Dubai: Hamriyah Free Zone is expected to see growth of 80 per cent in maritime activity after completion of Dh800 million worth of infrastructure development.

"We are expecting an 80 per cent increase, not just for cargo but the industry in general," said Rashid Al Leem, director-general of Hamriya Free Zone Authority. "This is part of an on-going effort."

The free zone recently completed development of inner harbour phases 3 and 4 that greatly increase the size of vessels it can accommodate.

Two basins were added in the Hamriyah Inner Harbour and their depth varies from nine metres to five metres. The project also included the addition of 3.8 kilometres of quay wall and additional breakwater spanning.

The marine operations of the free zone will also have facilities for ship maintenance and repairs, oil rig manufacturing and other maritime industries.

The developments will enable the harbour to handle new generation vessels and a fully occupied quay can accommodate 40 vessels.

Project development also included roadworks phases 1 and 2 and accommodation complex to support the housing needs of investors' fast growing work forces.

The new road network adds 80 kilometres to the existing HFZA road network, providing easy access to all areas of the Free Zone.

During the first six months of this year, HFZ saw 700 companies join and set up base there, Al Leem said. The total number of companies has risen to 4,7000.

"The increase is because of our marketing strategies. We've been working actively in so many markets, especially Africa," Al Leem said.

Al Leem said that more projects would be announced soon, which would be "basically, infrastructure development."

Investments in the zone now exceed Dh11 billion.