Dubai: The Dubai Airport Freezone has been ranked "First Overall Middle East Free Zone 2011-2012" in the Middle East and North Africa region.

This year's Middle East Free Zone Rankings was released by Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) Magazine, a premier publication of The Financial Times.

The Dubai Airport Freezone has also achieved first place in the Best Transportation Links category.

The ranking comes as a result of the "continuous efforts of Dubai Airport Freezone in providing quality services and infrastructure to its partners, attracting foreign investment to the region as well as strengthening its position as a growing global key business hub in the Middle East."

Dubai Airport Freezone was ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa this year, and second in the world in a similar study conducted last year, 2010, affirming the strength of Dubai's economy and making it a world-class business destination, regionally as well as globally.

Dubai Airport Freezone has also won a number of awards in recent years, such as the Dubai Human Development Award (Dubai Quality Award), ISO 2000 certification in IT Service Management, the Pan-Arab e-Government Award in the government bodies and official institutions category and the Interactive Innovation Award in the UAE.

The Financial Times magazine conducts this survey region-wide annually and globally every two years and is considered one of the most authoritative research projects and special economic zone comparisons ever conducted in the Middle East, based on several criteria such as outstanding performance, growth and expansion plans and presence of high growth industries, with particular focus on financial and other incentives, tax exemptions, recent transport services and infrastructure development and economic potential.