Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Dubai Airport free zone records 25% rise in registered companies

Multinationals made up 36 per cent of the total 1,600 companies in 2017, Dafza says

The free zone has seen the number of registered companies increase. Courtesy Dafza
The free zone has seen the number of registered companies increase. Courtesy Dafza

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza), the economic zone that encompasses Dubai International Airport and the surrounding area, reported a 25 per cent year-on-year increase in registered companies in 2017, supported by a 6 per cent increase in leasable space over the period.

“The results highlight Dafza’s role in supporting the UAE’s economic diversification strategy and enhancing the investment and trade movement in Dubai and the nation as a whole,” said Dafza chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Dafza grew its roster of registered companies to 1,600 in 2017, a 25 per cent increase from the previous year, the authority said.

Of that, the number of multinational companies rose 13 per cent, and now make up 36 per cent of the total number of companies in the free zone.

“This reflects the growing confidence of foreign investors and major international companies in Dafza,” the authority said in a statement to media.

“Many international brands have selected Dafza as their of choice for their regional operations over the past two decades.”


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Meanwhile, the number of SMEs in the zone grew 27 per cent year on year, “reflecting Dafza’s commitment to supporting the growth of SMEs”, it said.

Growth in registered companies was supported by a 6 per cent increase in the free zone’s total leasable area, although Dafza did not provide the current size of the zone.

Licensing revenues grew 16 per cent year-on-year and total assets rose 2 per cent, Dafza added, although it did not supply figures in either case.

Revenue from new commercial tenants contributed 8 per cent of the total rental revenue for 2017.

The free zone also accounted for 7 per cent of Dubai’s non-oil trade based on 2016 trading figures, and 18 per cent of total Dubai free zone trade.

Updated: March 4, 2018 07:19 PM