DMCC, the largest free zone in the UAE and one of the world’s leading commodity hubs, today announced that it registered 1,027 member companies in the first six months of 2014, bringing the total number of companies operating at the DMCC Free Zone to over 8,865, a 30% increase compared to the same period in 2013.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC, commented, “DMCC continues to attract members at an unprecedented rate and we are proud of the ever increasing contribution to Dubai’s overall economy. By driving foreign direct investment we will ensure Dubai remains the regional and international trade and tourism hub. The strength of the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai is inspiring and we will continue to do everything we can to support His Highness in fulfilling his vision for Dubai supporting, in particular, the three pillars of ‘Smart Government’, the development of SMEs and helping Dubai to become the global centre for the Islamic Economy.”
Gautam Sashittal, Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said, “At DMCC we are passionate about creating a sustainable and optimal international environment for trade and enterprise. Everything we do has a longer term strategic view in order for DMCC to stay relevant now and in the future whether it is enhancing the customer experience, innovation, diversification of our business portfolio or strengthening trading ties internationally. We embrace change and thrive on strong international competition as this is what makes the organisation dynamic, driven and nimble in an exceedingly fast moving market”.
Free Zone Update
DMCC recently announced a major expansion with the building of the ‘Burj 2020 District’ with the world’s tallest commercial tower, ‘Burj 2020’ as its centrepiece. The ‘Burj 2020 District’ is well underway with four global design firms currently participating in a Masterplan design competition with ground-breaking planned in 2015.
In addition, the DMCC is also bringing to market a 14-floor ‘glass box’ style building, ‘One JLT’, which is being constructed in the heart of the free zone and is due for completion in 2015. Both projects will cater to the increased demand of large multi-business and multi-national companies seeking to domicile their operations in an efficient, single-owner, commercial space.
In June, DMCC was also named by the Financial Times’ global fDi Magazine as ‘Best Free Zone of the Year for SMEs – Middle East & Africa’ and ‘Best Free Zone of the Year for SMEs – UAE’ in their Middle East Free Zones of the Year rankings and awards for 2014 / 2015. While today 70% of DMCC’s free zone members are SMEs, the Free Zone is also home to multi-nationals such as American Express, Diamdel (DeBeers), Glencore Xstrata, Harley Davidson, Louis Dreyfus, LVMH, Nutricia Danone and Rio Tinto Alcan.
The Free Zone also launched its ‘DMCC Member Portal’ in May, making all free zone services available online. This initiative is also part of DMCC’s strategy to further support His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s Smart Government initiative. The ‘DMCC Member Portal’ powered by Salesforce, is completely transforming the customer service experience when setting up a new business or renewing licences, as it enables members to request multiple services online from any device at any time.
Commodities and Financial Services Update
Continued strong commodity trading in Dubai has further cemented the Emirate’s position as a major global trading hub.
The value of gold passing through Dubai in 2013 increased to US$ 75 billion from US$ 70 billion in 2012, making it the global bullion hub with 40% of the world’s physical gold now passing through the Emirate.
In the first five months of the year, trade volumes of rough diamonds increased by 13% to 63 million carats. The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a DMCC platform, hosted the first tender of Zimbabwe rough diamonds held in Dubai in March, demonstrating a trend of commodities reaching buyers directly from mines via tender and auction processes. The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) hosted a further 11 diamond tenders featuring polished and rough diamonds to date (30 June). Rough diamond tenders included goods from most major producing countries: Zimbabwe, Angola, South Africa, Guyana, Russia and DRC.
In the DMCC Tea Centre, a record quantity of throughput, facilitation and value-addition services in H1 2014 (20m kgs) compared to H1 2013 (7.5m kgs), was perfectly paired with new innovative solutions and product lines. New trade finance mechanisms now allow growers from around the world to take advantage of the option of collateralisation of their stocks for working capital, while market offering in terms variety of tea products has increased following DMCC Tea Centre’s recent strategic joint venture with the leading German tea company Hälssen & Lyon to offer a wider range of specialty and flavour teas as well as fruit and herbal infusions.
