New figures reveal Jebel Ali Free Zone generated nearly a quarter of all trade in the emirate
Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai has reaffirmed its position as the region’s top trade and logistics hub by generating 29.4 million metric tonnes of trade, valued at $83.1 billion in 2017.
The figures represent 23 percent to the total value of trade in Dubai, 70 percent of the value of all Dubai’s free zone trade combined and has increased 4 percent year on year, DP World said in a statement.
The volume of trade amounts to 97 percent of Dubai’s total free zone trade, 32 percent of Dubai’s total trade and has seen a 6 percent increase in trade year-on-year.
The total traded volume is the highest since 2013, DP World added.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “This is a proud moment for Jafza as our free zone continues to lead Dubai’s trade sector maintaining its positions as a regional and global business and logistics hub of choice.
"Last year’s growth was achieved against the headwinds of an economic slowdown across the world. The sustained growth of Jafza since 2013 across diverse sectors demonstrates its ability to leverage key market dynamics to create growth opportunities for our customers.
"Most critically, it shows that the Dubai and the UAE’s economy continues to be healthy and flexible, capable of successfully weathering and adapting to the changing patterns of international trade and global economics.”
Over 77 percent of Jafza’s total trade volume in 2017 was generated by three sectors - oil and gas; foodstuff, livestock and agricultural products and metal, steel and construction material.
Meanwhile, 76 percent of the trade value was derived from five sectors - electronics and electricals, vehicle and transport, retail and general trading, oil and gas, and machinery and equipment.
Bin Sulayem added that Jafza’s top markets by region were the Middle East at 40 percent, Asia at 31 percent and Europe at 13 percent.
He said China remained Jafza’s largest trade partner, followed by Saudi Arabia, the US, Vietnam and India.