Dubai to become a global food hub
A US$1.5 billion (AED5.5 billion) Dubai Food Park project has recently been unveiled in the 550-million-square-foot Dubai Wholesale City. The new project was launched in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice resident and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and is set to enhance the emirate’s competitiveness as a “leading regional hub in the food sector and food stuffs re-exports”.
In a series of tweets, the Dubai Media Office said that the modern and integrated food park will provide all food-related services under one umbrella. “The food park will be unique for its strategic location and ease of access through all marine, air and land ports,” it said.
In November 2016, Dubai Wholesale City announced the beginning of excavation works at the project after awarding enabling works contract to Port Saeed Transport and Building Contracting Company. Set to attract US$8.1 billion (AED 30bn) in investments, the city, which includes an industrial park, will offer facilities to meet the dynamic needs of the region’s thriving trade, manufacturing and logistics sector.
The Dubai Wholesale City will increase the UAE’s share of the global wholesale trade sector, which is valued at US$4.3 trillion, and expected to grow to US$4.9 trillion in the next five years. Underlining this, Dubai Food Park recently signed a US$367 million deal with a Chinese food company to create a China-UAE industrial food cluster in Dubai. The new park, spanning an area of 4.38 million square feet, will house 30 food plants, two Chinese catering companies and two food packaging manufacturing plants.
The food park consists of six major areas for processing meals and packaged foods, temperature-controlled supply chain storage, food packaging production, e-commerce and commodities sector and safe bio-disposal of wastewater and waste, officials said.
Food processing takes centre-stage in the new plant’s operations, with 75 percent of the total area allocated to factories, 17 percent to warehouses and eight percent divided between offices and other facilities. The project is scheduled for hand-over 24 months from the date that construction commences. The deal was signed by UAE officials and Ningxia Forward Fund Management Company on the side-lines of the China – Arab States Expo in China’s northwest Ningxia region.
Dubai Holding chairman, Abdulla Al Habbai, said the agreement hopes to cement long-standing relations with China and foster sustainable development in both countries. China's non-financial foreign investment increased by 352 percent in the first nine months of 2017, compared to the same period last year. The number of Chinese companies registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy also exceeded 4,000 in 2017.