The number of new businesses setting up in the UAE through Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the emirate’s flagship free zone, went up by 19 percent during the first half of the year, driven by strong demand from markets in Europe and Asia.

At least 1,469 new companies registered with the DMCC between January and June this year, bringing the free zone’s total number of companies to 21,000.

The high turnout of new businesses has been due to Dubai’s continued commercial appeal to foreign investors. “Growth was also buoyed by continued interest in the DMCC Crypto Centre, and high volumes of trade for a range of commodities, predominantly diamonds, tea and coffee,” DMCC said.

The free zone has been promoting Dubai as a prime destination for foreign direct investment, holding roadshows in major markets like the UK, Spain, Turkey, Poland, Brazil and Colombia.

China and India remain the crucial target markets for the zone, comprising a combined 20 percent of new members in 2022 so far. During the first half of the year, however, 40 percent of new companies that have set up their business at DMCC are from Europe and South America.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)