Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) recorded a 19% jump in trade in 2021 despite global supply chain problems.

The flagship free zone subsidiary of global ports operator DP World generated over AED454.7 billion ($123.8 billion) in trade last year, up from AED382.8 billion a year earlier, according to a statement on Wednesday.

The number of new companies setting up in the free zone also went up by 18.6% during the same period, bringing the total number to more than 9,000.

Abdulla bin Damithan, CEO and Managing Director of DP World UAE and Jafza, said they are proud of what has been achieved over the years, especially since 2020, when the the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted and reshaped global supply chains.

"Even as the pandemic disrupted trade operations, we succeeded in maintaining business continuity for our clients," Damithan noted. He said their investments in technology and advanced infrastructure have enabled smooth operations at the zone.

"We will continue investing in digital platforms alongside our partners to ensure seamless cargo flows," he said.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Anoop Menon)