His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has confirmed that the UAE is moving headway with its strategic plan to diversify the national economy and reduce dependence on revenues from oil. His Highness reiterated that the UAE has its unique economic vision that enables the creation of new economic sectors to contribute to the nation’s growth, even while expanding the scope of conventional sectors to ensure their parity with global standards.
During the launch, His Highness reiterated the role of trade as a key contributor in maintaining the UAE’s economic success, and a crucial sector in its future development. He said: “The UAE’s strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and strong institutions make it the most qualified place to lead the new wave of growth in wholesale trade, on an international scale.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s statements came during the official launch of ‘Dubai Wholesale City’, the largest wholesale hub worldwide spanning 550 million sq feet that will be developed over a 10-year period at an estimated cost of AED30 billion. The new development will help increase the UAE’s contribution to the global wholesale trade sector that is valued at US$4.3 trillion and expected to grow to US$4.9 trillion in the next five years.
The new global hub will comprise specialized integrated trading parks and an international trade exhibition facility. Dubai Wholesale City will also feature ‘Country Pavilions’ that include commercial centers and malls offering products from various countries, including India, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, Australia, China, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United States and south America.
The hub will provide wholesale traders with comprehensive offerings including state-of-the-art infrastructure, roads, warehousing, storage facilities and support services, guaranteeing high operational efficiency and ease of doing business. For its part, the international business-to-business exhibition facility will convene buyers with suppliers from around the world. The sizeable asset will serve as a mediator in global trade and open up a raft of service options to producers and traders, even while saving them time and effort.
The Dubai Wholesale City will serve strategic sectors including food, construction materials, electrical appliances, electronics, furniture and décor, machinery, equipment, wood, vehicles and spare parts, and textiles and clothing.
The destination will also activate the largest e-commerce platform for wholesale trade in the region, aiming to enhance the UAE’s capabilities in the global e-commerce space that is projected to grow from US$1.672 trillion to US$2.941 trillion in 2018 with a compound annual growth rate of 21%.
Notably, the UAE’s e-commerce market is expected to grow at double the pace of the global sector. According to market projects, e-commerce in the UAE will surge up to four times its current size through the next three years – to rise from a value of US$2.5 billion in 2015 to US$10 billion in 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 59%.
Dubai Wholesale City’s proximity to major markets connecting three quarters of the world’s population within a seven hour flying time makes it an ideal meeting point between the east and the west and serves as a key factor in distinguishing it from other wholesale hubs worldwide. The new city will also benefit from Dubai’s advanced logistics services and its distinctive location near Al Maktoum International Airport and the Jebel Ali Port, two major gateways for global cargo and shipping industries.