August 2, 2008

Leading Global Provider of Medical Devices Selects Dubai As Middle East Base

A subsidiary of the UK based FTSE 100 Smiths Group plc, the company is a leading provider of medical devices for the hospital, emergency, home and specialist environments.

"As a regional business base, Dubai Airport Free Zone is strategically located at the hub of a market of over 1.5 billion people, encompassing the Gulf countries, Iran, the vast emerging markets of India and its neighbouring countries, parts of Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and former Soviet Union," remarked Mr. Ibrahim Ahli, Director of Marketing, Dubai Airport Free Zone.

He noted that Smiths Medical is one of nearly 1,425 multinational companies located at the Dubai Airport Free Zone. "Our location adjoining the Dubai international Airport and the easy access to the state-of-the-art Dubai Cargo Village are particularly attractive to companies that depend on time-sensitive shipments," he added.

"Our presence at the Dubai Airport Free Zone is a measure of our confidence in the rapidly growing Middle East market and our commitment to investing in continuous improvement, technological innovation and customer service," said Mr. Fares Hassan Makarem, Manager of the company's new branch in Dubai.

"Our products are used during critical and intensive care, surgery, post-operative care during recovery, and in a series of high-end home infusion therapies. The location of our branch at the Dubai Airport Free Zone will give us the leverage to significantly improve the service to our customers in the region," he added.

Smiths Medical which markets specialist medical devices to hospitals and other healthcare providers in over 100 countries has a staff of over 7,500 people. Outlining the range of services provided by the company, Fares Hassan Makarem said, "The products range from those that provide vital care such as managing the patient's airway during and after surgery and safety devices that prevent needle stick injuries and prevent cross infections while drawing blood samples, to drug delivery systems that relieve acute and chronic pain and systems for monitoring of vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate.""It is therefore vital that we respond to customers in the shortest possible time. We have located in the Dubai Airport Free Zone precisely for that purpose," he added.

The Dubai Airport Free Zone located within the Dubai Airport handled a total of 1.6 million tonnes of cargo in 2007. The Free Zone's range of ready-built and custom-made facilities close to the airport apron is occupied by leading multinationals including Rolls- Royce, Airbus, JCB, Estee Lauder, Ferrari, Boeing and San Disk. Trade through the Dubai Airport Free Zone represents approximately seven percent of the trade and five percent of the GDP in the emirate.

Total foreign ownership, total repatriation of capital and the total exemption from corporate, personal income, and commercial levies taxes are key features that have attracted multinational companies to set up office in the Airport Free Zone. "We also have a one-stop-shop where investors can get all their documentation for licensing, registration and employee sponsorship done, even online," said Ahli. The companies in the Dubai Airport Free Zone are allowed to operate 24-hours and are also provided round-the-clock security.

"Its location within the Dubai International Airport with 135 airlines flying to 210 destinations is indeed a boon for investors," Ahli added. "The ability to air-freight large volumes across the globe with minimum delay is indeed a great benefit for us at Smiths Medical." Mr. Makarem confirmed.

With 48,000 Sq. m. of additional office space being added this year and a further 103,000 Sq. m. planned between 2010 and 2013, the Dubai Airport Free Zone is contributing significantly to making Dubai one of the most vibrant trading hubs in the world.

2008 Al Bawaba (

Originally published by By Al-Bawaba Reporters.

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