The Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) has recently recorded 10.6% growth in the retail and e-commerce business, with a total trade value of AED37.6 billion.
Although the region has seen a decline in business activity, the shift in technology has introduced a new market segment for consumers. “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% increase in consumer demand for e-commerce services. 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,” said Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO & managing director, DP World, UAE Region and CEO of Jafza.
More than 1,000 companies from 96 countries play a pivotal role in Jafza’s retail and general trading sector, with the free zone’s unparalleled infrastructure making it the ideal location for companies to set up and operate. Approximately 39% of these companies derive from the Middle East, 30% from Asia, 15% from Europe, 9% from North America, 7% from Africa and 1% from Oceania. In total, they employ more than 10,000 personnel and operate across combined facilities that is almost 21.5 million sqft.
“The recent pandemic has caused a shift in consumer buying habits, a behaviour that impacted a positive outcome proving that the internet is the major catalyst in shaping human lives and digital profiles. 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 as 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,” Al Muallem added.
In addition to the flexibility and trade facilitation under one single window “Dubai Trade,” Jafza offers a tax-free business environment with reputable regulatory bodies. It also allows existing business owners to apply for additional licenses, making them dual business license owners.