Dubai Industrial City: Abdulla BelHoul


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Ten kilometres long and five kilometres wide; this truly is a city within a city.

Occupying the entire space from Jebel Ali International Airport to the Abu Dhabi border, one of Dubai’s fastest-growing economic zones covers 560 million square feet. But these are not the dimensions of a smaller emirate. Rather, these numbers relate to Dubai Industrial City (DIC).

As a small-to-medium-sized industrial complex, DIC is designed to help grow the many manufacturing companies that have chosen to set up shop in the United Arab Emirates. In a nutshell, it provides the essential support that ensures that all industries are able to operate at maximum capacity.

While the cluster might appear to be a complicated concept, it is, in reality, quite simple: DIC’s major mode of support is provide manufacturers and logistics firms in the UAE with connectivity through road, air and sea, to all major markets in the MENA region — with, of course, the added benefit of customs exemption for GCC sales.

As managing director of the city, Abdulla BelHoul knows how to break it all down.

“We have six clusters in DIC: Food and beverage (F&B), transport equipment, base metals, machinery, chemicals and mineral products,” he says, adding that each of these various factories is situated at set points within the area.

“For example, chemicals are positioned at the rear of the site, while F&B is in the beginning. You try to separate them for health and safety reasons,” says BelHoul. “Chemicals are highly flammable, while F&B is for consumption. You do not place insect repellent next to food in supermarkets.”

Factories aside, DIC is home to 7 million square feet of warehouses, featuring 122 different showrooms. It also has 3 million square feet of open storage and 36,000 beds for labour accommodation, as well as 200,000 square feet of commercial space.

Such wide-ranging facilities have helped to meet the growing demand in the industrial sector, further strengthening Dubai’s title as the logistics hub of not only the UAE but the rest of the Gulf to boot.  In fact, dedicated efforts by DIC have maintained positive growth in the industrial sector, which contributes to twelve percent of the UAE’s GDP, making it the second largest contributor to the country’s economy after hydrocarbons.

“We are targeting a growth of ten percent every year. We are aiming to be first in class in terms of industrial development to support Dubai’s economic growth,” says BelHoul.

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