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Jafza webinar highlights the way forward to empower SME business.

The region’s most experienced and successful free zone operator, Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), said it has ramped up efforts to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector affected by COVID-19.

The Free Zone hosted a webinar titled “Empowering Growth During Business Uncertainty” that attracted top industry experts and Jafza associates. Abdullah Alajaji, Founder, Driven Properties, Paul Bryson, Director of Domestic Structuring, Virtuzone and Mohammed AlDahbashi, Co-Managing Partner, Al Dahbashi Gray participated in the webinar.

SMEs account for 94 per cent of all companies operating in the UAE and generate more than 86 per cent of the private sector’s jobs. The “Jafza Customer Support Initiative” launched earlier this year, offered a 50-70 per cent reduction of registration, licensing and related administration functions fees in Jafza as well as for new investors.

The initiative included the waiver of the application and attestation fees for all new incoming business. The key objectives of the exercise were to ease cost burdens for customers, increase Jafza market share, and maximise asset base.

Ahmad Al Haddad, Chief Operating Officer, Parks and Zones – DP World, UAE Region, said: “Cost of doing business is, and has always been, a crucial element of our support strategy for existing and potential customers. The reductions in registration, licensing and other administrative fees were carefully planned and implemented across our vast customer base of over 8,000 so every company benefitted from them.”

“At Jafza, we’ve worked diligently towards ensuring our customers are fully satisfied with the support we give them and our service excellence. The initiatives are also designed to further incentivise customers to continue to operate from Jafza, especially in the prevailing market uncertainties.”

Abdullah Alajaji, Founder, Driven Properties, said: “In turbulent times, it is of paramount importance to embrace change. With the landscape of doing business evolving via technology and talent, it is those businesses with the right discipline and growth mindset that will thrive and capture a larger market share in their respective sector.“

Paul Bryson, Director of Domestic Structuring, Virtuzone said: “In 2020 we have witnessed dramatic changes across the world, but we are certain that businesses will not only recover, they will bounce back stronger. The challenges of the past months presented the business communities with opportunities to pivot and upgrade their plans and processes. It is our role, here in the UAE, to empower SMEs with the tools they need to push through and grow in times of uncertainty. At Virtuzone, we have taken this role very seriously and we are working relentlessly with our partners to find new tactics to support businesses at any stage of growth. We are therefore pleased to be part of this webinar with Jafza.”

Mohammed AlDahbashi, Co-Managing Partner, Al Dahbashi Gray said: “The worldwide legal system faced many challenges when COVID-19 evolved. In Dubai, the Courts were already running approximately 70% electronically – case filing, registration, archiving, decisions and publishing were implemented via online and electronic systems. When the country went into complete lockdown, we witnessed the legal industry transform overnight into a complete tech-based online resource platform. In a short period, the Courts were able to redirect all services electronically. This was possible because of the vision of the leaders of this country and is one of many examples of how Dubai was able to limit the disruption in certain sectors and help keep the business community steady during such turbulent times.“

Among Jafza’s frontline offerings are the Business Incubators that provide startups with 360-degree administrative and advisory support services. The aim is to help and guide new companies along a sustainable roadmap that would give them financial viability and organic growth.

Located at the flagship business centre, Jafza One, the incubators offer bespoke, region-specific solutions to suit the needs of the small and medium partners. Jafza’s one-stop, plug-and-play ecosystem for Trade & Industry, complemented by DP World’s global network of ports and logistics capabilities, remains an opportunity for all, no matter where they’re located.


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