Sharjah, the third-largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates, has been making remarkable strides in attracting global investments and fostering economic growth, particularly in its thriving industrial sector. The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) has reported substantial progress in strengthening the emirate's status as a leading industrial centre in the region, with recent developments highlighting Sharjah's strategic positioning and the ongoing diversification of its economic landscape.



Sharjah's industrial sector has proven to be a critical driver of the emirate's economic growth, contributing significantly to its GDP. Marwan Alichla, the Director of Investment Promotion and Support at Invest in Sharjah, emphasised the importance of economic diversification and a balanced approach across sectors, with a particular focus on the industrial sector. This focus is driven by the sector's crucial role in sustaining growth and enhancing the overall economic structure's resilience.

Alichla noted that the industrial sector is the second-largest contributor to the emirate's GDP at 16.7%, and Sharjah is home to 35% of the country's factories.



Sharjah's comprehensive and flexible business environment, strategic location, and suitable infrastructure for both SMEs and heavy industries have generated significant interest from investors. Invest in Sharjah continues to develop its programmes and strategies to support the emirate's vision of achieving global competitiveness, positioning Sharjah as the 5th fastest-growing city globally in attracting FDI in 2023.



One such example is the recent inauguration of a state-of-the-art logistics distribution centre in Sharjah by Alexandria International, a leading manufacturer in the flooring and office furniture sector. The 74,000 square-foot facility strategically positions the company to cater to both the local UAE market and the wider regional sector, leveraging Sharjah's reputation as a hub for business excellence.



Sharjah's commitment to fostering a conducive business environment has led to the establishment of new free zones, such as the Sharjah Communication Technologies Free Zone (Comtech).

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has issued an Emiri decree to establish the Comtech Free Zone in Kalba city, which aims to enhance Sharjah's position as a global hub for the telecommunications sector, future technology, communication technologies, and data centers, with companies, institutions, individuals, and employees in the free zone being exempt from taxes imposed in the emirate on their business activities within the zone for a renewable period of 50 years.



The Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone) has introduced the "Instant Licence Service," a comprehensive instant business licence that expedites the business setup process. This service includes essential components such as a Business Licence, Memorandum of Association, Lease Agreement, and other necessary documents, streamlining the process for entrepreneurs to establish and operate their businesses in Sharjah.

Sharjah's free zones have also forged strategic partnerships to enhance member services. For instance, SPC Free Zone has partnered with Al Ansari Exchange, one of the largest remittance and foreign exchange companies in the UAE, to provide its members with improved payment solutions and financial transaction services.



Sharjah's industrial landscape has also witnessed the expansion of major international players. Petrozo Energy, a leading Singapore-based oil and gas company, has announced plans to establish a new manufacturing facility in the Hamriyah Free Zone, spanning over 430,000 square feet.

Additionally, Ikigai Steel FZE has announced the establishment of a new factory in Hamriyah Free Zone, covering an area of 548,000 square feet and with an annual production capacity of 30,000 tonnes.

Sharjah's unwavering commitment to diversifying its economy and fostering a thriving industrial sector has positioned the emirate as a leading destination for global investments. The Sharjah FDI Office's strategic initiatives, the establishment of specialized free zones, and the expansion of major industrial players have all contributed to Sharjah's growing reputation as a hub for business excellence and economic prosperity in the region.