What is Bharat Mart, the new Dubai trading market for Indian manufacturers

The development in Jafza is projected to house 1,500 showrooms for retail and wholesale customers

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the announcement of Bharat Mart. AFP
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The UAE and India have announced the establishment of a new market and trading platform for Indian businesses in Dubai.

The initiative, Bharat Mart, was announced during this year's World Governments Summit in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to the Emirates, laid the foundation stone for Bharat Mart.

Expected to open in 2026, it will offer a “world-class trading platform for Indian manufacturers and exporters to access global markets”, Dubai Media Office said on Wednesday.

“Our nations have set themselves the target of reaching $100 billion in non-oil bilateral trade by 2030, and Bharat Mart will support this goal, creating more opportunities for Indian manufacturers and contributing to government initiatives like Make in India and D33,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World.

What is Bharat Mart?

Bharat Mart will become a distribution centre for Indian businesses trading in the UAE and re-exporting to regional and global markets.

Designed to complement existing provision in Jafza, it will provide Indian SMEs with a platform to export their cargo to new markets.

Through the Jebel Ali ecosystem, traders will have direct connectivity to more than 150 maritime destinations and air links to more than 300 cities.

The market will be part of a wider trade ecosystem that DP World is developing through theDubai Traders Market, a hybrid retail and wholesale marketplace that will host traders from around the world.

The facility will be 11km from Jebel Ali Port, the largest seaport in the Middle East, and 15km from Al Maktoum International Airport.

Who will trade there?

Bharat Mart is expected to house 1,500 showrooms for retail and wholesale customers, and offer light industrial units, office spaces and meeting facilities.

It will offer more than 6.5 hectares of Grade-A warehousing space, providing tenants with combined free zone and onshore benefits.

“With our world-class infrastructure, logistics capabilities and business-friendly ecosystem in Jafza, Bharat Mart will be the ideal gateway for Indian goods to efficiently reach the UAE and other high-growth markets in the Middle East, Europe and Africa,” Mr bin Sulayem said.

Booming UAE-India trade relations

Bharat Mart is expected to further boost the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that India signed with the UAE in 2022.

The pact is expected to help grow non-oil trade between the two countries to $100 billion by 2030, from $60 billion two years ago.

Dubai plays a significant role in the trade relationship between the countries, with 87 per cent, or $44.9 billion, of the total non-oil trade value of $51.4 billion flowing through the emirate in 2022, according to official figures.

About 1,500 Indian businesses have made Jafza their home in the UAE, trading more than five million tonnes of cargo valued at $8.6 billion.

Updated: February 15, 2024, 9:20 AM