Dubai South: An integrated approach to growth

With new real estate developments beginning to take shape, Dubai South is creating one of the most integrated cities in the world
Dubai South: An integrated approach to growth
Guiding light Al Ansari is playing a key role in Dubai South’s future.
By Ahmed Al Ansari
Wed 11 Jan 2017 12:43 PM

Long known as a key nodal point in the brisk global maritime trade routes, Dubai decided to conquer the skies and capitalise further on its strategic geographical location, creating an impressive aviation sector that is undeniably the bedrock of its economy.

Not merely content with the world’s busiest airport or one of the top global flagship airlines, Dubai adopted a hub strategy, allowing the aviation sector’s growth to feed into that of others. An effective strategy, considering the growth in aviation has been a powerful catalyst for other sectors, notably logistics. Aviation and logistics are the key drivers of Dubai’s economy.

Employing its mantra for success by capitalising on existing growth sectors, Dubai decided to raise the bar on its own ambitions. Combining together global-level maritime, aviation and land transport modes in an effort to go beyond being an aviation or redistribution hub, Dubai is set to become the aviation capital of the world.

Dubai South is the principal player in fulfilling that vision. It is a 145 sq km integrated urban destination, as well as the first master-planned aerotropolis, built around the Al Maktoum International Airport, the largest airport in the making and also home to Expo 2020 Dubai.

A vision in the making, last year Dubai South celebrated its tenth anniversary. A landmark year, 2016 saw enormous leaps forward with breakthroughs and impressive accomplishments. We witnessed an unprecedented 43 percent growth in the number of operational companies, largely due to our infrastructure and strategic location, providing these companies with the perfect platform to participate more effectively in the global value chain.

Understanding market demands and preempting consumer needs, last year saw Dubai South add another impressive feather to its cap, with the successful launch of the real estate project The Pulse, an integrated community designed to offer all necessary life solutions. Expanding our real estate offerings, the year also saw development begin at Emaar South, the first affordable lifestyle golf community, born out of a strategic joint venture between Emaar and Dubai South.

And while we are busy building the world’s largest airport, 2016 also witnessed the opening of the VIP Terminal, the largest facility of its kind in the world that is promising to set new standards of customer experience in the business aviation industry.

With the airport and the neighbouring Jebel Ali Port, Dubai South is accelerating new standards of seamless connectivity via the 12km Logistics Corridor, offering sea to air cargo transfer in a mere four hours. Leveraging this multi-modal platform, the Dubai South Logistics District has witnessed a phenomenal 45 percent growth in trade value since its inception in 2009.

Dubai South’s approach to master planning is what has shielded us against market slowdowns and fluctuating economic conditions.

This is why, as the global economy suffered we succeeded in achieving a breakthrough year.

Al Maktoum International is the heart of our city and the catalyst for our growth. We are building a fully integrated ecosystem, which not only seeks to leverage the numerous advantages of the world’s largest airport, but compliment it as well.

And as the airport grows, so will all dimensions of Dubai South. With an increasing number of global brands, companies and airlines setting up operations, it will result in more jobs, more employees, more housing for residents, staff and crew, as well as more services from aircraft maintenance and warehousing, education and healthcare.

Our holistic approach to developing our city has resulted in an integrated ecosystem that combines the thriving aviation and logistics industries, as well as free zones that allow companies to set up and leverage the hub approach, with the makings of a world-class exhibition centre and a thriving residential district, offering attractive housing solutions that focus on sustainable living centered around happiness.

This year Al Maktoum International will reach capacity of 26.5 million passengers and Flydubai is gearing up to move operations. The recently inaugurated VIP Terminal will be the centre for private aviation in the region. We are also focused on welcoming onboard strategic global partners in key growth industries, thus further enriching the ecosystem, while our pipeline of residential offerings continues to be robust.

Our integrated approach aims to create the blueprint for future-proof cities.

Ahmed Al Ansari, Acting CEO, Dubai South

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