The UAE emirate of Fujairah has set up a zone dedicated to the petroleum industry in a bid to boost its status as a refining and oil and gas logistics hub.

The Fujairah Zone for Petroleum Industry (FOZ), was set up by decree by the emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammad al-Sharqi.

The zone’s authority will issue or renew permits and licences for companies operating in the area, as well as put in place regulations and strategies to foster investment by the private sector. The renovation and leasing of land and property will also fall under its remit.

The zone includes 136 tanks with a storage capacity of 3 million cubic metres. Once completed in 2012, a total of 262 tanks will have a storage capacity of 7 million cubic metres for crude oil and petroleum products.

Strategically placed on the western coast of the UAE, Fujairah is fast developing into an oil and gas logistics hub, as tankers loading in Fujairah can bypass the Strait of Hormuz.

In April, Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company announced its plans to go ahead with a $3bn refinery in the emirate.