The participation of Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the flagship free zone business of Dubai, in Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition (ADIPEC), which ranks among the top three oil and gas events in the world, last week, has stimulated strong interest among major players in oil, gas, chemical and allied industries including service providers from the USA, Canada, UK, France, Norway and Russia in the Free Zone.
More than 500 industry leaders from the petrochemical sector from these countries visited Jafza stand to explore possibilities for setting up their regional base in the Free Zone to serve the greater Middle East region comprising West Asia, the CIS and Africa, which Jafza as a hub serves.
Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza and Chief Commercial Officer of Economic Zones World (EZW), the parent company of Jafza, speaking about the Free Zone’s remarkable success at the ADIPEC said:
“The interest shown by such a large number of companies from the world’s top oil and gas industry centres reinforces Jafza’s impeccable status as the hub for the wider Middle East region comprising West Asia, the CIS and Africa for the oil, gas, chemical and allied industries. More than 800 world’s finest companies in the sector have chosen Jafza as their regional base to serve the Middle East and the emerging markets in Africa.”
Talking about growing opportunities he further added:
“According to the estimates of International Energy Association, the oil and gas sector in the Middle East requires a total of USD 1.6 trillion in the next 25 years, which amounts to USD 65 billion annually opening huge opportunities for the industries in the sector for a long time to come. Being in Jafza will help global companies to capitalize on the opportunities efficiently.”
During the 4-day event Jafza was also visited by senior executives from several top oil and gas industry associations from the US, UK and Canada who sought to explore opportunities for cooperation with the free zone. Jafza expects a significant number of new companies from the sector to join the Free Zone in the next few months. During the event three companies have signed with Jafza to set up their regional base in the Free Zone.
Jafza is currently home to 830 world’s finest companies in the oil & gas, chemical and allied industries which includes names such as EXXON Mobil, Shell, Total, Gulf Refining Company, Star Energy, CNPC, EKZO Nobel, Nippon, Sinopec, Baker Hughes, Reckitt Benckiser, Petrochem, Rasasi , Bayer, Cavotec, McDermott, Lamprell, John Crane and Schneider among others. Most of these companies have set-up their regional headquarters in Jafza to operate efficiently in the region and also globally. The sector has seen 44 % growth in the number of companies in the last 4 years growing from 575 companies in 2010 to 830 now. The sector is estimated to have generated trade worth over USD 14 billion in 2013 posting a growth of about 50% in the last four years.
Oil and Gas is the Free Zone’s third largest business sector. In terms of business segments oilfield equipment with 43% share lead the business sector followed by chemical (30%), oil & gas (21%) and glass, plastic and rubber (5%) segments.