International SOS expands premises in Dubai Airport Freezone

Published November 3rd, 2009 - 02:54 GMT

International SOS, the world’s leading provider of medical assistance, international healthcare, security services and outsourced customer care to international travelers and expatriates, has expanded its premises at the Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ).

“We are growing by an average of 20 per cent per annum and are seeing positive indications of an improvement in business outlook,” said Olivier Ryder, Regional General Manager Middle East and Africa.  “In the oil and gas industry, where most of our clients are working, some projects which have been shelved are now back on track. Although we are not yet really out of the financial crisis there are now signs of a revival.” 

Mr. Ibrahim Ahli, Marketing Director at Dubai Airport Freezone said, “We are happy at the business success of International SOS. Their success again illustrates how important the strategic location of Dubai Airport Freezone is to companies operating out of the Freezone to have ease of access to their markets in the region.”

Mr. Ahli added that more than a dozen major companies operating in the Freezone have expanded their office space and “We are working hard to support their business goals of deployment in the region.”

“The business expansion of these companies and the recent addition of leading major international companies which have been licensed during the first half, including French companies like SAGM, SOKOMEK, Middle East, Air Cost Control Middle East and Air Logistics, some Japanese companies such as EDIMESTO Middle East, and some Korean companies and companies from Scandinavian countries are responsible for our strong first half result of 48 per cent growth.”

There are 55 staff members of International SOS operating out of the Freezone and 650 employees spread in the Middle East and Africa region, of which 180 are medical personnel.

Mr. Ryder said International SOS now occupies 624 sqm of office space. The company’s business has doubled since it was established in 2005.
“The decision to set up a branch office and an alarm centre at the Freezone is due to the convenience of its proximity to an international airport, availability of connections to every country in the region and first class communication and road infrastructure,” said Mr. Ryder.

He added, that from Dubai, “It is easy to reach West Africa, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Qatar, and Yemen. Our company has a physical presence in 11 countries in the region.”

Mr. Ryder said International SOS was founded in Jakarta 25 years ago by Mr. Arnaud Vaissié, a French man. International SOS’s head office is now based in Singapore.

International SOS recent exploits include the security evacuation and air lifting of 315 registered clients in Lebanon in 2006.

The Dubai office also assisted in the evacuation of 60 passengers in the dhow capsize incident in Bahrain in 2005 and the medical evacuation of a number of people wounded in a recent shooting incident in Mahrib, Yemen.

With over 6,000 professionals operating in 70 countries, International SOS helps organizations manage the health and safety risks facing their travelers and global workforce.

Clients need the company to respond quickly and effectively and that is why SOS deploys all its resources - people, facilities, systems and communications - through a fully integrated support infrastructure.

International SOS operates in five continents with facilities in more than 70 countries, including 26 alarm centers and 28 International SOS clinics.

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