Dubai Launches 1st Regional E-commerce Free Zone

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The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) and Wasl Asset Management Group announced the formation of a joint venture (JV) to develop Dubai CommerCity, a $735m (AED2.7bn) free zone dedicated to e-commerce.

Located close to the Dubai International Airport and spanning 427,000m2, the project will capitalize on the Gulf’s growing e-commerce sector, which is expected to be worth $20bn by 2020.

Office spaces and logistics units will cover 207,000m2 of the free zone, which will also include 220,000m2 of infrastructure and parking spaces, the latter of which will include 4,000 slots.

The total leasable area (TLA) of office and logistics units will be 176,000m2.

Three clusters will be developed within the free zone, the first of which is the Business Cluster.

Comprising 13 office buildings with a TLA of 108,000m2 and total built-up area (BUA) of 136,000m2, the Business Cluster feature LEED certification.

Meanwhile, the Logistics Cluster will offer 68,000m2 in TLA and 71,000m2 as total BUA, in addition to rooftop photovoltaic solar panels to generate clean energy.

Finally, the Social Cluster will include art galleries, restaurants, and additional facilities to support international e-commerce firms that seek to establish regional headquarters in Dubai.

Sustainability initiatives planned for implementation at Dubai CommerCity include the use of solar energy to cut electricity consumption, and reducing water wastage by 40% through the treatment of polluted water and the collection and reuse of stormwater.

Additional measures include the deployment of environmental standards that promote the construction of light industrial units and buildings, and the adoption of environment-friendly building materials and recycled resources.

In a press statement, DAFZA revealed that the project would be implemented in two phases.

Commenting upon the project’s launch, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of DAFZA, said the JV would “add a new dimension to Dubai’s commercial activity and will help attract more direct foreign investments to the emirate”.

HE Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, the director-general of DAFZA, added: “Dubai CommerCity will enhance the role of e-commerce as a key driver of Dubai’s sustainable economy.

“Dubai CommerCity complements the expansion plans and achievements led by DAFZA […] in cooperation with Wasl Asset Management Group, with which we have a successful partnership.”

Remarking on the development and the JV, HE Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, the chief executive officer of Wasl Asset Management Group, said: “We look forward to partnering with DAFZA to translate the vision of our wise leadership to make Dubai one of the best investment destinations in the world.

“Our JV supports the national economic diversification strategy and the creation of a sustainable economy based on innovation and competitiveness.”

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