Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni

Director General, Dubai Airport Freezone, UAE


Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni was appointed Director General of the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) in 2000 and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) in 2002.

In 1995, Dr. Zarooni joined the Department of Civil Aviation as Director of Administration and Research. He was a key figure in establishing the Free Zone Division. Previously, he served at the Ministry of Education for eight years. In 1994, he received a Ph.D. in Economic Geography from Durham University in the UK after writing a thesis in ‘The Place of Free Trade Zone in Economic Development’.

He received his BA degree from Emirates University in 1986 and an MBA in Economic Geography in 1989. Dr. Zarooni is a sought after public speaker at summits and conferences around the world. He is also a writer.

Dubai Airport Free Zone, a member of the Dubai Quality Group, the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and Emirates Environment Group has emerged as a strong platform for multinational companies, who typically trade in low-volume, high value products such as telecommunications, aviation industry, pharmaceutical, electronics, electrical and computer hardware. Freight and Logistics is a core business of the Free Zone utilizing the proximity to the world’s fastest growing Dubai International Airport.

Established in 1996 as part of Dubai Strategic Plan to host foreign investments and facilitate both local and foreign investors’ business opportunities, the Free Zone stretches over an area of 1.2m square meters. Nearly 1,400 multinational, regional and local companies are running their operations within the Free Zone.

DAFZA provides its client investors with tremendous incentives including 100 percent foreign ownership, 100 percent tax exemption, in addition to easy access to airport facilities, rapid cargo clearance and availability of cost effective talents. In terms of future expansion strategy, the Free Zone is in the process of completing its three building phases to house more international companies. The Free Zone has achieved an enormous business growth in the last few years that labeled it as the Middle East’s fastest growing airport free zone.