DMCC bags global free zone accolade for 8th consecutive year


DMCC has been named Global Free Zone of the Year by the Financial Times' fDi Magazine for the eighth consecutive year.

The award, among the most prestigious of accolades a free zone can earn, is decided by the Financial Times Specialist editorial team and a panel of independent judges against a comprehensive set of criteria and a review of the free zones’ ecosystems.

The methodology focuses on metrics that demonstrate core growth of the free zones, both in terms of the increase in small and large tenants, and how effectively each free zone provides ecosystems and related initiatives that support growth, business and marketing strategy, infrastructure improvements, COVID-response and promotion of sustainability.

DMCC was also awarded in six other categories:

  • Large Tenant Free Zone of the Year – Global
  • Large Tenant Free Zone of the year – Middle East
  • Middle East Free Zone of the Year
  • SME Free Zone of the Year – Middle East
  • Excellence Award for ESG Practices – Global
  • Excellence Award for Infrastructure Development – Global

Record-breaking performance

In 2021, DMCC achieved its best performance since its inception, attracting 2,485 new businesses from markets including China, India, the UK and the US.

This momentum was carried into 2022 with DMCC seeing the best first-half on record, attracting 1,469 companies to bring the district’s total to 21,000.

Driving these record-breaking figures are two key elements of DMCC’s strategy: increasing the ease of doing business for companies in the business district, allowing them to trade efficiently and with confidence, and providing the right infrastructure and services that make Dubai a global gateway for trade.

A world-class community

DMCC was also recognised for making a broad range of upgrades and enhancements across its business district, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT).

This included a project that will see all car park sunshades replaced with solar panel shades, resulting in a saving of 7,612 MWh energy each year.

DMCC launched a range of new sports and wellness facilities, alongside landscaping and façade enhancements across the district. Over 60,000 people work in JLT, the 87-tower business district.

The free zone also made significant progress in the delivery of its new flagship development, Uptown Dubai District.

Construction is almost complete at the district’s first super tall tower, Uptown Tower. Demonstrating the significant investor confidence in both Dubai and DMCC, Uptown Tower’s 22 floors of office space have been 100 per cent pre-leased ahead of the tower’s completion.

Enabling global commodities trade

At the start of the year, DMCC convened the entire diamond industry for the Dubai Diamond Conference, at which Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC, announced that the UAE is now the world’s largest rough diamond trading hub.

DMCC also recently announced that in H1 2022, the UAE traded a total of $19.8 billion worth of rough and polished diamonds, representing a year-on-year increase of 25 per cent.

The UAE’s polished diamond segment saw a record 52.5 per cent growth over H1 2021, showing that Dubai is well on its way to becoming the largest diamond trade hub for rough and polished combined.

Meanwhile, the Tradeflow platform, DMCC’s electronic commodities registry, reached AED 746 billion in transactions for H1 2022 – Tradeflow’s highest ever six-month volumes.

The DMCC Tea Centre and DMCC Coffee Centre also saw strong results with a combined 30,539 metric tonnes of tea and coffee output in H1 2022.

The global focal point for cryptographic technologies

As a comprehensive ecosystem for the development and operation of blockchain and other cryptographic technologies, the DMCC Crypto Centre has seen significant interest since its launch in mid-2021.

This growth has continued into 2022, with 14 per cent of new company registrations in H1 relating to crypto activities. The Crypto Centre is now home to 450 crypto businesses, representing the largest crypto ecosystem in the region.

The Crypto Centre offers a home to all types and sizes of crypto businesses, from companies developing blockchain-enabled platforms, NFTs and Metaverse environments, through to firms trading crypto assets.

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