The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has retained its place as the third highest ranking emerging market for trade and logistics, thanks primarily to the prominence of Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port and the domestic free trade zones.
According to the Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, the UAE has successfully positioned itself as a global trade and logistics hub, and only sits behind China and India in the global rankings.
It says the country’s free trade zones, the biggest of which is the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, allow foreign companies to own up to 100% equity, as well as be exempt from import and export taxes.
Consequently, they have become a vital component of the national and regional economy and are currently catering for up 20,000 companies.
Furthermore, its logistics sector has also benefitted massively from vast investment in physical infrastructures, such as the expansion of the Jebel Ali Port to a handling capacity of 22.1 million TEU.
A recent Port Technology technical paper looked at the future of smart investment in ports and terminals
Other logistics projects also include the US$3.5 billion Al Mafraq-Al Ghuwaifat road upgrade and the construction of 1,200 km rail network.
“The third-place ranking of the UAE is a result of exceptional performance in the business fundamentals sub-Index, combined with solid development of domestic and international logistics markets,” the report says.
“The UAE is trying to position itself to be the region’s e-commerce hub by encouraging new businesses and start-ups such as Shipa.com and luring global talent and investment through ambitious projects such as Commercity in Dubai.
“The UAE’s logistics markets have also benefitted greatly from vast investment in physical infrastructure.”