DAFZ Expansion

Increased demand for fast turnaround logistics facilities signals increased expansion at the Dubai Airport’s Free Zone (DAFZ).

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By  Paul Barthram Published  January 25, 2004

With warehouse, freight handling, and cargo business booming at Dubai Airport’s Free Zone (DAFZ) several new expansion initiatives have been put into action to facilitate the increasing demand for facilities. As a result of the surge in business, the DAFZ-based Dnata Free Zone Logistics’ Centre (FLC) has finalised plans for a second major extension, which comes less than a year after the official opening of its first major expansion. Since FLC first opened it has already doubled in size, but due to an increase in tonnage and touchdown figures, the continuous growth has created the need for yet another major extension. “We intend to make certain that we can accommodate the aggressive growth that we have experienced since the FLC opened,” comments Kevin Ennis, manager cargo business development. The extension to be built within the next year will add 15,000 square metres of warehouse space — almost 80% more that currently offered — to the FLC, creating a total of 34,000 square metres. DAFZ has consistently attracted companies wishing to take advantage of its facilities and strategic location. Global freight forwarding company GAC Logistics has just announced its plans to expand into DAFZ with the signing of two new warehouse lease agreements, to develop the company’s warehouse provision in the United Arab Emirates. The company recently announced the expansion of its base in the Jebel Ali Free Zone but says the company needs a base close to the airport to compliment its current operations. “The Dubai Airport Free Zone serves as a strategic base for GAC to expand our logistics services, says Dag Bore, general manager, logistics division, GAC Dubai. “We are seeing an increasing number of international and local companies setting up operations in this region, especially those involved in the distribution and sale of high value, fast moving commodities, such as IT hardware and software.” Bore adds. Further expansion is to be expected for the airport’s facilities with the Cargo Mega Terminal due to open in 2007. In development of the project the Department of Civil Aviation recently signed a Dhs1.47 billion (US$400,000) contract with Siemens subsidiary Siemens Dematic to automate the cargo and baggage handling system.

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