Underpinning its status as a key pillar supporting Dubai’s economy, DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) generated over AED454.7 billion ($124 billion) in trade in 2021, up 19 per cent year-on-year. The rise in trade compares to the AED382.8 billion facilitated by Jafza in 2020.
Complementing this growth was an 18.6 per cent increase in the number of new companies registered in the free zone, bringing the total number to more than 9,000, a WAM report said.
More than 25 per cent of the new companies registered in the free zone belonged to the retail and general trading segment, the highest representation in Jafza. This was followed by electronics and electrical with a nearly 10 per cent rise, and the vehicle and transport sector which had more than 9 per cent rise in numbers.
PROGRESS IN SECTORS
Several sectors in the free zone also recorded significant improvements in trade. The electrical and machinery sector topped, followed by construction materials, consumer electronics, and auto parts and spares.
Abdulla bin Damithan, CEO & Managing Director, DP World UAE & Jafza, said: “We are proud of what we have achieved over the years, especially since 2020, considering the challenges that reshaped global supply chains. Even as the pandemic disrupted trade operations, we succeeded in maintaining business continuity for our clients and us because of our investments in technology and advanced infrastructure. These enabled smooth operations and placed us ahead of our competition. Building on our success, we will continue investing in digital platforms alongside our partners to ensure seamless cargo flows.”
The growth in Jafza’s trade gains even greater significance considering it was achieved in a challenging year that saw ports worldwide deal with congestion due to lockdowns and other restrictions. However, trade from Jafza continued to flow seamlessly due to its proximity to the region’s largest deep-sea port, Jebel Ali Port, and Al Maktoum International Airport, as well as its multimodal connectivity model.
Utilising the capabilities of Dubai Trade, a single window integrated e-platform for traders and logistics companies, Jafza customers can easily access data from the global supply chain. The digital service provides details on vital information related to various commodities right from its production sources and offers instant quotes to help cargo owners secure the best deals.
Adding to these advantages provided to Jafza customers is the newly established Yiwu Market, which sits at the heart of the free zone. This is the first smart free-zone market in the Middle East, catering to retail and wholesale industries and revolutionising trade in the region by providing advanced end-to-end solutions. These factors have all combined to enable the success of Jafza as an ideal business hub, facilitating trade across the globe.