Jafza Facilitates Around 20 Percent of Dubai's Food and Beverage Trade Value

  • Feb. 26, 2023
Jafza Facilitates Around 20 Percent of Dubai's Food and Beverage Trade Value

Despite the fact that war, natural catastrophes, and plant closures have had a significant influence on the global food supply, DP Global maintains a viable food supply chain throughout the Middle East and beyond by using cutting-edge infrastructure and unparalleled digital trade solutions. Abdulla Al Hashmi, Chief Operations Officer for Parks & Zones at DP World UAE, describes the company's crucial role in ensuring the food supply chain.

Al Hashmi said, "The National Food Security Strategy 2051, which was unveiled in 2018, had a significant impact in the country's rise to the top of the Food Security Index. In 2022, the country rated 23rd globally and first in the Arab world in terms of food safety and quality. To further assist the national objective, UAE businesses must use sophisticated technology to guarantee a sustainable food supply, expand local food production, and diversify food import sources.

Assisting national food security plans in the UAE

In the United Arab Emirates, DP World runs four economic zones and helps several more development initiatives. Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), our flagship free zone close to Jebel Ali Port, and National Industries Park (NIP), a local industrial zone, are significant contributors to the UAE's food industries.

The free zone is home to more than 600 food and agri-commodity enterprises from 68 countries. Jafza has always been a substantial contributor to the UAE's food industry and plays a crucial role in supporting its long-term goals. Al Hashmi noted, "Our strategic position and world-class logistics infrastructure enable access to the GCC markets, which depend on imports to cover 85% of their F&B needs, as well as worldwide access to the rapidly expanding F&B markets in MENA, South Asia, and Africa. As a regional logistics centre, it is our responsibility to assure the accessibility and availability of F&B resources for the whole area, he concluded.

NIP consists of 21 km2 of local industrial development land. It is located about four kilometres from Jebel Ali Port and has easy road access to Dubai's main international airports. Al Hashmi said, "The demand for food processing and distribution at NIP has been very strong." Its location and status as a local zone make it a suitable site for businesses that concentrate on processing and distribution inside the UAE and GCC." Carrefour, Hunter Foods, Al Maya, and Nesto, among others, have developed substantial businesses in NIP. Also featured are F&B enterprises with an emphasis on technology, such as Kitopi, the multi-brand smart kitchen operator. Al Hashmi stated, "We have substantial ambitions for the expansion of the F&B sector inside NIP and anticipate to make some key announcements shortly."

In addition to supporting the food security policy, the F&B clusters of Jafza and NIP contribute to national programmes such as 'Make it in the Emirates' and 'Operation 300bn,' which aim to increase self-sufficiency via sustainable domestic food production backed by contemporary technology.

Since the company's inception, food-grade facilities for processing, storage, and distribution have been constructed. Al Hashmi said that we have also attracted global food technology and sustainable production firms to facilitate agricultural irrigation, vertical farming, and energy efficiency.

Jebel Ali's Agro Terminal helps to the global elimination of hunger

Jebel Ali's Agri Terminal was established in order to facilitate global food commerce, diversify food import sources, and find alternate supply schemes. Al Hashmi added that with the assistance of this new state-of-the-art plant, the year-round supply of critical grains and pulses would be improved.

The F&B Terminal will include a two-kilometer-long, one-million-square-metre quayside terminal for processing bulk cargoes, as well as 12 berths with a 14-16 m draught capable of accommodating big bulk ships. It will be able to process grains, meat and fish goods, bottled water, and dairy products, with specialised facilities for oil, tea, coffee, cocoa, and other Agro products. The port will also provide rail access to the GCC.

"We are collaborating with current and new partners to build additional facilities and services that contribute to UAE's plans and reinforce Jebel Ali's position as a worldwide gateway for F&B commerce. He stated that the centre supports farm-to-shelf supply chain operations by facilitating the development of innovative technologies for sustainable food production and deployment across the area.

Fish Farm LLC, a food and beverage firm in Jafza, has already constructed a completely environmentally controlled salmon breeding system with 34 fish breeding tanks and cutting-edge technology to assist the expansion of the aquaculture industry in the area. Recently, the free zone also collaborated with Prime Aquaculture FZE to construct the region's first shrimp-recirculating aquaculture system farm, a key move that will help in the production of shrimps and greatly enhance output in the UAE to meet rising demand.

"The F&B industry's consistent expansion encourages enterprises to establish distribution and processing operations in Jafza. Alone in 2021, the free zone permitted the exchange of F&B products worth 15.9 billion AED. Notwithstanding present economic constraints, industry analysts anticipate a 6.8% annual growth rate between 2022 and 2027. Al Hashmi said that Jafza's ecosystem presents many development potential for food, livestock, and agricultural industries.

"In an effort to simplify time-sensitive food imports and re-exports, we partnered with Dubai Customs and Dubai Municipality to establish Zadi, an online cross-border trade facilitation service specialised to food shipments. The digital F&B trade solution reduces redundancies and integrates all food inspection and border control agencies via a single portal, hence eliminating redundancies. Al Hashmi emphasised that one immediate outcome of its adoption is greater supplier efficiency and convenience of doing business across global marketplaces.

The Jafza Benefit

Al Hashmi, highlighting the extra benefits given by the free zone to its F&B cluster, said, "We are a desirable location for F&B enterprises owing to our regulatory perks, superior infrastructure, and multimodal transportation possibilities, among others."

Strategic location: Jafza is linked to Jebel Ali port, the biggest in the area and the twelfth largest in the world, as well as Al Maktoum International Airport, which has an annual cargo capacity of 250,000 tonnes. Via road, businesses in Jafza may reach any GCC location within one to two days.

Jafza provides 0% tax and tariff advantages and streamlined procedures for establishing and maintaining a company.

The F&B business is undergoing fast change, and the free zone is keeping pace with the UAE's efforts to embrace technology advances and implement sustainable food practises that ensure the nation's food supply needs.

Nowadays, Jafza is able to efficiently meet the expanding and diversified requirements of the food and beverage sector, from storage and processing to farm-to-shelf supply chain operations.