DP World, a global ports operator, and Zhejiang China Commodity City Group (CCC) have entered into a partnership to develop what is being touted as ‘Middle East’s first smart free zone marketplace’ at Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), a statement issued yesterday said.
DP World, in a statement, said that the ‘Traders Market’ would create first smart free zone marketplace for the retail and wholesale industries in the Middle East and aims to serve the wider region with a population base of over two billion.
The joint venture, a 70/30 partnership with DP World as the majority stakeholder, will plan approximately 800,000sqm, of which Phase 1 will cover about 220, 000Sqm, the release added, saying that the Phase 1 Capex would be an estimated US$150mn with construction expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year and take 24 months to complete.
The market will give traders the benefit of lower supply chain costs by using the already available multi-modal infrastructure available in Jebel Ali and Dubai. International traders will be able to procure bulk products in Dubai at wholesale prices with the shortest delivery times and will be able to service demand more efficiently, the release added.
Expressing his pleasure on the partnership, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, said, “This investment showcases our trade-enabling strategy as we look to catalyse trade and the movement of goods through removing inefficiencies and lowering supply chain costs.”
“The Jebel Ali Free Zone was acquired by DP World in 2015 with a vision attract clients that will not only provide lease income, but also bring significant origin and destination cargo, promoting Dubai as a trading hub,” he added, saying that this partnership helps them achieve this vision and that CCC’s exclusive investment in the region through this project with DP World as their partner was the right step forward to make this project a success.
CCC Group Chairman Zhao Wenge said, “The Middle East and Africa region is critical for the Belt and Road Initiative, and we aim to serve this high-growth market through the Traders Market in Jebel Ali, Dubai.”
“We have chosen Jebel Ali for its efficient infrastructure, business-friendly environment and significant trade with China. The CCC group has a wealth of experience and a strong reputation for developing and operating efficient large-scale trading marketplaces. Together with DP World we are confident this venture will be a success,” he added.