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Dubai’s Jafza records 10.6% y-on-y increase in retail and e-commerce business for 2019

Dubai’s Jafza records 10.6% y-on-y increase in retail and e-commerce business for 2019

There are over 1,000 companies from 96 countries that are a part Jafza’s Retail and General Trading sector

Jebel Ali Free Zone

Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) has recorded a 10.6 per cent year-on-year growth in the retail and e-commerce sector with a total trade value of Dhs37.6bn for 2019.

It said that over 1,000 companies from 96 countries are a part Jafza’s Retail and General Trading sector.

Around 39 per cent of these companies are from the Middle East, 30 per cent from Asia, 15 per cent from Europe, 9 per cent from North America, 7 per cent from Africa and 1 per cent from Oceania.

Cumulatively, they employ over 10,000 people, who operate across facilities spread across nearly two million square metres.

“The e-commerce business sector was issued the highest number of licenses in the UAE, during May 2020. The first five months of the year saw a 300 per cent increase in consumer demand for e-commerce services,” said Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and managing director, DP World, UAE Region and CEO of Jafza.

“It’s quite clear consumers have discovered a new way of purchasing, as data shows the amount spent online has increased and we are here to leverage this behavioural trend.”

Al Muallem noted that recent pandemic has caused a shift in consumer buying habits, with a growing push towards digitalisation of operations and consumption patterns. “DP World has introduced Manasah, an online platform targeting retail in the UAE and the Digital Freight Alliance with its global imprint, an internet marketplace for small to medium sized enterprises. We at Jafza, are working closely with these retailers to help transfer their stores into online platforms.

“Moving on, further studies need to be done in order to evaluate and plan a rebound of the economy keeping in mind that online shopping is a natural progression and is now a part of nearly every consumer’s life. We foresee greater importance on technology-enabled solutions as well ensuring safety across the supply chain. The rebound may take some time, but while waiting out, necessary enhancement on the supply chain needs to be in place to earn back consumer confidence.”

In addition to facilitating trade under one single window “Dubai Trade”, Jafza also allows existing business owners to apply for additional licences, making them dual business licence owners.

In March, as the pandemic began to spread, DP World, the owner of the Jafza, announced a “Jafza Customer Support Initiative” whereby it had slashed its fees for new licence registrations and administration fees for businesses already operating in the free zone by 50-70 per cent.

Read: Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone slashes business licence fees by up to 70%

Last month, as employees began to return to their offices, Jafza said that it would conduct a massive disinfection programme across all its facilities.

The area covered for internal fumigation and disinfection of buildings is around 3.3 million square metres, equivalent to 462 soccer fields.

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