DUBAI- The automotive and spare parts companies operating in DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jafza, has recorded business worth AED39.5 billion in 2017.
DP World UAE Region, recently held a forum for automotive companies to celebrate the close ties with the industry and to highlight the sector’s position as a cornerstone of business growth in Jafza. The event was attended by Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director of DP World UAE Region and CEO of Jafza, along with senior executives from leading brands.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World
, said, "The encouraging performance of the sector underlines Dubai’s position as the preferred logistics and distribution centre for the automotive industry in the region which has been with us since the beginning. We recognise how the industry has been an integral part of our success story and thank all our customers for their continued trust in us." He added that the vehicle and transport sector accounts for 11 percent of Jafza
’s customers’ base and there are currently 546 automotive companies from 62 countries, employing around 8,200 people. Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone form an ideal Ro-Ro hub close to some of the world's largest emerging markets.
Almost 1.1 million vehicles moved through the port in RoRo carriers and containers in 2017. Commenting on the announcement, Al Muallem said, "Our integrated model of world class port and free zone at Jebel Ali is the most efficient in the region, supported by multimodal connectivity. Our flagship Jebel Ali Port is served by more than 180 shipping lines that offer over 80 services a week, making it the gateway to the UAE and wider GCC and connecting to a global network in 40 countries.
The Customers Forum provides an opportunity for DP World
, UAE Region and Jafza based companies to explore ways to improve efficiencies and enhance support services in challenging market conditions." There is rising optimism for the UAE’s automotive sector following two years of strong headwinds. According to BMI Research, a Fitch Group company, 2018 will see a four percent growth in new vehicle sales in the UAE. BMI Research’s growth forecast for the MENA region is 7.3 percent in 2018, led by commercial vehicle sales, while the GCC markets will return to positive growth of 2.9 percent.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2018.