DMCC’s commodity trade facilitation activities were also supported by numerous signature events.
In March 2014, DMCC and the GJEPC hosted the Global Gem and Jewellery Fair (GGJF), a B2B platform, for the first time in Dubai. The fair attracted a record 131 exhibitors from India and Dubai and was visited by more than 1,600 industry participants from across the globe.
April saw DMCC’s 5th Global Dubai Tea Forum 2014 (GDTF), with over 400 delegates from 31 different tea producing and consuming countries putting the focus firmly on the challenges and opportunities that comes with tea’s ranking as the world’s most popular drink after water.
DMCC also hosted the third global Dubai Precious Metals Conference (DPMC) in April with a record attendance of over 500 international delegates. Key topics on the agenda ranged from ‘Engaging with Africa’ to ‘Jewellery consumption moving East; to ‘Leveraging Dubai’s position as the global hub for commodities trade’. The DPMC is now firmly established as the annual global conference for the precious metals industry.
DMCC continues to innovate and progress in responsible supply chain management for gold and other precious metals in order to promote an inclusive and compliant marketplace. In addition to the 5-step DMCC Practical Guidance and the Dubai Good Delivery (DGD) standard, DMCC introduced two new accreditation programmes in January 2014 known as the Market Deliverable Brand (MDB) and the Responsible Market Participant (RMP).
The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) continued its innovation, further consolidating its profile as one of the most important exchanges in a region extending from Africa to Asia. In February 2014, DGCX collaborated with the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) to launch their respective polypropylene futures contracts concurrently. The DGCX traded 5.75 million contracts, valued at US$ 172 billion. The exchange also received the MENA Forex Awards: Best Derivatives Exchange 2014 in June 2014.
Continuing its efforts to support Islamic finance in the commodities space, DMCC Tradeflow, the online exchange for physical commodities in the UAE, handled over 900 Commodity Murabaha transactions within the first 6 months of 2014, with a total value of over US$ 200 million. In January 2014, UAE’s Minister of Economy, His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, presented Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of DMCC, with the Outstanding Contribution to Islamic Finance Award at the annual Mena Fund Manager Fund Service ceremony. Bin Sulayem in turn dedicated the award to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Trade Missions and International Relations
As part of DMCC’s ongoing drive to look for ways to facilitate and cater to the needs of traders and investors in an ever-changing economy, a series of international meetings and events took place during the first half of 2014.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC, took part in trade delegation visits to Canada’s Toronto and Vancouver, the latter more specifically for the Globe 2014 International Forum on Business and the Environment at the Vancouver Convention Centre in March. A visit to Italy also resulted in DMCC being invited to take part in the Vicenzaoro Dubai April 2015 as a strategic partner, the event will be hosted at the World Trade Centre. Bin Sulayem also travelled to Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico to further strengthen trading relations between Dubai and Latin America. In June, DMCC also hosted its 4th annual London dinner, which brought together over 100 guests and dignitaries.
DMCC Free Zone Infrastructure and Community Update
The Jumeirah Lakes Towers road networks were completed ahead of schedule in January.
DMCC also opened the 55,000 sq/m JLT Community Park in January making it the largest park of its kind in New Dubai and greatly enhancing the work and live element in the community. DMCC will continue to explore the addition of new amenities across the 200-hectar development in line with community demand.
Leading by example Concordia, a DMCC joint venture and master community agent of Jumeirah Lakes Towers, is implementing a centralised security management system for the entire DMCC Free Zone. Concordia also recorded strong growth with a 32% revenue increase compared with the same period last year and delivered a 100% contract retention rate.
The exponential growth seen during H1 2014 across the DMCC business is underpinned by its ‘One Brand Strategy’ which launched in February 2014 with the tagline ‘DMCC – Made for Trade. This has helped create greater clarity for its customers and members. DMCC has since transitioned away from its previous JLT sub-brands with all platforms now represented under one ‘DMCC’ brand umbrella including entities such as the DMCC Free Zone and the DMCC Tea Centre.
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