Dubai to develop 'world's largest' fresh food hub
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Dubai to develop ‘world’s largest’ fresh food hub

Dubai to develop ‘world’s largest’ fresh food hub

The planned logistics hub aligns with the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), which aims to double the size of the emirate’s economy to $8.7tn, by 2033

Marisha Singh
food - Workers organise a watermelon stall at a fresh produce market in Dubai on March 21, 2023 ahead of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP) (Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images)

Dubai announced plans to establish “the world’s largest” logistics centre for fresh food and food products, marking a significant step in diversifying its economy and enhancing investment opportunities.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Wednesday between Dubai Municipality and DP World to expand the current fruit and vegetable market, doubling its size.

The development and management of this ambitious project will be handled by DP World, which will also connect the facility to global markets, according to the Dubai Media Office. Further details about the project have not been disclosed.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who was present during the signing said,“This expansion and doubling of the current market area will support our economic agenda and create larger commercial and investment opportunities.”

He emphasised Dubai’s strategic location and advanced infrastructure, which already attract major companies, and highlighted the emirate’s efforts to create “investment opportunities for global companies and youth, integrating them into developmental projects.”

Food trade sector growth

Sultan bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, noted that Dubai’s strategic location has cemented its status as a global market for food trade, particularly in fruits and vegetables. “This sector is witnessing increasing growth in both local markets and exports, indicating immense opportunities that can be leveraged through strategic projects that Dubai continues to develop,” he said.

The creation of the foodstuffs, fruit and vegetable market, which will be twice the size of Dubai’s current market, aims to boost the emirate’s attractiveness as a trade hub.

Sheikh Mohammed added, “Dubai aims to be a leading destination for markets, export, and re-export operations across various sectors, maximising economic opportunities for investors in this field.”

A 2020 report by Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) in Dubai, revealed that the number of businesses operating in the vegetable and fruit trading stood at 2,495, including 557 companies in dried vegetables and fruits. The report underscored Dubai’s modern infrastructure and logistics services that have helped businesses succeed in their ventures, with many having been licensed since 1963.

The report added the vegetable and fruit trading sector in Dubai employed 8,799 individuals, predominantly businessmen, with an operational and survival rate of 86 per cent.

As per the report, the areas which saw the distribution of licenses across Dubai, include Bur Dubai accounting for the largest share (1,522), followed by Deira (961), and Hatta (12 licences). Key areas include Ras Al Khor Industrial Area 3, Ras Al Khor, Al Garhoud, and Port Saeed.

Dubai Economic Agenda

Earlier this month, Dubai also announced plans to establish one of the world’s largest car markets in partnership with DP World.

The new logistics hub aligns with the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), which aims to double the size of the emirate’s economy to $8.7tn by 2033, positioning it as one of the top three economic cities globally.

The agenda also targets raising foreign trade to Dh25.6tn and expanding Dubai’s global reach to 400 additional cities over the next decade.

Additionally, the plan aims to support 30 private companies in achieving unicorn status—start-ups valued at over $1bn—and identifies 400 promising companies for growth through business incubators.

The strategy further aspires to make Dubai a global leader in the digital economy, the fastest-growing and attractive business centre, a hub for sustainability and economic diversification, and an incubator for talent.

Read: Dubai to build world’s largest and most advanced car market

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