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Dubai deepens China ties with $163m Jafza market

Yiwu Market Jafza
Yiwu Market in China is, according to the World Bank, the world's largest small commodities market
  • Yiwu free zone market will cater to retail and wholesale industries
  • Facility ‘on brink of opening’ with 99% of showrooms already occupied
  • Project is the first phase of the Dubai Traders Market

Yiwu Market, the first smart free zone market in the Middle East to cater to the retail and wholesale industries, is set to open soon in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai.

The market is a partnership between DP World and China Commodity City Group, which manages the world’s largest wholesale market in China for small commodities.

Dubai’s Yiwu Market will cover 200,000 square metres, split between 324 customs-bonded warehouses and 1,600 mainland showrooms. Ninety-nine percent of the showrooms are already occupied.

The AED600 million ($163 million) project is the first phase of the Dubai Traders Market (DTM) and will enable businesses to access wholesale discounts with reduced supply chain costs and turnaround times by leveraging Dubai’s location and DP World’s logistics.

The announcement comes as China continues to top the list of countries trading with the UAE, with deals valued at AED57 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

Ahmad Al Haddad, chief operating officer, parks and zones at DP World UAE, said: “Jafza has helped traders maximise opportunities by giving them access to 60 percent of the world’s GDP through air, sea and road transport. It has also enabled efficiency in terms of procurement, fulfilment and final sale. 

“With DTM’s Yiwu Market, we hope to build on these strengths. On completion, the market will catalyse trade and the seamless movement of goods, and lower supply chain costs. Additionally, since China is one of our key trade partners, the market will reinforce economic and trade cooperation between the UAE and China.”

The precise opening date for the facility has yet to be confirmed, but Qiuming Zhang, Yiwu Market’s general manager, said: “We have recently been awarded the building completion certificate from Trakhees and are now on the brink of the grand opening. We believe that businesses operating in Dubai’s trade sector will benefit greatly from the advanced end-to-end solutions of Yiwu Market.” 

The market aims to offer a dual free zone and onshore environment to its customers. It will allow the movement of goods directly from the airfield or quayside into storage areas, thus avoiding any additional customs charges. 

The Dubai market will also have a dedicated international logistics line to the Yiwu Market in China, which spans over 6 million square metres and attracts nearly 210,000 visitors each day.

Through its collaboration with DP World’s Dubai Trade, Yiwu Market aims to digitise the trading process, offering secure payment portals for e-transactions, maintenance of online inventories, custom declarations, as well as hassle-free cargo gate clearances.

Yiwu Market will serve as a trade bridge between the UAE and markets across the globe, acting as a regional buffer for products in case of disruptions to the supply chain and ensuring demand for these products can continue to be satisfied.

Additional benefits offered by Yiwu Market include 100 percent foreign ownership, 100 percent foreign repatriation of capital and profits, and no tariffs for re-export. 

Jafza is one of the world’s leading free trade zones and is home to over 8,700 multinational companies. Jafza accounts for 23.9 percent of total foreign direct investment flow ‎into Dubai, sustaining the employment of more than 135,000 people. In 2020, Jafza generated trade worth $104.2 billion.

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