Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dubai plans to set up $735m e-commerce free zone

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) has announced plans to develop the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region's first free zone dedicated to e-commerce in Dubai at an investment of Dh2.7 billion ($735 million). 

A joint venture between Dafza and UAE-based wasl Asset Management Group, the Dubai CommerCity will come up over a sprawling 2.1-million-sq-ft area in the Umm Ramool region of Dubai, UAE.

The launch was held in the presence of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Dafza and other senior government officials.

It is strategically intended to promote Dubai’s position as a leading platform for international e-commerce and to support economic diversification and smart transformation strategies, said a statement from Dafza.  

Dubai CommerCity spans a total area of 427,000 sq m inclusive of office spaces and logistics units covering 207,000 sq m; a total leasable area of 176,000 sq m; and infrastructure and parking areas over 220,000 sq m, with 4,000 parking slots for its customers. 

The free zone is divided into three clusters designed in a modern and innovative way to strategically achieve environmental and investment sustainability. State-of-the-art technologies are implemented to provide investors with quality experiences. 

The Business Cluster includes 13 office buildings with a total leasable area of 108,000 sq m and a total built-up area of 136,000 sq m. It features modern buildings and landscapes within the interior and exterior areas to encourage customers to adopt a healthy and active approach while doing business and to make work routines interesting and youthful. 

The cluster is ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)’ program certified as well, said the statement from Dafza. 

The Logistics Cluster, on the other hand, consists of 84 logistic units with a total built-up area of 71,000 sq m and a leasable area of 68,000 sq m equipped with the latest technologies to meet the needs of logistics services providers and customers. The main feature of the cluster is its rooftop PVC solar panels for generating clean energy, it stated. 

Finally, The Social Cluster is the heart of Dubai CommerCity, with its art galleries, a range of luxury restaurants and cafés, and vibrant facilities that meet the expectations of e-commerce companies wishing to establish regional headquarters in Dubai.

Dafza said the project will accelerate the growth of the GCC e-commerce market which is expected to reach $20 billion in the next three years.

It will provide an environment that stimulates creativity and attracts more direct foreign investments in line with Dubai Plan 2021 which aims to create a unique and sustainable economy based on innovation, it added. 

Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Ahmed said the new Dafza venture will add a fresh dimension to Dubai’s commercial activity and help attract more direct foreign investments to the emirate. 

It is aimed at establishing a unique and sustainable economy based on growth, innovation, diversification, and competitiveness. 

"These are features of the post-oil stage which are in line with Dubai Plan 2021’s goal of making Dubai first globally in ease of doing business as well as a preferred investment destination by 2021," remarked Sheikh Ahmed. 

According to him, Dubai CommerCity has exceptional competitive advantages that make it one of the most attractive free zones for foreign direct investment in the regional markets, and a unique gateway for Dubai and the UAE to access a promising international economic sector. 

The new free zone is strategically located near the Dubai International Airport, well-connected to major local and national highways. 

"It provides direct access for e-commerce stakeholders in the Mena and South Asia regions," said Sheikh Ahmed.

"It also offers world-class cargo and logistics services and an integrated and sophisticated infrastructure with easy access to land and seaports, enabling swift and efficient distribution and delivery of services which are essential to competing in the world of e-commerce as well as minimizing supply chain costs," he added. 

Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, the director general of Dafza, said: "Dubai CommerCity will enhance the role of e-commerce as a key driver of Dubai’s sustainable economy. The free zone will apply its leading experiences and services based on comprehensive studies on the future of e-commerce in the Mena region."

"Through Dubai CommerCity, we aim to play an organizational, operational and knowledge-based role that will contribute to the building of a new world-class free zone and the creation of a unified platform for government, administrative, customs and logistics services that meet the needs of the e-commerce sector, in response to the vision of the wise leadership of achieving sustainable development," he noted.

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, the chief executive of wasl Asset Management Group, said: "We look forward to partnering with Dafza to translate the vision of our wise leadership to make Dubai one of the best investment destinations in the world."

"Our joint venture supports the national economic diversification strategy and the creation of a sustainable economy based on innovation and competitiveness," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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