Dafza rev­enues up 7pc on in­no­va­tion

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

The Dubai Air­port Free­zone Au­thor­ity, or Dafza, on Satur­day an­nounced a seven per cent in­crease in to­tal rev­enues in 2015.

The Free­zone grew its num­ber of reg­is­tered com­pa­nies by 22 per cent, with multi­na­tional com­pa­nies in par­tic­u­lar ris­ing nine per cent as re­flected by the growth of new sales rev­enue by 18 per cent. The share of GCC and Middle East­ern com­pa­nies in Dafza reached 40 per cent, fol­lowed by Amer­i­can and Euro­pean com­pa­nies at 36 per cent and Asian com­pa­nies at 18 per cent. The share of com­pa­nies from other parts of the world col­lec­tively reached six per cent. Re­flect­ing the resur­gence of Dubai's busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, Dafza wit­nessed higher de­mand for its of­fice pack­ages due to var­i­ous fac­tors, such as sus­tained eco­nomic growth and ea­ger an­tic­i­pa­tion over global prospects re­lated to the up­com­ing 2020 Dubai World Expo. Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial 2015 sta­tis­tics, leasable of­fice spa­ces across the Free­zone in­creased by 11 per cent over 2014.

Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Mak­toum, chair­man of Dafza, said: "Dafza is tak­ing steady steps to­wards po­si­tion­ing it­self as a main player and ma­jor driver for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and trade growth in Dubai, post­ing a strong per­for­mance and achiev­ing sig­nif­i­cant growth at the op­er­a­tional level and among the fo­cal sec­tors in the free­zone. Last year's buoy­ant fi­nan­cial re­sults are tes­ta­ments to Dafza's high po­ten­tials and com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages which re­flect its piv­otal role in at­tract­ing for­eign in­vest­ments in the com­ing months." Shaikh Ahmed added: "Our suc­ces­sive achieve­ments drive us to in­ten­sify our ef­forts to im­ple­ment our am­bi­tious ini­tia­tives that we launched in 2015, such as the Dafza In­no­va­tion Strat­egy. We are look­ing for­ward to sup­port eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion poli­cies which com­ple­ment the ' UAE Be­yond Oil Strat­egy.' We will fo­cus on cre­at­ing in­te­grated so­lu­tions and in­no­va­tive ini­tia­tives that con­trib­ute to the achieve­ment of th­ese am­bi­tious ob­jec­tives and na­tional pri­or­i­ties. We aim to make a pos­i­tive im­pact on smart trans­for­ma­tion through in­vest­ments in in­no­va­tive ideas and projects' ex­pan­sion in the Free­zone."

Dr Mo­hammed Al Za­rooni, di­rec­tor gen­eral of Dafza, added: "The past year was a suc­cess­ful jour­ney for us... In 2016, in­no­va­tion will be a strate­gic fo­cus for us to ac­cel­er­ate our growth and sup­port our ef­forts to ex­plore the fu­ture in line with the wise vi­sion of the UAE's lead­er­ship." Dur­ing 2015, Dafza at­tracted a num­ber of prom­i­nent in­ter­na­tional and multi­na­tional com­pa­nies that showed in­ter­est in ben­e­fit­ting from the com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages avail­able at the free­zone, es­pe­cially its strate­gic lo­ca­tion, tax ex­emp­tions, ad­vanced in­fra­struc­ture, in­vest­ment in­cen­tives, and in­te­grated port­fo­lio of lo­gis­tic ser­vices, so­phis­ti­cated fa­cil­i­ties and smart so­lu­tions. Dafza's cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion level rose to 77.6 per cent.

Elec­tron­ics & Elec­tri­cal emerged as Dafza's top sec­tor by pres­ence in 2015, ac­count­ing for 16 per cent of hosted com­pa­nies. Con­sumer Prod­ucts fol­lowed next at 11 per cent, with En­gi­neer­ing and Build­ing Ma­te­ri­als and Aero­space, Avi­a­tion and Re­lated Ser­vices tied at third at nine per cent and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion, Food and Bev­er­ages and Lo­gis­tics and Freight plac­ing fourth at eight per cent.

More­over, most li­censes is­sued by Dafza were com­mer­cial li­censes which rep­re­sented 67 per cent cent of the to­tal, while ser­vice li­censes reached 32 per cent and in­dus­trial li­censes 1 per cent com­pared to 2014.

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