Jafza set to lead construction sector growth

The free zone’s construction cluster enables regional and global players to tap into new markets, generating trade worth Dh26.7 billion in 2021



The Jebel Ali Free Zone’s construction cluster enables regional and global players to tap into new markets, generating trade worth Dh26.7 billion in 2021. — Supplied photos
The Jebel Ali Free Zone’s construction cluster enables regional and global players to tap into new markets, generating trade worth Dh26.7 billion in 2021. — Supplied photos
by

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 3:34 PM

Last updated: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 3:36 PM

The UAE’s construction market looks set to record a significant rise in market activity as the government accords top priority to strengthen the industrial, transportation, residential and energy infrastructure to diversify the economy, says a senior official.

Ebtesam Al Kaabi, head of sales at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), said the announcement of new landmark projects, recovery in oil prices and improving investor confidence will drive the construction industry, which witnessed a slump over the past few years.

In an interview, she said the Jafza has been a consistent contributor to the construction sector’s growth despite global inflation, increasing costs of construction, supply chain disruption, and legal constraints. She said the free zone’s construction cluster enables regional and global players to tap into new markets, generating trade worth Dh26.7 billion in 2021.

“Jafza’s success reaffirms its support to national initiatives such as the recently launched ‘We The UAE 2031’ and the Projects of the 50 initiative aimed at shaping the future of the country, with a focus on social, economic, investment and development aspects,” Al Kaabi told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of Big 5 exhibition on Monday.

Ebtesam Al Kaabi, head of sales at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), said the announcement of new landmark projects, recovery in oil prices and improving investor confidence will drive the construction industry, which witnessed a slump over the past few years.
Ebtesam Al Kaabi, head of sales at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), said the announcement of new landmark projects, recovery in oil prices and improving investor confidence will drive the construction industry, which witnessed a slump over the past few years.

Why investors prefer Jafza

Jafza is one of the world’s leading free trade zones and is home to over 9,000 multinational companies. The free zone accounts for 23.9 per cent of total FDI flow into Dubai, sustaining the employment of more than 135,000 people in the UAE.

As of 2021, the free zone’s construction cluster that houses more than 1,000 companies from 89 countries, accounts for approximately 30 per cent of Dubai’s sectoral trade of Dh92 billion. About 45 per cent of the companies in the construction cluster are from the Middle East.

“Our dedicated metal, steel and construction cluster that spreads over 3.4 million square metres offers partners in both trade and manufacturing an environment conducive to business growth,” Al Kaabi said.

She said the free zone’s strategic location, integrated business environment and robust incentives like 100 per cent ownership, onsite customs, zero per cent duties on import/export or re-export and digital solutions via Dubai Trade have given the free zone the reputation of being the most preferred base for leading local and global players in the sector.

“We offer a variety of products and customised services for SMEs and multinationals. The customer is given the freedom to create a facility that suits their requirements,” she said.

Strong recovery seen

Referring to a Mordor Intelligence report, Al Kaabi said the construction industry is expected to see a solid recovery, reaching a value of Dh490.5 billion ($133.53 billion) by 2027.

She said the commitment and resources of the government lead to many projects and opportunities for construction and engineering companies in the UAE.

“The country’s development agenda has laid down a solid foundation for the growth of industrial, transportation, residential and energy sectors,” Al Kaabi said.

Al Kaabi said the construction sector is critical in the country’s rapid growth and transformation from a vast desert to a cosmopolitan country with captivating modern structures.

“The UAE is synonymous with towering skyscrapers and futuristic architectural marvels. And the Jafza’s construction cluster will continue to play its role in building the infrastructure to facilitate the businesses,” she said.

Empowering construction businesses

Al Kaabi said the free zone has gained the confidence of key regional and global names in the sector due to its solid industrial ecosystem.

“Jafza’s wide range of solutions have been enabling several key regional and international players to tap into new markets and grow their businesses,” she said.

Elaborating, she said the free zone has been powering several success stories such as Conares — the top steel rebar mill and the second largest steel manufacturer in the UAE.

“Danube, which offers over 25,000 goods and value-added services, is another success story as the group serviced key mega-projects in the country including Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Shangri-La Hotel, Grand Hyatt and Dubai International Airport,” she said.

"Dillinger Middle East, one of Middle East's leading suppliers for Heavy Carbon Steel Plates, is another successful business which is also based in Jafza,” she said.

Why opt for Jafza

> Multimodal transportation model

> Availability of customisable manufacturing plots, LIUs/ Warehouses, Offices, ready-to-move-in showrooms

> Energy supply from partners like Dewa and other private companies

> Proximity to Jebel Ali Port

> Efficient onsite clearance

> Access to Dubai Trade, a single-window digital platform

> Connectivity to large high-growth markets

> Value-addition partners within the ecosystem

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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