Jebel Ali Free Zone maintains growth

Jebel Ali Free ZoneImage Credit: Supplied

The upswing in the fortunes of UAE’s earliest business cluster, the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), continues with a 17 per cent increase in the number of new companies registered in 2014 compared to last year.

The free zone, with a humble beginning of 19 companies in 1995, is today a thriving business zone, home to around 7,100 companies from diverse industries that range from automobile and aeronautics to food processing.

Some of the new developments in Jafza include a specialised halal zone. The cluster will have various research and development (R&D) laboratories, companies and accreditation centres which will form an entire halal value chain. This will include developing and testing halal products, production, certification, logistics, and sales and marketing.

Jafza is also undertaking steps to create a platform for companies operating from the free zone to be listed on Nasdaq Dubai, which will help them garner investment from the bourse.

Some of the current infrastructure projects in the free zone are the Jafza One Convention Centre Complex, LIU (light industrial unit) 10 project, new road infrastructure in Jafza South, and access gate projects for light and heavy vehicles in Jafza South and North.

The first phase of Jafza One was completed last year. Jafza One is an imposing complex that comprises 34-floor twin towers. On completion, it will house various conference rooms, a four-star hotel, an auditorium, and a banquet and exhibition hall. Office space of around 43,000 square metres is currently available in the building. A food court and two levels of car parking are also operational. Besides being an office destination, it is also expected to become a thriving exhibition venue on the lines of the Dubai Wold Trade Centre.

With its various business offerings and modern infrastructure, expect Jafza to continue to grow in the years to come.

Handy Hints
• Jafza has played a key role in the economic growth of Dubai, UAE
• It won many awards, including Shaikh Khalifa Excellence Award
• Jafza One offers investors 43,000-square-metre office space

Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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