Mohsen Ahmad

Mohsen Ahmad

CEO, Logistics District – Dubai South
Mohammed Al Zarooni

Mohammed Al Zarooni

Director General, Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA)
DAFZA and Logistics District – Dubai South are leveraging Dubai's strategic location and world-class infrastructure to capture a bigger share of the global e-commerce market.

How has Dubai led by example on the global stage in terms of logistics?
MOHSEN AHMAD Dubai has led by example with regards to logistics on the global stage due to several factors. The most prominent is the Emirate's strategic location and the contributions of DP World and Emirates Airlines. As the market has transformed, shipment sizes have decreased while their frequency has increased, emphasizing the flexibility of the logistics sector to promptly respond to changing markets demands while continuing to deliver world-class services. Furthermore, Dubai has established itself as a global leader in logistics on the back of world-class infrastructure.

What is DAFZA's contribution to the Emirate's industrial strategy?
MOHAMMED AL ZAROONI DAFZA supports Dubai's industrial sector and the Emirate's industrial strategy, which aims to increase the total output of the industrial sector, enhance the depth of knowledge and innovation, and make Dubai a preferred platform for global businesses. It also seeks to promote environmentally friendly and energy-efficient manufacturing and make Dubai a center for the global halal market. DAFZA has developed state-of-the-art facilities that suit the needs of regional and global businesses from a range of sectors. DAFZA's contribution to Dubai's foreign trade reached 12% in the first nine months of 2019, confirming the success of DAFZA's plans to become one of the world's leading free zones. Many leading international companies have established their regional headquarters in the free zone, such as Aerogen, Airbus, Panasonic, Boeing, GE, Red bull, and Heinz.

How is e-commerce changing demand and shifting strategic priorities for Logistics District?
MA E-commerce is changing demand and shifting strategic priorities of Dubai South's Logistics District through EZ Dubai, a unique project launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed that has facilitated a whole zone dedicated to e-commerce transactions. We have created a positive environment through this platform by providing small entities and entrepreneurs with access to e-markets such as Amazon. Consumers no longer have to go to a mall to pick things up because the industry has become digital, and, although 30% of the goods are returned on average, the advantage of faster inventories have shifted our strategic priorities.

How will DAFZA's innovative CommerCity help Dubai capitalize on e-commerce trends?
MAZ Dubai CommerCity is a strategic project aimed at elevating Dubai's position as a leading hub for e-commerce. It will offer excellent opportunities for e-commerce players to cater to markets in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Global e-commerce growth numbers show that the MENASA region is growing aggressively at 23% CAGR through 2020. Notably, the UAE represents the biggest spending per online shopper at USD1,648 and the third-highest projected growth rate for 2020 at 29.6%. Dubai CommerCity is not only an ideal destination for pure e-commerce players but also large retail groups looking to open their e-commerce channels, international and regional manufacturers, distributors, and growing start-ups. With the e-commerce sector in the UAE expected to reach USD26 billion by 2022, CommerCity's unique value proposition is specifically designed to answer the needs of e-commerce businesses and help them capture new markets.

What are the strategic priorities of Logistics District?
MA Moving forward, our efforts will be aimed at technology and sustainability. There will be much less demand for labor as the UAE moves closer to automation. The main challenges are cheap labor and warehouses still being operated by third-party logistics (3PLs) companies. Cargo owners should be making investments moving forward, and they can start by putting in place their own facilities, embedding innovative technologies, and bringing in the 3PLs to manage the facilities. In the month and years ahead, technology, sustainability, and e-commerce will be integral as we make the transition.

How is DAFZA looking to expand upon the opportunities in the halal industry?
MAZ DAFZA aims to strengthen Dubai's status as a global hub for foreign investment and Islamic economy. We have launched a comprehensive guide on halal industries titled "Dubai: The Global Gateway to Halal Industries," which aims to help foreign investors understand the Islamic economy and trade opportunities in key halal sectors, such as food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. DAFZA and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) also launched the first of its kind Halal Trade and Marketing Centre. The centre aims to provide a platform to link halal companies globally, support them in their halal journey, and promote Dubai as a gateway for the global halal market, a segment composed of more than 1.8 billion consumers and valued at more than USD2.2 trillion.