The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) said it performed exceptionally well in first quarter of 2017, achieving 62 per cent of its total annual sales target.
This was accompanied by an increase of seven per cent in sales revenues over the same period in 2016.
The freezone also posted a significant 31 per cent growth in the number of its registered companies, as compared to last year, noting a 16 per cent rise in the number of multinational businesses, such as Fujikura, Global Sources, Armasal, Blue Star and Markolin.
The positive financial results showed a significant increase in the demand for office space, said the company in a statement.
Among the number of registered companies at Dafza for the first quarter, 32 per cent belonged to the information and communications technology (ICT) and electronics sector thus topping the industry list followed by the investment and business development sector with nine per cent; cargo, logistics and consumer goods with eight per cent in the third place; and food and beverages, aerospace and aviation, and machinery all coming in at fourth with six per cent.
Engineering and building materials ranked fifth with five per cent, followed by financial, insurance, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals at four per cent each. The other sectors collectively posted an 8 per cent of the total number of registered companies.
Commenting on the results, Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, the director general of Dafza, said: "The excellent results from Q1 reflects our positive outlook for 2017. The growth that we are witnessing is attributed to our business model, efficient operational management, flexible yet highly efficient requirements for investments, and global market volatility."
"Our successful financial results reflect Dafza’s commitment towards its efficient and value added role in driving the national economy, and we expect this growth to continue as a result of our strong operational and financial performances," he added.
According to him, the growth of leased office space reached 35 per cent with leased light industrial units jumping by 36 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Dafza’s exceptional performance can also be attributed to its plan to attract more foreign direct investments (FDI’s), which included a promotional plan targeting the world's leading markets and vital economic sectors currently booming in the Mena region.
During Q1, Dafza completed a tour including stops in South Korea, India, Germany, and Italy. The tour was successful as Dafza created new strategic partnerships through meetings with major foreign investors interested in establishing their businesses in the Freezone, to capitalise on the opportunities brought forward by Dubai and the Mena region.
The tour also featured the launch of the ‘Smart Office,’ a product designed specifically for developing markets. It enables multinational companies to explore opportunities for growth and expansion in the region, through flexible solutions offered by Dafza.
The Smart Office has been highly-acclaimed by existing investors, and has already achieved a 21 per cent occupancy rate.
Al Zarooni pointed out that Dafza's approach towards empowering and encouraging freezone operators to expand their scopes of work in the Mena region had contributed towards the development of promising opportunities for new and existing investors.
"We work to support the economic diversification of the Emirate, by providing the best incentives for investment and innovative solutions, and are determined to support regional and international investors, while enabling them to grow and learning from their experience, contributing to the strength of the GDP," he noted.
"The remarkable results achieved by Dubai over the last year have had an immense impact on the growth we are seeing this year," remarked Al Zarooni.
According to him, Dubai’s FDI capital has exceeded Dh25.5 billion ($6.94 billion) with the emirate ranking seventh globally.
"It also ranked third for its number of current foreign direct investment projects, which had totaled 247 by the end of 2016, according to a recent statistics report issued by the Dubai Investment Development Corporation," he added.