Dubai free zone continued to attract new businesses in H1 despite COVID-19

Airport free zone records 19% increase in number of registered companies in first half of 2020

Free zone in Terminal 3, Dubai DXB airport.

Free zone in Terminal 3, Dubai DXB airport.

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The number of companies registered with the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) increased by 19 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, the authority has confirmed.

The new businesses include small and medium-sized companies, which recorded a “remarkable growth” of about 23 percent compared to last year, according to the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA).

The influx of new businesses strengthens the free zone’s position as a hub for entrepreneurs seeking more opportunities for growth in an increasingly challenging environment.

“[The figures confirm] DAFZA’s reputation as a haven for companies looking for a safe environment that supports them to grow and help them achieve their strategic goals at both the operational and financial levels,” the authority said in a statement.

Th free zone also recorded a trade surplus of 3.1 billion UAE dirhams and a 54 percent increase in exports during the same period, with China accounting for the biggest share of DAFZA’s trade (21 percent) worth 7.7 billion UAE dirhams. India emerged as the second-biggest trading partner (6.1 billion dirhams), followed by Switzerland (5.1 billion).

Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of DAFZA, said their half-year performance highlighted the free zone’s “strategic agility and ability to adapt, to secure long-term returns on investment.”

“In the first half of this year, we have witnessed unprecedented times, which led to many economic challenges and restrictions. DAFZA has demonstrated its success in overcoming these challenges as shown through various indicators and economic results,” Al Maktoum said.

The free zone had earlier rolled out economic incentives to aid entrepreneurs and ensure business continuity during the pandemic.

The outbreak has crippled a lot of businesses worldwide and resulted in massive job losses.

A survey by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce released in May showed that a staggering 70 percent of businesses in the emirate expect to shut down within the next six months as the health crisis decimated demand.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)


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© ZAWYA 2020

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