Jebel Ali Free Zone is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing Free Zones spread over 48 m2 and home to more than 6000 companies.
Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) is Economic Zone World’s flagship operation. Established in 1985, JAFZA is now spread over 48 Square Kilometres and is home to more than 6000 companies. JAFZA’s products include office units, warehouses, light industrial units and land on long-term lease. JAFZA contributes to more than 50% of Dubai’s total exports. It also accounts for 25% of all container throughputs through the Jebel Ali Port and 12% of all airfreight at Dubai International Airport.
The completion of the new Al Maktoum International Airport is set to further strengthen JAFZA’s reputation as one of the world’s most efficient sea-air hubs, making it the only Free Zone in the world to be located between an airport and a seaport.
JAFZA’s key strengths have been excellent logistics matrices. It is built around Jebel Ali Port, the 6th largest container port, served by 150 shipping lines and offering 90 weekly services. Extensive feeder services provide connection to regional markets. Flights connect JAFZA to more than 200 destinations worldwide. Further, it is connected to regional markets through extensive road network, all totaling to the fastest lead times for movement of goods.
An individual or a corporate entity can set up and do business in Jebel Ali Free Zone being registered in any of the following legal forms:
Setting up a business in Jebel Ali Free Zone requires planning and decision making through different phases. This involves deciding the business activity and confirming with JAFZA, preparation of comprehensive business plan, choosing legal structure for business, estimating required human work force etc. The business registration or licensing process can be completed only after depositing the minimum capital mandated by JAFZA in a bank account. A company being formed may have either an individual shareholder or corporate shareholder or both. The incorporation process requires the shareholders to sign the documents in the presence of JAFZA representatives.
JAFZA issues the following types of licenses based on the business activity a company looking to set up in JAFZA plans to conduct.
General Trading License: allows the companies to import, distribute and store all items as per JAFZA rules and regulations.
Trade License: allows trading (activities related to import, export and distribution) of products specified in license subject to the regulations of JAFZA.
Service License: allows the registered entity to carry out specified services like lawyers, accounting firms and business consultants.
Industrial License: allows to import raw materials, carry out the manufacture of specified products, process, assemble, package and export the finished product to any country.
National Industrial License: designed for manufacturing companies with an ownership or shareholding of at least 51% with AGCC (Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council) nationals / citizens. This company license allows the holder the same status as a local or AGCC inside the UAE.
Business Infrastructure in JAFZA
Offices: pre-fitted with all utilities such as electricity, water, air conditioning and modern communication and with spacious, flexible floor plans that can accommodate specific interior design requests and enable future expansion.
Standard Warehouse: with storage and manufacturing facilities
On Site Residential: accommodation for employees within JAFZA with proximity to supermarkets and restaurants
Convention Centre: Housing two 34-storey business towers, an exhibition centre, a 600-seat auditorium and catering area, as well as a 322-room hotel.
JAFZA has some of the biggest names to boast of in the business world including Exxon Mobil, Petrochina, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Schlumberger, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Sanofi-Aventis, Schneider Electric, Unilever, Daimler, Honda, Nissan, Volvo, GM, Honeywell, Toshiba, Rolls Royce and Hitachi, among others. Over 50 of the world’s top logistics companies are based in JAFZA offering huge outsourcing opportunities.