Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone: Defining the Future of Trade


Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone (Khalifa Port FTZ), part of Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD), was introduced by Abu Dhabi Ports in November 2016 in a bid to meet the growing demand for free zones in Abu Dhabi – with the UAE capital emerging as one of the foremost industrial and trading destinations in the region.

Khalifa Port FTZ is located within KIZAD, the trade, logistics and industrial hub of Abu Dhabi, fully integrated with Khalifa Port, one of the world’s fastest-growing container ports and a leading hub for maritime trade in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region. Together with Khalifa Port and KIZAD,  Khalifa  Port  FTZ adds significant value to investors, while strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as a thriving maritime hub in the Middle East.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al-Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The introduction of Khalifa Port FTZ marks an important milestone in the Abu Dhabi government’s efforts to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbon resources as envisaged by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. At Abu Dhabi Ports, we seek to support Abu Dhabi in achieving its ambitious economic vision through enhancing its competitive advantages on a global scale. As part of this priority, we have built a world-class trade and industrial zone that is ably supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure.”

Mana Mohammed Saeed Al Mulla, CEO of KIZAD said: “Khalifa Port FTZ offers unprecedented value and convenience for investors given its unique location in the centre of the UAE, as well as the integrated services it offers, facilitating hassle-free licensing and approval procedures at government departments and licensing authorities.”

Leveraging the geographical benefits of Abu  Dhabi’s  central location at the cross roads of East and West, Khalifa Port FTZ offers importers and exporters convenient reach to more than 4.5 billion consumers within four of the world’s time zones. In addition, the free trade zone’s multimodal connectivity to roads, ports, air and future rail networks ensures easy accessibility to all of the region’s key logistics and trading destinations.

The free trade zone is served by the ultra-modern deep-water seaport of Khalifa Port that is being developed to accommodate the largest ships in order to ensure the easy import of bulk raw materials and export of finished goods. Shaping up in stages, Khalifa Port will eventually offer a capacity of 15 million TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) and 35 million tonnes of bulk and breakbulk cargo per year.

Like KIZAD, Khalifa Port FTZ creates a wealth of opportunities for local, regional and international companies and investors. In addition to facilitating access to markets across the world, the free zone offers a competitive operating cost environment and a meticulously designed setting that makes doing business easier than ever before.


The ultra-modern facility also provides unparalleled advantages for businesses including competitive lease prices and some of the lowest utility costs in the world – all under a tax-free umbrella. Through doing business in the free zone, investors can enjoy 100 percent foreign ownership, 100 percent repatriation of capital and profits, competitively priced shipments and efficient customs procedures, among other value-added benefits.

Abu Dhabi’s strategic location as a business hub of choice offers Khalifa Port FTZ a unique opportunity to tap into huge regional and global markets. Furthermore, the emirate’s strong fiscal and monetary outlook, investor-friendly regulatory environment and openness to other cultures considerably benefit the  free zone through attracting the world’s best talents and creating favourable conditions for foreign companies to thrive in. Importantly, Khalifa Port FTZ also supports the local Emirati workforce by providing them with sustainable job opportunities.

Within the gross area of 100 square kilometers (across Areas A and B), Khalifa Port FTZ now boasts a wide portfolio of investment sectors including aluminium, automotive, engineered metals, port logistics, food processing, pharmaceuticals, polymers, packaging and other industries that rely on Khalifa Port.

Poised to grow and compete on a global scale, 35 free zone warehouses will soon be available for lease. In addition, the nonfree zone Light Industrial Units (LIU) Cluster that comprises 75 units will also become a major attraction at KIZAD for the SME sector.

Occupying a prime location in KIZAD, non-free zone KIZAD Logistics Park offers a total of 105 units, many of which have already been leased to leading national and international logistics providers. Setting new benchmarks for trade hubs in the region, this hybrid model of free zone and non-free zone solutions lends KIZAD a unique proposition among regional logistics and warehousing centres.

With Abu Dhabi’s international trade continuing to register robust growth, Khalifa Port FTZ today provides the best destination for companies seeking to expand their business in one of the world’s most dynamic and high-potential markets