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Dafza leases land in Al Ghusais, in talks with Dubai government

28/06/2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Free Zone News

Dubai Airport Freezone is in negotiations with the Dubai government to expand.

Dubai Airport Freezone (Dafza) is in negotiations with the Dubai government to expand after earlier gaining approval to lease a 17,000 square metre block in Al Ghusais required for expansion.

In an interview at Dafza headquarters in Dubai on Monday, Director General Mohammad Al Zarouni told Gulf News the Al Ghusais block will fit “32 industrial light units.” Construction will begin in late 2016.

The land is being leased from Al Wasl Properties following discussions with the Dubai government that began a year ago, Al Zarooni said.

Dafza has now engaged in further negotiations with the Dubai government to acquire another, larger block of land near the airport to build a business park. Al Zarouni said talks began six months ago but were still in the early stages. The business park will include offices, light industrial units and hotels, he said.

Dafza is expanding outside its current location alongside Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport (DXB) because “there is no more land” with only “some space left for offices,” Al Zarouni said.

The freezone has “two or three” plots of land on its existing site but construction cannot be higher than six stories because of the airport, he added. There are 260 light industrial units in the freezone.

Dafza will raise the capital for the expansion through a consortium of banks, Al Zarouni said but declined to state how much would be needed.

Dafza is owned by the Dubai government and has historically released very few financial figures. It does not release actual profit or revenue numbers; only percentage increases. Al Zarouni affirmed the freezone is profitable.

“You think if we weren’t doing good we would be expanding outside?” he said.

A total of 17 companies registered with Dafza in January with sales revenue up 23 per cent compared to January 2014, Al Zarouni said. Earnings before Interest, and Taxes (EBIT) were 6 per cent higher than budgeted for January, he added.

Dafza is focusing on the Indian and Chinese market this year and is currently considering opening its first international offices in India and Europe. A decision on the Indian office would be made in the next “two, three” months, Al Zarouni said.