By Sarah Townsend
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem predicts higher demand from import, export growth
The chairman of UAE ports operator DP World has issued an optimistic forecast for the country’s logistics sector, on the back of rising trade and economic growth in the UAE.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World group chairman and CEO, said in a statement that recent growth forecasts for the UAE will bring encouraging prospects for the country’s logistics, warehousing and handling sectors.
UAE trade growth is expected to rise by 4.35 percent year on year in 2017, driven by an increase in both import and export volumes, Bin Sulayem said, citing a report by BMI, according to state news agency WAM.
The report sees positive economic growth for the UAE over the next five years due to government plans to diversify the economy through developing trade, services and tourism. This is likey to attract more businesses to the country who will need logistics support, Bin Sulayem said.
There are currently 328 logistics companies from 29 countries operating within Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza). Those companies lease 4.2 million square meters of mixed-use facilities, including 4.13 million sq m as land; 85,700 sq m of warehouse and light industrial units, and 1,600 sq m of showrooms and offices.
Ongoing expansion of the free zone driven by rising demand is set to continue, the chairman claimed.
Bin Sulayem said: “The ongoing investments and expansions at Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone aim to maintain our competitiveness globally, strengthening the country's position as a global and regional business hub and a centre for trade.
“This will open up new markets for companies operating in Jafza and Dubai.”