It All Began With Just 19 Companies Back in 1985; Today, That Figure Has Grown Over 8,000 Companies. With This in Mind, We Could Only Be Talking About One Pioneering, Trade and Logistics Hub – Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza).
Created under a Ruler’s Decree, Jafza commenced operations with standard size office units and warehouses to provide ready-built facilities for customers. In 1990, it expanded its facilities to include light industrial units and is today the world’s largest free zone.
Spread out over a sprawling 57 sq km, Jafza sustains over 135,000 jobs in the UAE, and attracts 23.9% of Dubai’s foreign direct investment. Along with Jebel Ali Port, Jafza accounted for 33.4% and 10.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Dubai and the UAE respectively.
A premier trade facilitation body, Dubai Trade offers integrated electronic services from a broad spectrum of trade and logistics service providers under a single window. These online services, supplied by its stakeholders, are designed around customer needs and the desire to provide the last word in customer satisfaction.
Jafza, for example, is the first Free Zone in the UAE to introduce 5G connectivity to its customers. This connectivity will support business digital transformation, with the technology demonstrated on-board an Etisalat-Ericsson co-branded bus. Both business leaders and employees hopped on-board to experience 3D hologram communication, and remote vehicle control 5G connected display. Industry-specific demonstrations were also featured.
Moreover, to deliver services relating to the sponsorship of family visas to people employed in companies operating in Jafza and National Industries Park (NIP), Jafza has signed an agreement with Amer. Translated as ‘At your Service’ in Arabic, Amer is now a single window for government transactions that take in visa and associated documentation required by dependants of foreign residents in the UAE.
This continuing growth and evolution underline Jafza’s commitment to building alliances with global investors by providing them with world-class infrastructure and support, in addition to quality-driven, value-added services and incentives.
These services and incentives include a range of facilities, such as pre-built modern warehouses ready to be leased, office space in various sizes to accommodate the requirements and terms of any company of any size, and reserved plots of land for large-scale projects such as manufacturing. Whatever the project, therefore, this allows Jafza’s customers to access significant business opportunities in the region with ease and in an efficient manner.
A Bold Enterprise
Jafza’s growth has been marked by a number of milestones, not least a series of market-leading quality management standards. These include the first free-zone to achieve ISO 9001 and 27001 certifications; the first and only free zone to win both the Dubai Quality Award in 2003, 2010 and 2014 (DOA), the Sheikh Mohammed Award for Best E-Government Service Award; the first free-zone to be awarded the Skeikh Khalifa Excellence Award 2016, Diamond Category; and the first free-zone to pick up the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Innovation Award, in 2018. In addition, Jafza also won the Dubai Human Development Appreciation Award 2014.
This commitment to quality means that Jafza can provide its trade customers with an environment that is most conducive to structured growth. Located near Jebel Ali Port, Al Maktoum International Airport and linking to the Dubai Logistics Corridor, Jafza provides the best multimodal connectivity, and connects business with over 3.5 billion consumers.
Jafza was and still is a bold enterprise; one that started the ball rolling for the business development of Dubai as a whole. Today, in tandem with the Jebel Ali port, it stands as an example of what can be achieved with an innovative idea and entrepreneurial spirit.