UAE announces region’s first ‘e-commerce freezone’

The UAE plans to develop a US $500-million Dubai CommerCity, a freezone specifically for the booming e-commerce sector.
Logistics facilities will make up half of the total area of the new freezone.
Logistics facilities will make up half of the total area of the new freezone.


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Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA), has announced a new freezone for the e-commerce sector.

Called Dubai CommerCity, the new freezone joint venture between DAFZA and wasl Asset Management Group and will be located in the Umm Ramool area of Dubai, spread across 2.1-million square feet.

Dubai CommerCity 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, DAFZA said in a statement.

The project is intended to accelerate the growth of the e-commerce market, which is expected to reach USD 20 billion in 2020 in the GCC countries, by providing an environment that stimulates creativity and attracts more direct foreign investments in line with Dubai Plan 2021.

Dubai CommerCity will be located near the Dubai International Airport, and will be well-connected to major local and national highways, providing direct access to market in last mile delivery for e-commerce stakeholders in the MENA and South Asia regions.

DAFZA says the freezone will offer 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.

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“Dubai CommerCity will enhance the role of e-commerce as a key driver of Dubai’s sustainable economy. DAFZA will apply its leading experiences and services based on comprehensive studies on the future of e-commerce in the MENA region,” said Mohammed Al Zarooni, director general of DAFZA.

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group, hinted that the freezone may become the regional headquarters for Amazon when it enters the region.

“The new free zone is strategically located near to Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, offering attractive investment opportunities to reputed e-commerce companies that are seeking to establish a presence and expand in the MENA and South Asia regions,” he said.

Amazon purchased local e-commerce company SOUQ last year and has said it plans to establish a Dubai hub in the coming months.

Dubai CommerCity spans a total area of 427,000 square meters 207,000 square meters of which will be for logistics and warehousing.

The free zone will be divided into three clusters to facilitate efficient operations.

The Logistics Cluster, on the other hand, consists of 84 logistic units with a total built-up area of 71,000 square meters and a leasable area of 68,000 square meters 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.

The Business Cluster includes 13 office buildings with a total leasable area of 108,000 square meters and a total built-up area of 136,000 square meters. 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.

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.

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