In this study, an extractive spectrophotometric method is proposed for the determination of trace amounts of zirconium. The method is based on the complex formation between zirconium and 2-(5-bromo-2-pyridylazo)-5-(diethylamino) phenol. Then, the formed complex is concentrated in an ionic liquid (1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate) phase. The parameters were optimized and analytical figures of merit were obtained. The tolerance limits for diverse ions were calculated. The enhancement factor (EF) and limit of detection (LOD) were found to be 156 and 0.012 mu g L-1, respectively. The relative standard deviation (RSD) was found to be lower than 6%. The proposed method has been successfully applied to water and environmental materials.