Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the flagship free zone entity of Dubai and a renowned trade and logistics hub for the wider Middle East spanning from West Asia, the CIS, Africa and Indian Subcontinent, is currently home to over 800 leading Indian companies that are serving all key markets in the region from their regional base in the free zone. The number of Indian companies in the free zone in 2014 posted a growth of 10 per cent.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: "UAE and India enjoy a very strong bond of friendship which is founded on centuries-old cultural and economic interaction between the two regions. The evolution of Dubai as a regional trading hub in 1990s provided a major boost to bilateral trade relations between India and the UAE. Today India is UAE’s largest trading partner. Jafza, which is home to more than 800 top India multinationals, has played a key role in strengthening trade relations between the two countries. The Jafza seeks to attract more leading Indian companies to the free zone, which will, eventually, further enhance bilateral relations between the two countries."
Commenting on the opportunities for Indian investors Sulayem further said: "Most of the countries in the Middle East are currently focused on diversifying their economies in order to reduce their dependence on oil. These countries are estimated to be spending more than $4 trillion in developing economic infrastructure suitable for nurturing non-oil business activities. The investment will not only boost construction and engineering but all other economic sectors right from food and beverage, healthcare, education, transport, communication, hospitality and everything in between.
"Expo 2020, the world’s third largest global event after Olympic and the World Cup in Dubai, will provide further boost to infrastructure related activities in Dubai and other emirates in the UAE, as well as, neighbouring countries who will be benefitted from over 25 million overseas visitors that are expected to visit Dubai during the six-month show. This unveils huge opportunities for Indian investors, which must be capitalized on."
India is Jafza’s one of top trading partners. Jafza hosts a large number of leading Indian multinationals in diverse sectors who have established their regional headquarters in Jafza to serve markets in West Asia including GCC, the CIS and Africa. Jafza-India non-oil trade has tripled in the last ten years to reach almost $4bn in 2014.