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2016 Annual Report

DMCC is Made for Trade

DMCC welcomed record-breaking 2,016 new member companies in 2016

In 2016, DMCC improved profitability and its cash flow by continuing to attract a record 2,016 new members to our Free Zone; delivering high quality commercial spaces for the 87,500 people who work, live and thrive here, such as ONE JLT; enhancing products, services and infrastructure for our customers; and by creating new, as well as nourishing more established marketplaces for the benefit of the global trade.

Watch this video of DMCC Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem and DMCC Chief Executive Officer Gautam Sashittal on the company's landmark successes in the past year and plans for the future of trade.

"One of the key achievements that DMCC managed in 2016 is maintaining the exceptional level of momentum that it has reached within the past year."

- Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC

"2016 was very challenging both globally and regionally, but in that environment, we had a very rewarding year."

- Gautam Sashittal, CEO, DMCC

The year in review

Our strategic focus has resulted in DMCC delivering yet another year of strong growth

Free Zone

Named the world’s best Free Zone by the Financial Times fDi for the second year in succession

In 2016, we welcomed 2,016 new companies, an average of 7 every working day. This marked an increase of 13 percent on the previous year, and an average annual growth rate of 33 percent over the last decade. This brings significant foreign direct investment to Dubai.

DMCC was also named the world’s best Free Zone by the Financial Times fDi for the second year in succession and is today home to over 13,100 companies small and large from all over the word.

Developing Dubai: Property

Minutes from the airport and the harbour, moments from shopping malls, the beach and two metro stations, you will find all you need to work, thrive and enjoy life to the full in DMCC’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers district. Today there are 5 hotels, 2 universities, 66 commercial and residential towers, parks and running tracks, over 540 retail outlets with over 300 restaurants & cafés to choose from.

Our community and property portfolio is maintained to the highest standards to ensure that commercial members and residents alike have the very best experience possible.

Our soon to be premium address for the global business community, the Burj2020 District, is also well underway and we look forward to bringing this world-class mix-use property development to the next level this year.

Burj2020 District

The Burj2020 District, will offer world-class commercial, residential and retail spaces, including premium hotels, restaurants, recreational areas, and two iconic super-tall towers designed by leading architects Adrian Gill & Gordon Smith.


We are creating unique grade A commercial spaces. A good example of this is One JLT which we delivered end of 2015. With sustainability at the core of Dubai’s ongoing developments, One JLT is a LEED Gold Standard commercial building, which provides energy-efficient commercial space over 14 floors.

Smart District

In 2016, we focussed on creating a long-term Smart District strategy to ensure the entire Free Zone community can enjoy a cutting-edge environment that offers the latest available in technology, connectivity and amenities.

The intention of our strategy is to improve connectivity, sustainability and community through objectives and initiatives that are aligned with Dubai's smart city guidelines.

Jumeirah Lakes Towers

The JLT district consists of 66 towers, 5 hotels, over 540 retail and leisure outlets and is home to over 87,500 people.

Gateway to trade

We are a Government of Dubai entity, dedicated to enhancing Dubai’s position as the primary global gateway for commodities trade


In 2016 we made several steps forward. We announced plans to develop a 4,500sqm coffee centre, launched the Independent Governance Committee for responsible sourcing, attracted 268 new members to the Dubai Diamond Exchange and launched the Food Trade Group.

DMCC Tea Centre

In 2016, the DMCC Tea Centre handled more than 41.6m kilograms of tea, testament to the industry’s appreciation for its state-of-the-art facilities, which span 24,000 square metres and include extensive climate-controlled warehousing, as well as dedicated tasting, blending and packaging areas.


2016 was a record year for DGCX during which 19.7m contracts were traded. This trade volume represented 36 percent growth compared to 2015.

DMCC Tradeflow

In 2016, DMCC Tradeflow recorded a total 11,412 murabaha transactions with a total value of AED 58b, a value increase of 405 percent compared to 2015.

Kimberley process

UAE took the Chairmanship in 2016


In 2016, DMCC Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem was appointed global KP Chair on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Economy, a major honour and recognition of the leadership status Dubai and the wider UAE is accorded within the global diamond industry.

The UAE Chairmanship saw Mr Bin Sulayem travel to 20 countries before concluding the successful chairmanship delivering a speech on the draft resolution “The Role of Diamonds in Fueling Conflict” at the UN General Assembly 69th plenary meeting, 71s session, on February 2nd, 2017.

Read more about the KP

Looking ahead to 2017

Building on our strengths as a global destination of choice in which to live and to work

In 2017 we will promote the excellence of DMCC’s offering internationally in order to connect old and new markets and to facilitate trade in and through Dubai.

Abroad, our primary focus will be on growing DMCC’s exposure to India, China, Germany and the UK.

Additionally, we will continue to embark on construction projects, such as Burj2020 District, to create world-class commercial and residential spaces. We will also prioritise the upgrade of all existing Free Zone infrastructure in line with our strategy to make DMCC a world-leading utiliser of smart technologies. In terms of connecting people and markets, we will continue to take a leadership position within the markets in which we operate, issuing regular thought leadership and analysis relating to the commercial issues of the day. We will also seek to form mutually advantageous strategic partnerships and to host quality commercial events at which high level networking and knowledge sharing can take place.

DMCC was created not only to take advantage of opportunities, but to create opportunities.

Over the coming weeks, months and years, DMCC will proactively seek to identify areas of potential opportunity to maximise benefits for the good of our people, our members and our home Dubai.

Dubai Week in China - Oct 2017
Made for Trade roadshows across the globe
Burj2020 District to break ground
Future of Trade
Free Zone continues to grow
Connected Thinking Series launches

Get in touch

For more information please contact Nadine Abdel Khalek at:

+971 56 676 4622