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Lighthouse - September, 2011.

The Free Zones And The Trade

Free Zones have been used internationally to promote export, attract foreign direct investment and to spur the economic growth. The generic free zone concept has evolved overtime. There is several Free Zones found internationally including export processing zones: EPZs (industrial free zones for export manufacturing industries), and commercial free zones (for trading, warehousing and export activities).


Several countries in Middle East were late adopters of Free Zones with the UAE amongst the leading Free Zones in this region. As one of the largest and fastest growing free zones, Jebel Ali Free Zone (“JAFZA”) aspires to be the international business hub of the Middle East. JAFZA has successfully been attracting investors in all business sectors from all over the world by sheer force of its unique value added offerings and propositions. More than 6000 of the world’s finest companies are currently based in JAFZA. The present JAFZA profile includes more than 150 of the Global Fortune 500 companies. It has seen a phenomenal 300-fold growth in its member strength growing from 19 companies in 1985 to over 6000 in 2007. Since the turn of this century the number of companies in JAFZA has grown by more than 350 per cent. The other free zones in the UAE include Airport Free zone, Hamriyah free zone, Sharjah Airport International, Ras Al Khaimah FTZ, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, Dubai Logistics City, Abu Dhabi Airport, Ajman and Fujairah Free Zone.


The key benefits of trading in free zones are the tax benefits, investment incentives and other value added advantages, which include:


  • 100% import/export tax exemption
  • No customs duty between free zones and option to pay the customs on the imported materials at the final destination
  • 100% Foreign ownership companies
  • Abundant and inexpensive energy
  • Online customer service (e-services)
  • A one stop shop facility for processing of all documentation including immigration, registration and licensing



CSS had a clear vision of establishing its own state-of-the-art facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone to cater to the growing trends in the market and it became a reality in September 2002 with the commissioning of Consolidated Shipping Logistics Centre (CSLC 1) built within a sprawling area of 200,000sq.ft in the heart of the Jebel Ali Free Zone.


The supply chain management facility of CSS was set up in 2004, also situated in Jebel Ali Free Zone with an operational space of 140,000 sq.ft. with 22,000 CBM capacity along with CSLC 1 has become a landmark of success for the CSS Group.


Tariq Bin Khalifa, Director, Account Management – General Cargo, DP World, UAE Region said


“We believe the integrated multi-modal cargo transport process created by the cooperation between DP World, the UAE Region and Dubai Airports, as well as our Free Zone partners in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), is a logical step forward in Dubai’s continuous evolution as one of the finest trading hubs in the world.  It brings together a sea-land-air logistics platform that delivers true value to our common customers and benefits the growth of Jebel Ali Port, DWC-Al Maktoum International and Jafza.  Organizations like CSS Group who began their operations in 1995 have significantly contributed to the growth and development of Jafza and associated Free Zones amongst the freight forwarding and logistics fraternity.”

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