Jafza to boost Salalah free zone

11 August 2006
Salalah Free Zone Company (SFZC) and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) have established a working group to conduct a feasibility study for the development of the Salalah zone. Jafza has until mid-August to submit a management proposal to SFZC to take over the running of the Omani facility. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in late July that sets out a framework for future co-operation.

'Jafza has vast experience developing, managing and marketing free zones worldwide,' SFZC deputy chief executive officer Mohammed Hassan al-Theeb told MEED in early August. 'Its involvement will speed up the development of the free zone. It has know-how and systems in place that will save us a lot of time. And there are big investors on its waiting list.'

Jafza operates the free zone at Jebel Ali port in Dubai, as well as free zones in Morocco, Malaysia and Dijbouti.

Under the MoU, SFZC and Jafza are discussing the possibility of a joint venture, in which the Dubai-based firm could take a stake in the Salalah project. SFZC, which is wholly owned by the government of Oman, expects to sign an agreement with Jafza by year-end.

The Salalah zone will cover 19 million square metres adjacent to the Port of Salalah. The local Nasr Arabian Company is due to complete the infrastructure contract for the development's first phase by the end of the year.

Phase 2 of the project is in the design stage and the consultancy contract is expected to be tendered in the first quarter of next year.

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