Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) on Monday said it registered 2,050 new companies last year, a five-year high for the free zone.
DMCC attributed the spike to its business support package, which is aimed at providing relief to the free zone's new and existing companies during the Covid-19 pandemic, it said in a statement on Monday. More than 8,000 of the zone's member companies benefitted from 13,000 offers and incentives granted during 2020, according to DMCC.
"DMCC’s strong performance ... is a clear indication that the UAE and Dubai remain the chosen place to do business," Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman and chief executive of DMCC, said. "We know that 2021 will not be without its obstacles, but we are optimistic about our growth trajectory and our continued ability to attract foreign direct investment to the emirate.”
The business support package was first introduced in March and extended into October. Support measures applicable to the free zone’s 17,500 member companies included a range of discounts and waivers that complement various economic support measures rolled out by the government.
"We made sure that both new and existing companies in the free zone received relief and support during the challenging year," Feryal Ahmadi, chief operating officer of DMCC, said. "Our focused market outreach, our emphasis on a digital-first customer experience and our unmatched support to the community yielded record-breaking results – and supported our existing member companies."
The DMCC, which oversees companies trading a range of commodities from pulses to diamonds, said it worked on strengthening ties with key trade hubs in 2020.
China is the DMCC's key target market and the free zone saw a 20 per cent increase in Chinese companies joining its ranks last year. In November 2020, DMCC opened a representative office in Shenzhen, China, that it expects to yield new business opportunities to Dubai.
DMCC also plans to expand its tea and coffee trading facilities and to triple output, increase services and boost capacity.
The free zone said that 95 per cent of new companies began their set-up with DMCC digitally last year. The number of walk-ins and physical visits declined by more than half, with a preference for conducting transactions online during the pandemic, as DMCC digitalised its set-up and onboarding procedures.