THE MOST LUCRATIVE VOWEL

Dubai 2020 | MOBILITY | FOCUS

The Emirate, already a commercial and financial hub, is also responding to the rise and rise of e-commerce within the multi-modal colossus that is Dubai South.

Dubai South is testament to what one can achieve when money is combined with vision. Self-titled as The City of You, it is a Swiss-army-knife masterplan blends free-zone commercial activity at themed industrial zones with exhibition facilities and housing on an overall area of 145sqkm. Ultimately the project will be populated by 1 million people, who work in a wholly diversified commercial arena creating half a million new jobs. The beating heart of this urban planning is the Al Maktoum International Airport (aka Dubai World Central), the world's largest and a facility that will see even brisker business as Expo 2020 approaches. DHL has opened its regional hub at the Logistics Zone of the airport to better serve its e-commerce operations. Dubai South is in fact the Emirate's Vision—Dubai Plan 2021—made solid, the flagship of smart living. The city meets the most exacting international standards of quality and security, attested to in 2016 as Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC), the parent of Dubai South, received the ISO 27001:2013 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS).

Flights of Fancy
The Dubai Airshow 2019 was both a shopping spree for the industry and a showcase of the Emirate's prodigious capacity for hosting key events. A biannual show held on odd years, its next outing will be November 2021. It is held at The Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub in Dubai South, which caters to leading international firms in the sector, not least for technical training. Dubai's private sector aviation industry is rising high on its aviation credentials having, by official numbers, grown 26% YoY in 1H2019.

EZDubai: A Managed e-explosion
Being a smart commercial hub, one key component of Dubai South is EZDubai, a USD572-million project launched in 2019 as a purpose-built e-commerce zone. Dubai is implementing its own E-Commerce Strategy laid out by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council; one seeking the lion's share of the burgeoning global logistics and e-commerce market. A contribution to GDP of AED12 billion is earmarked by 2023. Supporting this goal are industry numbers that value the e-commerce business in the MENA region at USD24 billion by 2022, with related trade having surged 1,500% over the past decade. And with the UAE leading the charge on 50% of those e-commerce sales, EZDubai saw heavy promotion at September's e-commerce Expo in London. Predictably, its 920,000-sqm offering in the logistics free zone has swiftly become home to leading names in that line of work, firms keen to tap regional markets, while benefiting from prime logistics facilities and innovative SMEs that flesh out the value chain. EZDubai's tenants also value the accommodative regulatory framework of a free zone.

New Faces
In July 2019, EZDubai saw the arrival of India's premier e-store for children, FirstCry, which doubles as parenting community platform. The idea is to allow resident companies to hit the ground running by plugging into ready-to-operate “fulfilment centers" that reduces setup time to operational launch by up to three months. And in November EZDubai welcomed e-commerce management and digital marketing services company Triboo ILG, which targets the affluent consumer in the MENA with luxury goods. It describes itself as the “pioneering one-stop solution digital agency supporting companies in the GCC with full-service e-commerce management solution and digital marketing services." It also provides logistics services to B2B, B2C, and omni-channel partners. Dubai South confirms the Emirate's global reach for the years to come and a capability to meet the technical and logistical imperatives of a changing commercial environment.