• H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum: “DAFZA’s strong performance in the first six months confirms its strategic commitment to increasing its economic contribution.”
• Increase of 8.3% in DAFZA’s sales revenues
• Increase of 88.4% in the number of registered companies
• 11% contribution to Dubai’s trade during the first three months of the year
Dubai, UAE, 31 July 2021: The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has announced the results of its operational performance for the first half of 2021. The free zone achieved growth in new sales revenues with an increase of 8.3%, which resulted from the rise of 24% in the leased areas compared to the same period last year. These record results are an extension of the strategic plan set by DAFZA at the beginning of 2021, which aims to target the recovering markets after lifting the restrictions on global trade movement in a post-pandemic environment. In addition, the results show an increase in demand for the logistic units and leasing by more than double when compared to 2020. The figures confirm the excellence of integrated services DAFZA provides to its partners and its strategic location next to Dubai International Airport, enabling reach to local, regional, and international markets.
DAFZA achieved strong results by launching a set of economic incentives and packages to attract new investors. This led to an increase in the number of registered companies by 88.4% compared to the same period in 2020. DAFZA maintained its position as a preferred destination for multinational companies and succeeded under the current circumstances in increasing the number of registrations for those companies by 23.5%. DAFZA also supported small and medium-sized companies by providing advanced solutions that create opportunities for commercial and service expansion in the region. This falls in line with the direction of the UAE government and the emirate of Dubai to support this sector and enhance its economic contribution. As a result, DAFZA recorded an increase in the number of small and medium companies by 96.4 % compared to the same period last year.
DAFZA’s contribution to Dubai’s trade during the first three months of the year
DAFZA’s total trade reached more than $39 billion in the first quarter of 2021, with an increase of 4.7% compared to the same period in 2020. The free zone also achieved a trade surplus of 2.44 billion dirhams. As a result, DAFZA’s contribution to Dubai’s trade accounted for 11% during the first quarter of 2021, in which it maintained the same level in the first quarter of 2020.
In terms of goods, the group of machinery, television, and electrical equipment and pearls, semi-precious stones, and metals accounted for 94% of DAFZA's trade. The first group achieved high growth of 32.4% in the first quarter of 2021, where the value of the group's imports amounted to 14.1 billion dirhams and the importance of exports 15.7 billion dirhams.
China was DAFZA’s biggest trade partner, which accounted for 31% of the free zone's trade in the first quarter of this year. It witnessed a high growth of 56.4% compared to the same period, and its imports amounted to 64%.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DAFZA, said: “DAFZA's strong performance in the first half of this year confirms its ability to attract and sustain foreign direct investments. As well as its strategic role in supporting the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in positioning Dubai as the capital of the global economy. Our results were an expected response to the recovery of the global trade movement and the opening of markets, proving the high confidence the emirate enjoys globally.
“The emirate will be hosting the upcoming major global event Expo 2020, which will shed light on the exceptional experience led by the UAE and the emirate of Dubai in directing and attracting investments and creating opportunities. This means the coming phase will be a promising period of recovery that will positively reflect on our economy and the other neighboring markets,” H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed added.
H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of DAFZA, said: “DAFZA proves its ability to record exceptional and robust results in light of the challenges posed by the global trade movement. DAFZA is keen to continue its engagement with strategic and new markets and expand its high attractiveness with its integrated business solutions. By doing this, DAFZA is adding real value to the existing customers and new companies looking to establish business and trade through the emirate of Dubai.
“DAFZA’s achievements during the first six months of this year highlight its relentless pursuit and keenness to provide a single global business model, underlining its leadership as one of the most advanced and developed free zones in the world. The free zone also plays a key role in supporting the direction of the UAE and the emirate of Dubai in economic diversification, as DAFZA supports more than 1,800 companies across more than 20 economic sectors. DAFZA’s flexibility of its business environment and continuous effort to support the operations of companies is delivered through providing various incentives that enable businesses to achieve strategic objectives across different markets,” Al Zarooni added.
“This year will include key initiatives and projects for DAFZA that will solidify its position as a pivotal economic contributor to the emirate of Dubai,” Al Zarooni concluded.
Strategic initiatives launched by DAFZA during the first six months
DAFZA has signed an agreement with the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA). The agreement supports the regulation, offering, issuance, listing, and trading of crypto assets within the free zone. The new agreement allows companies trading with crypto assets and cryptocurrencies to be licensed within DAFZA, as the SCA will be issuing the relevant approvals and licenses. Through this partnership, DAFZA has expanded its business licenses and commercial activities that will be integrated with the incentives and services the free zone provides. It will also provide a regulatory framework and flexible legislative environment that enhances the foreign investor experience.
DAFZA signed a strategic partnership with du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), to automate business processes by launching a new no-objection certificate (NOC) platform. The collaborative partnership will see the two parties take full advantage of the UAE’s first locally-hosted Blockchain service, the Blockchain Edge. It also contributes to the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which aims to make Dubai the preferred destination for investment activities and the most accessible destination for doing business globally. It also falls in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, to reduce government procedures for doing business by 30 percent within three months.
In terms of its commitment to supporting small and medium-sized companies, DAFZA launched a one-of-a-kind innovative start-up program called Scality, which is set to attract local, regional and global tech start-ups and enable them to establish and grow their businesses in the region. Scality offers start-ups the opportunity to set up and operate their businesses with flexibility and convenience in a commercially effective way. The program enables them to increase the number of employees easily and efficiently.
This year, DAFZA also launched the “Hayak” program, specially designed for employees from the companies operating at DAFZA. The first of its kind program across free zones in the emirate of Dubai. The new program provides its members with various offers and services from various partners and prestigious brands across different sectors. The program will benefit more than 18,000 employees working in more than 1,800 companies across 20 industries with their regional headquarters in the free zone.