The Dh600 million market is the first phase of the upcoming Dubai Traders Market. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai’s Yiwu Market, a hybrid shopping complex that will empower regional and global supply chains, held its official opening ceremony on Thursday.

A partnership between DP World and China Commodity City Group (CCC), the Dh600 million market is the first phase of the upcoming Dubai Traders Market. Located in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the Traders Market, once completed, will cover over 60 million square feet and house 20,000 traders and tenants.

Spanning an area of 2.15 million square feet, Yiwu Market houses 1,600 mainland showrooms spread across two floors, of which 99 per cent are already occupied. The market has five main entrances, five atriums, and three corridors.

Yiwu Market will give traders and businesses from across the globe access to wholesale discounts. It will also allow them to leverage Dubai’s central location, reducing turnaround time and supply chain costs.

“The opening of the Yiwu Market is a new milestone under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. In collaboration with CCC, the market is part of an ongoing effort to diversify the UAE’s economy and support Dubai’s strategic plan to increase foreign trade to Dh2 trillion in five years,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World.

“One of the primary goals of the market is to establish a dedicated international logistics corridor between the Yiwu Markets in Dubai and China. This will ensure the efficient movement of Chinese goods in the UAE, making the country a gateway for seamless distribution across high-growth markets including the Middle East, Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe.”

A trade hub

Dubai has traditionally been the region’s most diversified economy. It handles 11 per cent of global freight traffic through its ports.

Dubai International Airport has held the title of the world’s busiest international airport since 2014, while Jebel Ali Port, operated by Dubai’s DP World, is the world’s ninth busiest port.

Dubai’s five-year plan aims to expand its external trade to Dh2 trillion by 2025, consolidating its position as a leading regional and global trade and investment hub. Dubai’s new international trade map will expand air and sea navigation routes, with 200 new cities set to be added to the emirate’s existing network of 400 cities.

China remains the emirate’s largest trading partner with Dh86.7 billion worth of trade in the first half of 2021, up 31 per cent from the same period in the previous year. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is expected to decrease trade costs and lift trade barriers among many countries involved in the initiative. UAE is a “natural cooperative partner” of BRI with an important geographical location and substantial logistic potential.