By Staff writer
Business sources say value of trade set to increase by 5-7% in 2015 compared to previous year
The value of trade at Dubai’s free zones is reportedly set to grow by five percent this year to reach AED515 billion ($140.2 billion).
Sources from the Dubai Customs and the Chamber of Commerce were quoted as saying the value of trade at the emirate’s free zones could increase by as much as seven percent from the AED489 billion reported last year.
Currently, free zones trade comprises 37 percent of the total value of the emirate’s overall trade, Arabic daily Al Bayan reported.
It said the value of the foreign trade of Dubai free zones hit a record high of approximately AED130 billion in the first quarter of this year, up by 6.5 percent compared with the same period last year.
Last month, JLL said in a new report that Dubai is expected to consolidate its position as the top city for corporate occupiers in the the Middle East and North Africa over the next three years.
Its first Occupier Sentiment Survey in the MENA region said while there is still growth in demand in Saudi Arabia and Egypt from companies servicing these local markets, Dubai remains the preferred location for regional operations.
There are 20,000 companies in Dubai’s free zones from all over the world with their investments comprising nearly 50 percent of the total foreign direct investments in the emirate, the paper added.
They provide about 200,000 jobs and contribute 25 percent to Dubai’s gross domestic product.
Dubai has 23 free trade zones, with Jebel Ali Free Zone accounting for 80 percent of total trade of the emirate’s free zones.