Dubai Airport Free Zone, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has climbed from tenth place in the ranking two years ago to be awarded the top position as fDi’s Middle East Free Zone of the Future 2011/12. RAKIA Industrial Park (UAE) took second place followed closely by the Jebel Ali Free Zone (UAE).

Dubai Airport Free Zone performed well across many categories including, Economic Potential, Facilities, Transportation Links and FDI Promotion Strategy. Established in 1996, the zone claims to be one of the fastest growing free zones in the Middle East.


RAKIA Industrial Park was positioned second overall and achieved top spots in the Incentives and Facilities categories. Jebel Ali Free Zone claimed third position overall and was awarded the top Middle East Free Zone for Economic Potential.

Economic zones based in the UAE dominated the top 25 Middle East free zones, with 15 zones located in the UAE. 

Free zones in Jordan preformed well in the Cost Effectiveness category with Aqaba Special Economic Zone positioned top, followed by KADDB Industrial Park in second and Aqaba International Industrial Estate in third.

Dubai Airport Free Zone, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Abu Dhabi Ports Company, all located in the UAE, ranked top among the free zones with the best Transportation Links.

fDiMagazine’s rankings, which took more than four months to compile, ranked six UAE zones in the top 10 zones with the best Facilities with RAKIA Industrial Park taking top position, Dubai Internet City in second and Dubai Media City in third.

The independent judging panel scored Bahrain International Investment Park, Aqaba Special Economic Zone, RAKIA Industrial Park, RAK Free trade Zone and Dubai Airport Free Zone as the zones with the best FDI Promotion.


More than 130 free zones across the Middle East were invited by fDiMagazine to complete a survey requesting both qualitative and quantitative data regarding their free zones.

 The information collected was set under six categories: Economic Potential, Incentives, Facilities, Cost Effectiveness, Transportation and Best FDI Promotion.

A total of 20 zones submitted details regarding many aspects of their zone and this was judged and scored by our independent judging panel.

Zones scored up to a maximum of 10 points under each individual criteria, which were weighted by importance to give the overall scores.

Click on the link below for a PDF version of the complete results:


Download the Middle East Free Zones of the Future 2011/12 Press Release here: