Jebel Ali Free Zone announces waiving Dhs35 million in fines - GulfToday

Jebel Ali Free Zone announces waiving Dhs35 million in fines

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The waiver of fines will support the UAE government’s goal of further enhancing its Ease of Doing Business rating.

Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the Middle East’s leading special economic zone and key growth engine of Dubai’s economy, has announced it will waive an estimated Dhs35 million in fines owed by its customers, in commemoration of the UAE Government’s designation of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.

 Jafza’s decision to waive fines is an initiative that aligns strongly not only with the UAE government’s goals for promoting tolerance but also with the company’s broader goals to support the communities it serves.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority said: “His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, designated 2019 as the Year of Tolerance. The values enshrined in this initiative align closely with our values and principles. We are therefore proud to support the government in its efforts to promote the UAE as a leading example of how people from many different cultures can live and work together in harmony.” Bin Sulayem added: “Jafza has always placed its customers’ needs as its highest priority, and this is one of many initiatives to create a business environment that promotes growth and reduces costs. We will continue to push the boundaries of innovation and to develop the world-class solutions and services that our clients have come to expect.” In addition to promoting the Year of Tolerance, this initiative is also expected to impact Dubai’s economy positively, as these funds will now allow firms to increase investment in their operations and help them grow.

 The waiver of fines will support the UAE government’s goal of further enhancing its Ease of Doing Business rating, incentivising new companies and investors considering operations in the Middle East. The UAE currently ranks 11th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, and Jafza has played a vital role in this positive rating. The free zone continues to be a leading source of foreign direct investment (FDI), accounting for nearly 24 per cent of Dubai’s total yearly inflow.

 Meanwhile,  to promote ease of doing business and to support its customers Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the GCC’s largest special economic zone, will become the first free zone in the country to return cash and bank guarantees to its clients through its new Workforce Protection Programme initiative that is set to roll out in September of this year. The move will provide added benefits to employees and infuse Dhs 1.3 billion back into Dubai’s economy that companies can invest in their operations and strengthen their businesses.

 The decision is geared towards supporting goals set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to improve worker rights and protections under the UAE Government’s insurance initiative.

 Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority said: “Jafza welcomes the UAE government’s latest initiative as it will play a significant role in taking the country in the right direction. Our people are our greatest assets, and we are committed to providing them with a fair work environment that ensures they receive all the rights, privileges, and protections that should be afforded to them as core contributors to the nation’s economy.

 “Through the Workforce Protection Programme, we are striving to raise standards for the UAE’s private sector by providing businesses with a model they can emulate successfully and help fulfil the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum as outlined in his 50 Year Charter.” Under the new Workforce Protection Programme, companies will avail insurance coverage that will help protect the workers in case of wage default by their employers. This coverage will extend to all existing Jafza sponsored employees, and will be applied by default to any new workers from the time they receive their work visas.

 DP World, UAE Region and Jafza have adopted critical roles in Dubai’s economy as key employers, accounting for 16.2 per of the emirate’s total workforce. Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone employees are 1.4 times more productive than the average UAE employee, contributing to over 33% of Dubai’s GDP in 2017.

Jafza is one of the world’s leading free trade zones and is home to over 7,500 multinational companies. Jafza accounts for 23.9% of total FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) flow into the country, sustaining the employment of more than 135,000 people in the United Arab Emirates. In 2017, Jafza generated trade worth $83.03 billion.

 Strategically located at the crossroads of a region providing market access to over 3.5 billion people, Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone is an integrated multi-modal hub offering sea, air and land connectivity, complemented by extensive logistics facilities. The facility contributes 33.4% of Dubai’s GDP every year.

 Jafza is the leading business hub between Asia, Europe and Africa, connecting some of the fastest-growing manufacturing and consumer markets globally. With over 30 years’ experience, Jafza focuses on long-term customer relationships, building alliances with global investors and providing world-class infrastructure and support, in addition to quality-driven value-added services and incentives. Jafza is a business opportunity enabler, offering its customers easy and efficient access to substantial business opportunities in the region.

WAM