Food and beverage sector in Jafza grows by over 22%
Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) has posted a 22.5% growth in foreign companies from the Food and Beverage Sector (F&B) — rising from 480 companies in 2015 to 588 last year.
The figures were released as Jafza prepares for the Gulfood Exhibition, at which it will participate from 26 February to 2 March at Dubai World Trade Centre, meeting some of the leading companies from the F&B sector who are planning to locate in the region.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation underlined the increasing role of the food and beverage industry in the UAE in driving economic growth and in addressing the food requirements of regional markets.
“Of the F&B companies based in Jafza, 57% are from the Middle East region with 18% from Asia-Pacific, 13% from Europe, 8% from the Americas and 4% from Africa,” said bin Sulayem. “The importance of Jafza as a preferred destination is apparent from the high occupancy rate in facilities, ranging from plots of land and warehouses top showrooms and offices dedicated to the F&B industry, spread over 1.67 million square metres.”
A recent Business Monitor International (BMI) research report expects food sales in the Middle East and North Africa to increase by 6.3% on an annual basis between 2015 and 2020.
The food and beverage industry will see a 7.1% growth on an annual basis until 2020 due to several factors such as the strong investment in the retail sector in the next few years and the rise in the number of tourists and expatriate population - up to 10.4 million people by 2025.
Jafza is home to a number of the world’s leading food companies including Unilever, Alokozay, Mars, FSL, Gulf Seafood, Hunter Foods, Banvit and other brands that serve more than two billion people in the Middle East and South and East Asia, Africa and Commonwealth of Independent States.