Al Maktoum growth highlights Dubai industrial sector
By Andy Sambidge
The emergence of Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central has spurred a surge in interest in industrial units in the emirate, Cluttons said on Tuesday.
The real estate consultancy said in a new report that the emerging aerotropolis is set to play a crucial role in the long term evolution of the emirate’s economy.
It said Al Maktoum International is cementing Dubai’s position as one of the world’s leading logistics hubs through the successful marriage of the airport’s air cargo facilities with the extraordinary capabilities of Jebel Ali Port.
Passenger and freight volumes at Al Maktoum International continued to grow strongly in the first quarter of 2014 as more airlines started operations at Dubai’s second airport.
Since the opening of the new passenger terminal last October, passenger volumes at DWC have continued to gain momentum, with 102,137 passengers passing through the airport in the first three months of the year.
Cluttons added that the awarding of the 2020 World Expo to Dubai in November has helped to catalyse demand from industrial occupiers, many of whom are honing in on surrounding freezones.
Faisal Durrani, Cluttons international research and business development manager, said: “Following the Expo 2020 announcement in November, we have certainly recorded stronger demand from occupiers for areas in and around Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali.
“Furthermore, reports this week have confirmed that both Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum Airport will continue to operate side by side, with the latter likely to emerge as a new hub for Emirates some time in the mid 2020’s.
"We expect that the announcement will help lift occupier demand levels further as the speculation on the future of our city’s two airports will now gradually fade as plans are finalised for both DXB and DWC.”
Cluttons said Dubai Industrial City (DIC) is reporting strong occupancy levels, with a vacancy rate of just 5 percent. 158 new companies joined DIC last year and a sharp upturn in revenue from warehouse and land leases was also reported, both of which rose by 52 percent and 44 percent, respectively.
The report added that rents in Dubai Investments Park (DIP) for industrial units have continued to move upwards while Cluttons said it also anticipates Techno Park, which sits just opposite Dubai Logistics City, to record an uptake in occupier interest as the surrounding freezones reach full capacity.
Durrani added: “Elsewhere in the UAE, industrial occupier focus also remains centred on emerging multi-nodal hubs. In Abu Dhabi for instance, the importance of Abu Dhabi International Airport continues to gather pace, aided by the brisk expansion of Etihad Airways, which is underpinning the importance of the airport as an air cargo hub.
"This is evidenced by both the swift letting of warehouses at Logistics Park and the number of enquiries being reported. This is a pattern we expect to persist.”