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Mon 16 Mar 2020 02:49 PM

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Dubai free zone plans expansion as foreign trade grows

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority says it made a 12% contribution to Dubai's foreign trade in 2019, up from 11.2% in 2018

Dubai free zone plans expansion as foreign trade grows

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has announced that it made a 12 percent contribution to Dubai’s foreign trade in 2019, up from 11.2 percent in 2018.

Out of a total trade value of AED1.37 trillion, DAFZA's foreign trade exceeded AED164 billion compared to AED146 billion in 2018, driven by more than 15.8 percent growth in imports while total exports and re-exports reached AED91.8 billion, allowing DAFZA to achieve an AED19.4 billion trade surplus in 2019.

India was DAFZA's biggest trade partner in 2019 valued at AED30 billion, followed by China (AED28.4 billion) and Switzerland (AED26.8 billion).

In terms of imports, India ranked first with AED29.4 billion, followed by China (AED28.4 billion) while Switzerland ranked first in exports and re-exports (AED25.1 billion), followed by Iraq (AED11.3 billion).

In terms of goods, machinery and electrical and electronics equipment ranked first with a value of AED37.4 billion for imports and AED53 billion for exports and re-exports.

As part of its expansion plans to provide additional leasing space and facilities to the increasing number of companies, DAFZA said a new building compound is due to open in the first half of the year.

The new buildings will have a leasing space of 21,580 square metres, of which DAFZA leased almost half of before the expected opening. DAFZA is also currently working on developing a new multi-story car park, which is expected to open next year.

DAFZA said it also witnessed growth in operations of its hosted multinational companies. In 2019, DAFZA's total revenues of multinational companies increased by 36.6 percent while the total space occupied by multinational companies increased by more than 135 percent. 

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of DAFZA, hailed the results, saying the free zone has enhanced Dubai's reputation as an attractive destination for global investors.

Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, director general of DAFZA, said: “DAFZA is one of the most attractive destinations for global companies of all sizes and sectors looking to work within a safe and flexible investment environment that can keep pace with different economic trends and fluctuations."

In 2019, a number of international companies opened their regional headquarters in DAFZA or expanded their facilities to serve customers across the region including Airbus, TNA, a global supplier of integrated food processing and packaging solutions, and Michelin.

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