A prominent feature of competitive markets is that the entities involved must continuously find new ways of improving their performance in order to stay in the race. In both the private and public sector, this entails ensuring that all stakeholders in an entity, including customers, employees, strategic partners, suppliers, and society, are satisfied. One such method of remaining competitive is service excellence, that is, service excellence, that is, an entity’s ability to understand and meet the needs of all stakeholders. The Ajman Free Zone Authority (AFZA), which received the Government Service Excellence Award in 2010, is a prime example of an entity that remains competitive due to its service excellence.
AFZA was established in 1988 as a public entity in the United Arab Emirates. According to Alhubaishi and Ahmad (2014) AFZA was established with the following objectives:
- to provide commercial and industrial bases in Ajman
- to attract domestic and international capital investments in numerous economic sectors
- to make the private sector more active in establishing private and joint enterprises
- to provide job opportunities to the local population and in turn develop their technical skills
AFZA provides many services, such as licensing services, leasing services, and visa services. Ajman is the smallest emirate in the UAE and is also in close proximity to the emirates and free zones of Sharjah and Dubai, which are both more economically developed and therefore more attractive to foreign and domestic investors. As a result, AFZA has implemented a service excellence strategy to remain competitive in the market and consequently attract investments that can boost Ajman’s industrial development.