AD Ports operates Kizad and ZonesCorp within its portfolio of free zones. And together they carve up some significant acreage. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Being predictable comes with its own virtues. In a region where industrial free zones are all over the place, this is also an advantage in itself.

"The world’s most competitive industrial parks are also the most inviting - and readily predictable for tenants," says a report released by Abu Dhabi Ports, "By 2030, it will be difficult to imagine that there is a trade, logistics, or manufacturing-related company anywhere in the world that does not have at least part of its global operation based in an industrial park."

This is where Abu Dhabi expects to draw competitive gains... and also make it easier for tenants to choose. AD Ports alone owns and operates 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea, as well as 555 square kilometres of industrial and commercial land in the UAE under its 'Industrial Cities and Free Zone' cluster.

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Race to the top

The UAE operates 47 such industrial zones, followed by Jordan with 16, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt have 10 each. But as important as creating these zones is having the strategy to run them to suit tenant and operator alike.


“Understanding that policies need to be set in place with the acceptance that they are to continuously evolve is important," said Abdullah Al Hameli, Head of Industrial Cities and Free Zone cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports. "It is a critical viewpoint that has enabled the UAE to find success with the development of Economic Zones.

"This has been particularly the case with Abu Dhabi within the industrial parks sector, where the emirate has established a robust economic climate with one major objective — achieve competitiveness for investors and businesses to operate by offering value-driven products.”

555square kilometres

The land area together operated by Abu Dhabi's KIZAD and ZonesCorp and equal to the size of the city of Manchester. These zones currently host more than 1,400 organisations