The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) has launched the new ‘Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021’ designed to support the vision of building a freezone that goes beyond, in line with the strategic goals of Dubai Plan 2021.
HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dafza, made the announcement during the organisation’s celebration of 20 years of excellence, leadership, and achievements which have made it a key player in transforming Dubai into one of the world’s leading business and investment destinations, said a statement from Dafza.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “We are taking a new step towards the path of excellence as we celebrate two decades of existence. As a role model, our organisation has helped boost the economic development of Dubai behind our corporate values of innovation, honesty, national responsibility, and teamwork.”
“We are proud of our highly-acclaimed accomplishments achieved in the past 20 years which started out as an aspiration to build a leading freezone driven by competitiveness and diversification in support of a knowledge-based economy,” he added.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “As we move forward towards the future while remaining loyal to our heritage and proud of our present accomplishments, I am pleased to take this opportunity to announce the launching of our ‘Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021’.”
Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Dafza’s director general, said that the five-year strategic plan will enable Dafza to further support the government’s aspiration to make the UAE at the highest rank on all fronts globally.
As such, he emphasised that the plan serves as a compass to steer growth efforts towards the right direction by adopting globally recognised standards and pursuing leadership in all key business aspects.
Dafza continues to enjoy its position as a leading hub for business, commerce and investment. The freezone has played a key role in enhancing the national economy, contributing Dh110 billion ($29.9 billion) to Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade in 2015 to mark a major milestone in Dafza’s history.
Dr Al Zarooni stated: “Our success over the last 20 years is a result of our relentless and diligent efforts under the guidance of our forward-looking leaders as well as the hard work of our competent workforce as we strive to address challenges and overcome obstacles.”
“We are optimistic about future prospects, more accomplishments and achievements in line with the vision of our leaders, who have always encouraged us to have faith, maintain our resolve, and always persevere to surmount all challenges – reflecting our belief here in the UAE that nothing is impossible,” he added.
With its two decades of success and clear vision of establishing a leading freezone in Dubai Airport, Dafza has become one of the world’s most prestigious free zones. From its humble beginnings, Dafza has marked many great accomplishments, among them a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 per cent in the number of its hosted companies and 24 per cent in the number of employees, which makes the freezone a haven for doing business freely and achieving success.
Dafza’s steady growth and leadership has crafted a new criteria for achieving excellence in free zone development. From two central buildings and few warehouses at its launch in 1996, the organisation has transformed into an attractive investment environment presently hosting 15 office buildings and 290 light industrial units to meet the needs of more than 1,600 companies – many of which are among the world’s Fortune 500.
Dafza’s growth has not been limited to certain sectors only, though: It has also made notable progress in turning into a preferred destination for direct foreign investment.
The freezone’s remarkable growth has seen 10 core sectors that have achieved a qualitative shift with CAGR 30 per cent for engineering and building materials; 29 per cent for each of the logistics and freight and food and beverage; 26 per cent for pharmaceuticals, nutritional and medical equipment; 25 per cent for oil, coal, natural gas; as well as engines and machines; and aerospace, aviation and related services; 23 per cent for electronics and electrical; and for consumer products; and 22 per cent for automobiles and vehicles, it stated.