The Jebel Ali free zone
The Zadi platform represents a joint initiative from Jafza, Dubai Customs and Dubai Municipality. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: DP World’s food import portal ‘Zadi’ was able to withstand all of the disruptions and challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the free zone.

A joint initiative with Dubai Customs and Dubai Municipality, Zadi supports more than 18,000 companies engage in 360,000 transactions annually via the platform. It allows for food and customs inspection and reduces operational costs and time for the importers.

Zadi helps with the import and re-export of food shipments through Dubai ports. “We did not anticipate COVID-19 - but we were prepared to deal with the disruption it caused,” said Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director of DP World – UAE Region and CEO of Jafza.


Dubai's food imports in first six months of 2020

Dubai’s external food trade reached nine million tonnes in the first six months of 2020, representing Dh32 billion in total, whereas food imports were Dh22 billion.

“Jafza plays a central role in supporting the National Food Security Strategy’s primary goal of facilitating global food trade and diversifying import sources,” the official added. “To ensure trade flow amid a deteriorating market, we work closely with the Dubai Food Security Committee, and introduced a key digital initiative with a focus on prudent cost management, better productivity, asset utilisation and automation processes.”

What does Zadi do?

Zadi helps protect the food supply chain from “monopoly and disruption, enabling traders to easily access food supplies”. DP World’s presence in more than 50 countries is what makes for the smoother flow.

“Jafza takes its responsibility to society very seriously, and the COVID-19 crisis makes it imperative that we remain committed to supporting food security in the UAE and beyond,” said Al Muallem.

Since the onset of COVID-19, DP World - UAE Region has been committed to facilitating an uninterrupted flow of medical supplies and essential goods

- Mohammed Al Muallem of DP World – UAE Region