Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) achieved a growth of 8 per cent in the total value of foreign trade which exceeded Dh78 billion ($21.2 billion) during the first half of 2019, an increase of Dh5.7 billion and contributing 12 per cent to Dubai's foreign trade.
This was driven by an 11 per cent growth in re-exports, which reached a value around Dh45 billion, representing 21 per cent of the total re-exports in Dubai. For the second consecutive year, the free zone also achieved a large trade surplus of over Dh11 billion in the first half of 2019, a growth of 35 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dafza, said that the results of the first half of 2019 are a reflection of the free zone’s efforts to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) to the emirate and sustain its business growth.
Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, director general of Dafza, commented that Dafza has continued to play a key role in enhancing the growth of Dubai's economy, through its solid plans which ensure that the free zone is home to major international companies, as well as ambitious small and medium-sized companies planning to expand across the UAE and the region.
Dr Al Zarooni added that the results of the trade movement through the free zone are a direct reflection of the positive image and confidence placed by foreign companies and investors in Dafza and is an important milestone that showcases the various elements that ensure the ease of trade.
Trade partners and vital sectors
India accounted for the highest percentage of Dafza's trade with 18 per cent at Dh14.1 billion, followed by Switzerland with 16.4 per cent at Dh12.8 billion. China accounted for 15.7 per cent with Dh12.3 billion. Switzerland topped the list of countries in terms of re-exports from Dafza by 27 per cent, valued at Dh12 billion, a growth of 16 per cent compared to the same period last year.
India ranked first in terms of its contribution to the imports of Dafza and accounted for 41 per cent, valued at Dh13.8 billion with a 16 per cent growth compared to last year.
In terms of types of goods, Dafza witnessed a great diversity from various industries where the group of machinery and electrical equipment ranked first with 58 per cent of the total re-export value of Dh25.7 billion, an increase of 15 per cent.
Furthermore, this sector accounts for 48 per cent of total imports worth Dh16.2 billion. This was followed by pearls, semi-precious stones and metals with 35 per cent of the total re-export value of Dh15.5 billion and 43 per cent in terms of total imports worth Dh14.5 billion. Both sectors represent 92 per cent of Dafza’s total trade.
A home for leading international companies
In 2019, a number of international companies opened their regional headquarters in Dafza or expanded their facilities to serve customers across the region. Among these highlights includes Airbus expanding its business with the opening of its first Africa and Middle East Cabin Electronics Service Centre.
The facility will serve local and regional carriers as well as customers in India and Turkey, which includes repair and spare part services for cabin components and systems as well as customer onsite technical services such as cabin system training. The Centre will provide greater flexibility for Airbus customers with spare parts being maintained closer to airlines’ operations, taking the advantage of the strategic location of Dafza.
TNA, a leading global supplier of integrated food processing and packaging solutions, has opened its new regional headquarters in Dafza. The new facility will allow TNA Mena to offer a range of after-market services to customers in the region, including enhanced technical support, a new training and demo centre, and easier access to spare parts.
Michelin, the world leader in tire design, manufacturing and distribution, has also opened its regional headquarters in the free zone to manage its operations in Africa, India and the Middle East. – TradeArabia News Service