A global wholesale trading hub and exhibition centre spanning 550 million square feet is to be built in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai confirmed plans for the AED30bn Dubai Wholesale City project as part of plans to diversify the UAE economy away from oil dependence.
The new development, which will take 10 years, is intended to be a fully integrated trading hub and international trade exhibition facility for the local and international wholesale trading sector.
It will include specialised integrated trading parks under one roof for more than 15,000 wholesale traders, as well as an international trade exhibition facility, along with infrastructure, roads, warehousing, storage facilities and support services.
The development will have ‘Country Pavilions’ with commercial centres and malls offering products from different countries, including India, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, Australia, China, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United States and South America. It will have specialised avenues 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 encompass the current location of Dubai Industrial City, which will become an integral part of the new project. With its proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport and the Jebel Ali Port, the Dubai Wholesale City development is expected to create a crucial link between four main continents.
The UAE’s share of the global wholesale trade sector is valued at US$4.3 trillion (£3trn) and expected to grow to US$4.9trn (£3.5trn) in the next five years. The Dubai Wholesale City is expected to complement and help boost an e-commerce platform for wholesale trade in the region. E-commerce in the region is expected to grow significantly over the next three years.
Launching Dubai Wholesale City, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that trade was a key contributor in maintaining the UAE’s economic success.
“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,” he said. “Our aim is to build a sustainable national economy. Dependency on oil was never a choice and we will not bind our future to it”.