Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) is one of the leading free trade zones in Dubai. JAFZA specializes in providing industrial and logistics solutions to businesses operating in the UAE and internationally. At present, JAFZA accommodates about 7.000 active companies, including a large number of companies that are added to the Fortune Global 500 (an annual ranking of the top global 500 companies as measured by their revenue).The companies operating in JAFZA are responsible for more than 50% of Dubai’s total exports.
Between 2011 and 2015, the total number of companies in JAFZA increased by 8%on annual basis.The fastest growing sectors in JAFZA in 2015 were(i) equipment &machinery, (ii) electronics, and (iii) steel &building materials. In 2015, more than 50 new companies were established in the sector of automotive & aeronautics. Substantial investment in this sector is directed towards innovations related to hybrid and electric vehicles.
The intensive economic development of JAFZA is caused by a number of factors, including (i) the economic stability of Dubai, (ii) the active implementation of the UAE government’s initiatives aiming to diversify the UAE economy and improve non-oil sectors, and (iii) JAFZA’s world-class business infrastructure.
Similarly to other free zones in Dubai, JAFZA aims to boost the UAE economy by creating favorable conditions for foreign business investors. The free zone provides investors with ready-made facilities, such as plots of land, offices, warehouses, showrooms, and retail outlets. Moreover, enterprises established in JAFZA benefit from (i) a permission for 100% foreign ownership, (ii) 0% corporate and personal income tax rates, (iii) no restrictions on capital repatriation, and (iv) 0% import and re-export duties.
JAFZA rules permit foreign investors to establish three legal forms of enterprises, namely, (i) free zone companies with 2-5 shareholders, (ii) free zone establishments with a minimum of 1 shareholder, and (iii) branch offices of foreign companies.