Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the Dh5.5 billion ($1.5 billion) Dubai Food Park to be developed at Dubai Wholesale City.
Sheikh Mohammed attended a briefing by Abdulla Al Habbai, chairman of Dubai Holding, and senior officials from Dubai Holding. The briefing highlighted key 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.
A first-of-its-kind in the region, the Dubai Food Park will occupy around 48 million square feet and play a vital role in supporting food security in the UAE. It will benefit from Dubai's world-class infrastructure in land, marine and air transport and establish the emirate's position as a leading regional hub for food trade and re-export of foodstuffs.
The park will offer all categories of food-related services, including modern infrastructure and ancillary services. Food trade makes up 11 percent of the UAE's gross domestic product, with estimates for the food industry to grow by 70 percent to Dh23 billion by 2030.
The park will provide a range of government 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.
Al Habbai said the development projects by Dubai Holding support Dubai's economic diversification. "The Dubai Food Park has been established to meet the growing demand of the food sector in the UAE and the region, triggered by population growth and development of the tourism sector," he said.
"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 added.
The Dubai Food Park includes a central wholesale market that serves the retail, hospitality and food service sectors, 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.
Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, group CEO of Tecom Group, said the Dubai Food Park is set to bolster Dubai's status as a regional hub in the food sector.
"These services will reduce paperwork and allow companies to focus on providing quality products at par with global standards, benefiting from 11 million sqft as a free zone for re-export activities. The park will also play a pivotal role in enhancing food security and revitalising the growth of the food sector in the region and the world."
Abdulla Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Wholesale City, said the park is designed to meet the highest global standards to ensure efficiency of operations and ease of procedures. He said the park will be a model one-stop destination for governmental, administrative and logistical services related to the food sector.
"Through the development of the Dubai Food Park, we seek to provide an advanced infrastructure that meets the current and future needs of this sector."
Dubai Holding said it is currently in final stages of negotiations with leading international food companies headquartered 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.
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