JAFZA posts 24% growth on food and agricultural trade

Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2020

DUBAI: Leading global business and logistics hub Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) recorded total trade growth of 24% and an increase of 7% in its customer base year-on-year in 2019, reinforcing its status as the preferred destination for businesses related to food & agricultural commodities.

The Dubai-based Free Zone has a dedicated Food and Agriculture cluster of 1.57 million square meters with over 550 companies from more than 70 countries, employing over 6,000 people. 38 percent of these companies are from the Middle East, 23% from Asia, 19% from Europe, 10% from Africa, 8% from North America, 1% from South America and 1% from Oceania.

Jafza is home to some of the region’s top players in the industry such as Bayara, Al Khaleej Sugar, Alokozay, Nestle, Heinz, Unilever, Hunter Foods to name a few. The strategic location and premium facilities of Jafza have made it the preferred destination for many countries globally — including Brazil, the USA, Pakistan, Netherlands and South Africa, importing sugar, meat, cocoa, and dairy products.

Meanwhile, Iraq, India and Saudi Arabia are among the top export destinations, exporting coffee, tea, fruits, spices and dairy products.

“We have explored ways to further facilitate food trade and distribution while maintaining the continuity of food supply, which is crucial to the UAE and the region. Our mandate is to prioritize the needs of citizens and residents, and we have worked towards sustainability, ensuring sufficient food is available. We have ensured business continuity and a prompt recovery for the post COVID-19 economy,” said Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO & Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region and CEO of JAFZA.

“Illustrating Dubai’s role as a major gateway for global trade, the emirate’s external food trade volumes in the first half of this year reached nine million tons, representing AED32 billion in total, whereas Dubai’s food imports touched Dh22 billion. This demonstrates how robust Dubai’s economy is despite the global COVID-19 pandemic and also underpins the effectiveness of its food security strategies. In line with the newly launched UAE Sustainable Agriculture System, we aim to support the increase of self-sufficiency from agricultural production and workforce in the agricultural sector,” he added.

DP World, UAE Region’s multimodal connectivity, reinforces Dubai’s long-term commitment to maintain the growth and development of regional trade. Thanks to Jafza’s strategic location near Jebel Ali Port, it offers connectivity to over 3.5 billion consumers.