Dubai’s capacity as a trading hub is expected to expand, following the completion of the Dubai Logistics City, which will begin operating in 2007, encompassing a 25 square kilometre area.


“This major initiative will allow Dubai International Airport to focus on the development of passenger traffic without suffering from congestion or bottlenecks caused by freight and logistics operations,” says Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation and chairman of Emirates Group.


Dubai Logistics City (DLC) was launched following an 18-month feasibility and business realisation study by ADI Services FZE. ADI Services is a division of global logistics consultants ADI Consulting GmbH of Switzerland, Shaikh Ahmad says.


Dubai Logistics City will be adjacent to Jebel Ali International Airport. This airport will also start operations in 2007 and is designed to eventually handle more than 12mn tonnes of air cargo annually through up to 16 air cargo terminals, project representatives say.


All the terminals will be designed to handle the new generation Airbus A380-800F freighter version of the giant airliner. DLC and Jebel Ali Airport are being built next to the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Port, which is being extended to handle 15mn TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit) per year.


“DLC will have its own unique, dedicated, modern road system which will separate professional logistics from public traffic,” says Roland Zibell, DLC project director. “It will offer the full scope of professional logistics services and access to speedy airfreight services.


“All DLC customers will have direct access to Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Airport without having to leave the free zone.


“An ocean container can be transferred from the port’s container terminal to the airport’s cargo terminal without customs clearance and without any delay. This will maximise the freedom to do business.”


Trade and industry customers can opt to build their own facilities, including distribution centres and regional headquarters, on serviced sites with long-term leases or lease space in advanced business units with offices and warehouses provided by DLC.


“Alternatively, companies can outsource operations to contract logistics service providers,” Zibell adds. “Hundreds of local and global service providers already operate in Dubai.


“Depending upon their market position, integrators may either want to be clients of DLC terminal facilities, erect their own sorting and handling facilities on special airside leased plots or even choose DLC as a key regional hub for global operations adding multi-modal, logistics and supply chain services.”