Sunday 19 November 2017

Dubai to develop $1.5bn hi-tech food park

DUBAI, July 11, 2017

Dubai is set to build a giant food park on a 48-million-sq-ft area near the Expo 2020 site at an estimated cost of Dh5.5 billion ($1.5 billion). The first-of-its-kind project is aimed at boosting the emirate’s status as a regional hub for food sector.

The project was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai in the presence of Abdulla Al Habbai, the chairman of Dubai Holding, and other senior government officials.

A modern and integrated facility that provides all food-related services under one umbrella, Dubai Food Park is the latest addition to Dubai Wholesale City, a global integrated wholesale trading hub and member of Tecom Group.

The project is in close proximity to Dubai South, only 10 minutes away from Al Maktoum International Airport and Expo 2020 Dubai site and a 15 minutes-drive from Jebel Ali Free Zone. The strategic location of the project adds to the attractiveness of the investment opportunities it offers, said Al Habbai at akey brifing on the project.

The briefing highlighted the salient features of the park that is positioned as an attractive environment for business operators and investors in the food sector to facilitate access to new markets and global investments.

The Park will benefit from Dubai's world-class infrastructure in land, marine and air transport; and is set to play a vital role in supporting food security in the country, said Al Habbai at the briefing held in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed.

With this project, Dubai Holding seeks to enhance Dubai's position as a leading regional hub for food trade and re-export of foodstuffs, he added.

The food trade makes up 11 per cent of the country's GDP with estimates for the food industry to grow by 70 per cent to Dh23 billion ($6.2 billion) by 2030, the Park seeks to offer all categories of food-related services, including modern infrastructure and ancillary services.

The Park is also set to provide a range of comprehensive governmental services including customs, clearance, licensing, food safety and supervision all under one roof. Providing a full suite of services will help boost the growth of food companies and reduce supply chain costs, in addition to fostering innovation and creativity across the sector.

Al Habbai said the development projects by Dubai Holding strongly support the emirate's economic diversification and are strategically designed to help ensure Dubai is well equipped for the future.

"This vision requires dedication and hard work, and a careful approach to planning and execution in line with the ambitious vision of Dubai's leadership," he noted.

Al Habbai pointed out that the food park was being established in Dubai to meet the growing demand of the food sector in the UAE and the region, triggered by population growth and the development of the tourism sector.
"There is an increased need for specialised logistical services that ease supply chain costs, as well as for more dedicated spaces to accommodate the fast growing operations of food companies in Dubai," he observed.

Al Habbai said the Park represents a valuable opportunity for these companies to strengthen their presence and contribute to enhancing food security in the UAE and the region.

"While focusing on business growth, UAE-based food companies also recognize innovation as an important factor of success. While this project is a unique commercial opportunity, it also provides the right platform for developing this vital sector and providing an exceptional experience that will contribute towards revolutionizing the sector on a global level," he noted.

Dubai Food Park includes a central wholesale market that serves the retail, hospitality and food service sector, a logistics area, an area for complementary services such as packing, repacking, and processing, and a dedicated area for handling packaged goods.

It will also host employees’ accommodation, in addition to hotels, financial services, a centre for integrated government services and recycling organic waste. With these features and facilities, the Park will be a world-class eco-friendly business community.

Commenting on the project, Dr Amina Al Rustamani, the group chief executive of Tecom Group, said: "This will bolster Dubai’s status as a regional hub for the food sector, particularly in terms of innovation and a range of specialised services."

"These services will reduce paperwork and allow companies to focus on providing quality products at par with global standards, benefiting from 11 million sq. feet as a free zone for re-export activities. The Park will also play a pivotal role in enhancing food security and revitalizing the growth of the food sector in the region and the world," she noted.

Abdulla Belhoul, the CEO of Dubai Wholesale City, said: "Through this project, we seek to provide an advanced infrastructure that meets the current and future needs of this robust sector. The Park is designed to meet the highest global standards to ensure efficiency of operations and ease of procedures."

"This will be positively reflected in the day-today transactions between companies and consumers. The new Park will be a model one-stop destination for the governmental, administrative and logistical services related to the food sector," noted Belhoul.

Dubai Holding revealed that it is currently in final stages of negotiations with leading international food companies based in Dubai that are seeking further growth and expansion. The aim of these negotiations is to facilitate these companies' plans to join the Dubai Food Park.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Dubai | food park |

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