Sharjah Airport International Freezone (SAIF Zone) is looking to lure aviation freight, parts and maintenance services companies with a multimillion infrastructure development.
The freezone, located next to Sharjah International Airport, is investing Dh50 million into a new logistics park that will house aviation sector companies.
In an interview with Gulf News on Tuesday, Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, the newly appointed Director of SAIF Zone, said the park will be open by the end of the month when tenants are expected to start moving in.
Al Mazrouei did not reveal how many, or if any, companies had signed up, but is buoyant on attracting new tenants.
“We want to expand our aviation sector. We are looking at bringing more aviation spare part companies [and] aviation repair centres to start their facilities here,” he said.
The logistics park will have an initial area of 100,000 square metres spread over SAIF Zone’s 13 million square metres.
The companies will be expected to provide their services to airlines and other companies operating in Sharjah International. Al Mazrouei said this is part of a strategy to generate more intra free zone business.
“We are looking at small, medium and large enterprises,” he said.
The initial investment, which Al Mazrouei said is likely to exceed Dh50 million, is being funded by the SAIF Zone, a Sharjah government owned company.
With 6,700 companies in the free zone, Al Mazrouei insists the free zone is profitable. He, however, declined to reveal the financials.
A bulk of SAIF Zone tenants are closely linked to trade with India, one of the UAE’s largest trade partners, however, Al Mazrouei said he is interested in increasing the number of European companies as its economy bounces back from the Eurozone crises.
“We see more industries and more trading companies from Europe and from Russia coming to the UAE,” Al Mazrouei said, adding that SAIF Zone has added 800 companies in the first six months of 2014 and plans to double that by December.