Higher rental revenues and higher revenues from government services helped Dafza increase its revenues for the first half of 2018 and record a 11% rise in earnings before interest and depreciation. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) reported on Tuesday an 8 per cent year-on-year increase in its revenues for the first half of 2018, driven by higher rental revenues and higher revenues from government services.

The authority did not disclose its any earnings figures, but said that it recorded an 11 per cent increase in earnings before interest and depreciation in the first half.

This was on the back of a 27 per cent jump in rental revenues over the same period in 2017, and a 31 per cent increase in revenues from government services. Licensing revenues also rose by 10 per cent year-on-year, Dafza said in a statement.

jump in number of registered firms at Dafza in first half

During the first half of 2018, Dafza saw a 63 per cent rise in leasable warehouse space and a 29 per cent increase in office space.

The authority saw a 15 per cent jump in the number of registered companies. Within those companies, the number of multinational companies registered at Dafza grew 5 per cent year-on-year while the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) registered jumped by 17 per cent.

Dafza said in its statement the stronger performance witnessed in the first half was in line with a strategic plan it set out in early 2017 as part of the Dubai Plan 2021. The plan includes elements to support Dubai in boosting innovation.

As part of its efforts to continue to attract foreign direct investment and increase its competitiveness, Dafza earlier this year announced it will reduce business start-up fees by 65 per cent as part of Dubai’s efforts to position itself as a destination for investment.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation, chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline and Group, in his capacity as chairman of Dafza, said the authority’s results for the first half showcase the success of plans developed to promote sustainable economic development in the emirate.

year-on-year rise in Dafza revenues in first half of 2018

He added that the results also support the UAE’s diversification strategy.

Operationally, Dafza held a series of meetings in the first half of the year aimed at expanding trade and attracting more investment opportunities into Dubai. The authority organised a series of investment seminars in India, China, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and Korea. The roadshows discussed opportunities, investment advantages, facilities, and infrastructure provided by Dafza.

Additionally, Dafza began the implementation of Dubai Blink, an e-commerce platform for free zone companies that will utilise artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and virtual business licenses. The Dubai Blink project was launched to benefit from growth in the global e-commerce market, which is valued at around $7.7 trillion (Dh28.28 trillion) in 2017.