Jafza’s Automotive & Spare Parts sector logs business worth AED 39.5 billion in 2017
The automotive and spare parts companies operating in DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) recorded business worth AED 39.5 billion in 2017.
DP World, UAE Region recently held a forum for automotive companies to celebrate the close ties with the industry and to highlight the sector’s position as a cornerstone of business growth in Jafza.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World, said: “The encouraging performance of the sector underlines Dubai’s position as the preferred logistics and distribution centre for the automotive industry in the region which has been with us since the beginning. We recognise how the industry has been an integral part of our success story and thank all our customers for their continued trust in us.”
“The vehicle and transport sector accounts for 11 per cent of Jafza’s customers’ base and there are currently 546 automotive companies from 62 countries, employing around 8,200 people.”
Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone form an ideal Ro-Ro hub close to some of the world’s largest emerging markets. Almost 1.1 million vehicles moved through the port in RoRo carriers and containers in 2017.
Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, and CEO of Jafza, said: “Our integrated model of world class port and free zone at Jebel Ali is the most efficient in the region, supported by multimodal connectivity. Our flagship Jebel Ali Port is served by more than 180 shipping lines that offer over 80 services a week, making it the gateway to the UAE and wider GCC and connecting to a global network in 40 countries. The Customers Forum provides an opportunity for DP World, UAE Region and Jafza based companies to explore ways to improve efficiencies and enhance support services in challenging market conditions.”
There is rising optimism for the UAE’s automotive sector following two years of strong headwinds. According to BMI Research, a Fitch Group company, 2018 will see a 4 per cent growth in new vehicle sales in the UAE. BMI Research’s growth forecast for the MENA region is 7.3 per cent in 2018, led by commercial vehicle sales, while the GCC markets will return to positive growth of 2.9 per cent.
A panel discussion was held during the forum on Automotive Supply Chain with Franz Redwitz, Managing Director of MAN Truck & Bus Middle East; Dr Nima Mehrdadi, Managing Director of Hella Middle East; Marc Pasquet, President of Michelin Africa India and Middle East Region and Tariq Mahmood, General Manager of Cars 4U. The speakers expressed their optimism about the growth of the automotive sector locally and regionally under ambitious projects, especially in Saudi Arabia.
Leading industry players including Honda, Nissan, Ford, Michelin, Al Futtaim Logistics among others attended the forum.