Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced the launch of Dubai Wholesale City, the largest global wholesale hub, set to span over 550 million ft² (51 million m²), with an expected development cost of AED30bn (€7.5bn) over 10 years. The new development aims to increase the UAE’s share of the global wholesale trade sector, which is valued at $4.3tn (€3.96tn) and expected to grow to $4.9tn (€4.5tn) in the next five years.
Dubai Wholesale City’s proximity to major markets connecting three-quarters of the world’s population within seven hours of flight 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. Given Dubai Wholesale City’s proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport, and the Jebel Ali Port, the development will create a crucial link between four main continents and aims to be home to more than 15,000 wholesale traders.
The project seeks to revolutionise the global wholesale trade through the utilisation of integrated smart services, an advanced framework, and logistics support. The City will launch operations by servicing strategic sectors and will include specialised avenues (boulevards) for food, construction materials, electrical appliances, electronics, furniture and décor, machinery, equipment, wood, vehicles and spare parts, and textiles and clothing.
Dubai Wholesale City will also activate the world’s largest e-commerce platform for wholesale trade in the region. The new service aims to enhance the UAE’s capabilities in the global e-commerce space that is set to grow from $1.672tn (€1.539tn) to reach $2.941tn (€2.707tn) in 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of 21%. Notably, the UAE’s e-commerce market growth rate is expected to be double that of the global e-commerce growth rate.
The hub will also serve as an international trade exhibition facility and provide wholesale traders with comprehensive offerings, including state-of-the-art infrastructure, roads, warehousing, storage facilities and support services. 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.
Dubai Holding will be developing the new city. Mohammed Al Gergawi, chairman Dubai Holding, said: “The new Dubai Wholesale City complements the series of projects in the emirate that articulate the unique vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum towards launching integrated destinations (cities) that serve diverse economic sectors. These include, amongst others, the Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City that collectively host more than 5,200 companies and over 67,000 professionals across multiple industry verticals.