Dubai's Yiwu Market for wholesale and retail traders to open June 28

The $163m facility in Jafza will reduce supply chain costs and turnaround times for businesses

Yiwu Market, which will open soon in Jebel Ali Free Zone, will be the first smart freezone market in the Middle East to cater to the retail and wholesale industries. Photo: Jebel Ali Free Zone
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Yiwu Market, a Dh600 million ($163.4m) facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), which caters to the retail and wholesale industries, will open on June 28.

The market was set up in line with the UAE's aim to facilitate trade by easing supply chain shortages following the coronavirus pandemic.

Yiwu is the result of a partnership between global ports operator DP World and the China Commodity City Group, which built and manages the world’s largest wholesale market in China.

Yiwu is the first phase of the Dubai Traders Market (DTM), the 5.5 million square metre marketplace within Jafza.

"As part of a nation that is regarded as a leading global trade hub, the responsibility is on us to ensure that we make the best out of our strategic advantages and elevate its status to greater heights," Abdulla Bin Damithan, chief executive and managing director, DP World UAE and Jafza said in a statement.

"Yiwu Market is one such solution we devised for our local traders and consumers. We saw the need for a marketplace where goods can be stored, sold, imported, and exported; all in one place, without additional charges and with the greatest possible ease."

The initiative will enable businesses to avail of wholesale discounts with reduced supply chain costs and turnaround times by leveraging Dubai’s location and DP World’s logistics solutions.

“Jafza has helped traders maximise opportunities by giving them access to 60 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product through air, sea and road transport. It has also enabled efficiency in terms of procurement, fulfilment and final sale,” Ahmad Al Haddad, chief operating officer of parks and zones at DP World UAE, said in a statement earlier this month.

“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.”

The UAE has played a leading role in China’s Belt and Road project, using its infrastructure to create a centre for trade to the region and as a gateway to Africa and the wider Middle East.

China, the world's second largest economy, was the UAE’s top trading partner during the first quarter of this year, with bilateral trade between the two countries at Dh57 billion.

The UAE will be a key driver of global trade growth, with its exports projected to expand at an average annual rate of more than 6 per cent to Dh1.1 trillion by 2030. India and mainland China will be the country’s principal export markets, Standard Chartered said in a report in January.

Yiwu will span 200,000 square metres and comprise 324 customs-bonded warehouses and 1,600 showrooms. Currently, 99 per cent of the showrooms are already leased, Jafza said.

“Since China is one of our key trade partners, the market will reinforce economic and trade co-operation between the UAE and China,” Mr Al Haddad had said earlier this month.

Yiwu will establish a dedicated international logistics line with the China Yiwu Market to allow competitive costs and seamless distribution, according to Jafza, one of the biggest trading hubs in the region.

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

Dubai’s trade sector will benefit from the “advanced end-to-end solutions of Yiwu Market”, Qiuming Zhang, general manager of Yiwu Market, said earlier this month.

“The market’s showrooms and warehouses make it an ideal solution for all trading needs. Companies can benefit from storage and logistics facilities, as well as enhanced reach to their buying audience, thus connecting them to key markets around the world,” Mr Zhang said.

Yiwu Market has collaborated with DP World’s Dubai Trade to digitise the trading process for customers, according to the statement. The services include secure payment portals for e-transactions, maintenance of online inventories, custom declarations and hassle-free cargo gate clearances.

The initiative will also serve as a trade bridge between the UAE and global markets.

“By accommodating the facilities of international brands, Yiwu Market will act as a regional buffer for their products in case of disruptions to the supply chain and ensuring demand for these products can continue to be satisfied,” according to Jafza.

The market will offer 100 per cent foreign ownership, 100 per cent foreign repatriation of capital and profits and no tariffs for re-export.

The development has installed more than 11,835 square metres of solar panels that will satisfy over 20 per cent of its power needs, according to Jafza.

Updated: June 27, 2022, 4:52 AM