermarket, nursery, post office, laundry, pharmacy, restaurants, etc as seen in other developments near by.
These services are available, but are scattered throughout the JLT towers, with most of the roads "one way" making it extremely difficult to navigate and reach your destination efficiently.
DMCC needs to fix a critical issue of access roads in order for JLT to be the place where people come to 'work, live, and play.' The current 2 lane access road to Shk. Zayed is completely insufficient and creates huge bottlenecks at rush hour. Major inconvenience for residents and office goers. Additional handovers and residents in the area is only going to make matter worse.
JLT is becoming one of the best areas to live in now! I understand why people were not recommending JLT last year and also in 2009 - it was an empty construction site!
Now, the picture has totally changed. I am so happy to be part of the JLT Community. The landscaping they have done is awesome, the tiling all around the lake where you can jog, walk, stop by a caffe and sip a nice coffee or even eat or have your hair and nails done is another beauty. You can walk your dog and make friends everyday here now. There are playgrounds for children and they seem to be attracting lots of mums and kids. I highly recommend it.