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Newsletter 02/2015

Member News | DAFZA’s year-long accomplishments


- 13% increase in total revenues over previous year

- Contributed AED 109 billion to Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade

- 70% of information security projects completed

- Multinational companies constitute 27%

- Women leaders constitute 33%

- 11% reduction of its overall carbon footprint

The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has announced that its net profit grew 48 per cent in 2014 over the previous year, with total revenues up by 13 per cent. The authority, whose total assets also climbed by 3.42 per cent, contributed AED 109 billion to Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade last year.

As a result of Dubai’s dynamic business activity, the demand for high-quality office spaces rose, meeting the needs of investors from around the world. Consequently, DAFZA witnessed an 11.25 per cent increase in office space acquisition and related revenue growth of 18 per cent in 2014. H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DAFZA, said: “DAFZA’s strong performance in 2014 reflects our commitment to effectively contribute to Dubai’s economic development and solidify the leadership of Dubai as a global hub for business and investment. The positive financial results for 2014 reflect DAFZA’s vital role in attracting international investors and increasing more foreign capital inflows, which add value to the national economy.” H.H. Al Maktoum added: “The successive achievements drive us to further intensify our efforts to consolidate the leadership of DAFZA as one of the best free zones in the world.

We seek to continue the hard work to ensure the success of our expansion plans and strategies and keep up with current and future changes in the regional and international markets. This is in line with the vision and directions of the UAE Government and its goal to provide creative solutions for the global business sector.” Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General, DAFZA, said: “DAFZA continues to lead the march of leadership and excellence year after year, backed by an ambitious strategy and competitive and world-class elements, including advanced infrastructure, new projects and services, smart applications and facilities, and investment incentives.

We are proud of our strong performance in 2014 which saw our remarkable progress in the implementation of projects and initiatives that will enhance DAFZA’s status and reinforce its position as one of the most sophisticated free zones in the world. We look forward with optimism this 2015 as we work to maintain a leading role in achieving the Dubai Government's strategy through the freezone’s expansion and its thrust towards diversifying its business portfolio and investments to emphasize its role as a major contributor to the emirate’s GDP.”

Current and future investments

- DAFZA Square - to be inaugurated in 2015, DAFZA Square aims to meet the demands of regional and global multinational companies. It features seven- and four-storey modern buildings for multinational companies and DAFZA’s government partners; a bank; a business center; a gym; food court; and shopping stores.

- Reduced energy consumption DAFZA implemented an integrated system that reduced energy demand by 8.7 per cent. It is projected to save 30 per cent of energy by 2030 as per the mandate of the Supreme Council of Energy.

- Customs inspection and clearance process - Specialized Dubai Customs building was constructed inside DAFZA to enhance the customer experience and improve and accelerate customs inspection and clearance processes.

New projects

- DAFZA partnered with Al Wasl Real Estate for a new economic project aimed at addressing the requirements of global logistics companies. New industrial units will be opened by 2016 to meet the needs of multinational companies.

2014 Strategic Plan

- DAFZA launched several initiatives to attain growth, meet the challenges posed by increased competition, strengthen relationships and partnerships with clients, invest in databases, and help transform DAFZA into a ‘smart city.’* It also aimed to promote innovation and creativity, build a competitive business environment, achieve economic development, and generate job opportunities.


- Hamdan Bin Mohammed for Smart Government Award Category of Best Service Center

- Palladium Award (Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy), Palladium Group

- DQA – Dubai Quality Award, Dubai Economic Department

- Free zone Authorities Customer Care Excellence Award, middle east excellence award institution

- Gold Partner recognition from the Institute of Management Accountants, USACompanies operating in DAFZA

- Major multinational companies joined DAFZA – including Bentley and Robertet S.A., Safilo Middle East, Mitsubishi, and Middle East Roper. About 27 per cent of companies registered in DAFZA are multinational firms.

European and American companies topped the list of DAFZA clients at 41 per cent, followed by GCC companies at 30 per cent and Asian firms at 17 per cent with the rest accounting for 12 per cent. Fortune 1000 companies operating in DAFZA include Airbus, Boeing, VW Audi, Panasonic, Chanel, La Liga, Nike, Richard Mille, MetLife ALICO, Isuzu Middle East, and Yamaha Motor, among others.

By industry, electronics and electrical companies topped the list with 17 per cent followed by engineering and building materials with 10 per cent, and aviation by nine per cent. The aviation sector recorded the highest employment growth at 18 per cent, followed by logistics (14 per cent) and electrical and electronic materials (13 per cent).

DAFZA issued 68 per cent trade licenses, 31 per cent services licenses, and 1 per cent industrial licenses.


