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JORDAN: New Free Zone Opens at Queen Alia International Airport

A new free zone has opened at Jordan's Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) on 2 September. Built at a cost of US$53.6 million, the one-square-kilometre zone replaces the smaller three-hectare free zone that was established at the airport in 1998.

The zone’s management falls under Jordan Free and Development Zones Group (JFDZG), the government body tasked with coordinating and managing the country’s five free zones and two development zones. Free zones allow a number of tax exemptions or reductions; 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of profits; subsidised real estate; and no customs duties on imported items for the company’s operations.

The new QAIA Free Zone comprises an administrative building, two business parks for commercial offices, a logistical services building for customs clearance and insurance companies, as well as banks and restaurants. Investors in the zone have access to a range of property options, such as business/logistics offices, sophisticated industrial and commercial investment units for leasing, and ready-to-rent hangars for sale or leasehold.

According to JFDZG, about 59 local and international companies have invested in the free zone. Over the next five years, the number of direct job opportunities offered at the free zone is forecast to increase from its current 300 to 3,500, while the number of indirect jobs is expected to rise from 600 to 4,000 in the same period.

The location of the QAIA Free Zone provides strategic advantages, such as easy access to air cargo services, major road networks, the Hijaz railway, and the port of Aqaba. JFDZG Chairman, Khalaf Humiesat, said that the zone revamp has also simplified the procedures for investors who wish to invest in the Kingdom.

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