Profit rose by 14 per cent at Jebel Ali Free Zone.

Mahmoud Kassem

The Jebel Ali Free Zone, one of the UAE’s tax free business hubs, said that its first-half profit rose 14 per cent as operational performance improved and costs were reduced on the back of an early bank repayment last year.

Net income increased to Dh588 million in the first six months of 2016 compared to Dh518m in the same period last year. Revenue increased by 6 per cent to Dh978m versus Dh924m in the same period last year, it said.

At the same time, 242 new customers were added during the period compared to 313 new customers added during the same period last year.

The company’s chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said high occupancy levels in leasing facilities had been maintained throughout the period but did not give further details.

He did say however that the free zone had invested Dh279m during the period to boost capacity, an ongoing development operation.

During the period 59 warehouse units and 580 units of onsite residences were completed and over the next six to 12 months, the free zone is expected to complete the second office tower of Jafza One which comprises 55,000 square meters of leasable space and 51 warehouse units.

Established in 1985, the Jebel Ali Free Zone is home to thousands of businesses from over 100 countries that employ over 144,000 people. The zone attracts 32 per cent of the UAE’s foreign direct investment, according to the free zone’s website.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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Published: September 8, 2016 04:00 AM

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