DAFZA participated in a series of seminars in Germany, Japan and Spain as part of its global marketing campaign. Among the topics of discussions were key regional economic and commercial trends in Dubai and its long-term development agenda, exceptional infrastructure, and the services and business incentives offered by the authority.

Global economists and regional trade and investment experts attended the DAFZA-organized ‘Strengthening Business Growth’ seminar, which highlighted the UAE’s economy and business environment and the role of free zones in economic development. Top trade experts and economists participated to discuss the future outlook for Dubai and the UAE.

Excellent customer services

- DAFZA has been working on providing the highest standards of services to achieve full customer satisfaction. In 2014, the authority received the Best Customer Service Center Award given by Hamdan Bin Mohammed program for Smart Government in recognition of its significant efforts.

Smart Transformation

- DAFZA’s mobile application enables prompt and easy access to its services and other information via smart phones. To date, it has been downloaded more than 5,500 times.

- Other DAFZA smart services: happiness indicator, e-payment service, energy conservation, automatic gate control, traffic monitoring, Wi-Fi with 500 hotspots, and information security system.

- DAFZA accomplished 70% of the new information security system project set to provide a secure and reliable gateway to protect data from hackers.

Sustainable development

- 2014 saw impressive progress in infrastructure services for new buildings and key facilities

- Expansion of central cooling plant has doubled capacity by 40 per cent by using integrated advanced energy-saving techniques

- Retrofit of DAFZA’s interior street lighting has been completed, with eco-friendly LED lights now used to conserve energy

- DAFZA’s Project Management Team started implementing a plan to develop DAFZA Square in accordance with the US Green Building Council’s LEED standards - aligns with DAFZA’s goal of achieving Green Building Award recognition and aligns with Dubai Plan 2021’s goal of achieving sustainable leadership in various fields, particularly the preservation of the environmen to reflect DAFZA’s full support for sustainable development

- DAFZA plans to start solar energy project to be delivered by Q4 2016o Project is quantum leap in efforts to reduce the Freezone’s carbon footprint by 50%

- DAFZA implemented initiatives that effectively reduced its carbon footprint by 11% in 2014 over 2013

- Desalination plants fitted with Reverse Osmosis (RO) system and treated sewage effluent (TSE) plants accounted for 1.6% of energy savingso Retrofit of street lighting and installation of halogen lamps led to 1.5% of total energy savings

- Efficient distribution of energy demand accounted for 4.8% of total energy savings.

- DAFZA has completed its Demand Flow System ‘smart’ project, the first system of its kind to be used outside of North America as part of the central cooling plant expansion projec to regulate demand for cooling energy based on ‘smart’ software

- Will help achieve Supreme Council of Energy’s goal of reducing energy demand by 30% by 2030

- Enabled DAFZA to reduce energy demand by 8.7% in 2014o A major step towards Dubai’s transition into a smart and sustainable city by 2021

- Highest standards of safety and securityo DAFZA implemented a security system based on advanced IP closed-circuit television CCTV technology in control rooms to provide a safe and secure work environment for all employees, customers, partners and visitors.o As part of its security system, DAFZA also deployed a gate security system, Arlotto Network Video Recorder ‘ANVR,’ which provides sophisticated auto login and extracts detailed reports on time.

- DAFZA uses a ‘Dedicated Secured CCTV Network’ in line with the resolution number 13 issued by the President of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Dubai, which emphasizes on information security.

Human capital plans and programs

- DAFZA’s Smart Learning Centre is considered as one of the most important learning sources which include a variety of learning materials such as an e-library, educational films, tests, and reference books, that are accredited by international well known educational institutions.

- The People Learning and Growth department enhanced its internship program, which was reflected in providing working opportunities for 63 students.

- DAFZA has also held developmental programs as staff symposium for knowledge sharing and career path discussions which contributes enormously to the staff development and growth. This year, about 34 per cent of DAFZA staff were honored as part of the corporate recognition program.

- DAFZA has been stepping up its recruitment of Emirati talents in line with its support to the government’s Emiratization initiative. DAFZA achieved an Emiratization rate of 71.1 per cent across employees, and 100 per cent among its leadership and has encouraged its tenants to do the same through initiating ‘Absher’ initiative which encourages private companies to hire UAE nationals and boost their employment opportunities.

- DAFZA aims to elevate women’s status through its ‘Women Empowerment’ team. Of its total employees, women occupy 33 per cent of leadership positions.

Corporate Social Responsibility

- DAFZA extended its support to ‘Earth Hour,’ ‘Clean World,’ ‘Thank you Khalifa,’ the ‘UAE Suqia’ initiative, and blood donation and anti-smoking campaigns. It also funded free Umrah trips for blind people and the underprivileged.

- It also launched health, safety and environmental awareness initiatives and sports competitions.

DAFZA are members of the ABCD

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