Dubai’s DAFZA launches first regional e-commerce free zone

HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA), has witnessed the launch of Dubai CommerCity, an AED2.7-billion, 2.1-million square feet joint venture between DAFZA and Wasl Asset Management Group, in the Umm Ramool area. Dubai CommerCity, the first free zone dedicated to e-commerce in the MENA region, 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.
The project will accelerate the growth of the e-commerce market and will provide an environment that stimulates creativity and attracts more direct foreign investments in line with Dubai Plan 2021 which aims to create a unique and sustainable economy based on innovation.
Dubai CommerCity has exceptional competitive advantages that make it one of the most attractive free zones for foreign direct investment in the regional markets, and a unique gateway for Dubai and the UAE to access a promising international economic sector. The new free zone is strategically located near the Dubai International Airport, well-connected to major local and national highways.
Dubai CommerCity spans a total area of 427,000 square meters inclusive of office spaces and logistics units covering 207,000 square meters; a total leasable area of 176,000 square meters; and infrastructure and parking areas over 220,000 square meters, with 4,000 parking slots for its customers. The free zone is divided into three clusters-the Business Cluster, Logistics Cluster and Social Cluster, which have been designed in a modern and innovative way to strategically achieve environmental and investment sustainability.
The project will be implemented in two phases and will be an ideal opportunity for major regional and international manufacturers to store their goods, products and spare parts in state-of-the-art, fully-equipped, technology-enabled warehouses, to be shipped later to the local markets in record time via e-commerce.
The new free zone will drive steadily growing private investment activities supporting the region’s start-ups which have already exceeded USD 870 million, especially as most start-ups are involved in e-commerce, IT and Internet-based services, of which the UAE has the largest share in the region. Over the next five years, the e-commerce sector is projected to account for ten percent of the Emirate of Dubai’s retail sales, which are in turn expected to reach AED 200 billion by the end of 2017.