The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (Dafza) posted yet another banner year in 2015, achieving an impressive total revenue growth of 7 per cent and total assets growth of 3 per cent.
As a gateway connecting the emerging markets in Middle East and Africa, the Freezone grew its number of registered companies by 22 per cent, with multinational companies in particular rising 9 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 6 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.
Sheikh 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 free zone. 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."
"We aim to make a positive impact on smart transformation through investments in innovative ideas and projects’ expansion in the free zone. We will pay great attention towards strengthening the bridges of communication with the international business community, maintaining our status as one of the most premium free zones in the world, and effectively contributing to the economic development in Dubai and the UAE," he added.
Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director-General of Dafza, added, "The past year was a successful journey for us as we were able to maintain industry leadership despite the many local, regional and global challenges. It was a particularly successful period for us in terms of further streamlining our finances and operations, expanding our global presence, and supporting the national economic diversification policy to build a future beyond oil by encouraging major global names from various industries to do business at Dafza."
He added, 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. Our strong financial results will pave the way for us to reach higher levels of excellence and leadership, especially with the buoyant economic outlook for Dubai which is positioning itself as one of the top investment destinations in the world."
Dafza's strategy is to accelerate growth based on the solid foundations of innovations and excellence, in order to achieve its vision of positioning itself as the world’s ultimate free zone destination. It is developing its Strategic Plan 2017-2021 which will bring added value to Dafza’s accomplishments that have placed it among the most innovative and competitive free zones in the world.
In line with its endeavours to develop a strategy that helps meet future requirements and supports economic diversification policies, Dafza is currently studying macroeconomic and environmental factors to arrive at a dynamic yet sustainable strategy for 2017 – 2021 aligned with the Dubai 2021 Plan aiming at making Dubai ‘a pivotal hub in the global economy’.