Dubai Creating $870M Free Trading Zone For eCommerce

Dubai CommerCity, eCommerce, dubai

The government of Dubai is planning to create an $870 million free trade zone for eCommerce named Dubai CommerCity (DCC). The development project will be located next to Dubai International Airport.  

The project is being developed collaboratively with two state-owned enterprises — the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) and the property firm wasl. The pandemic accelerated its progress, the developers said.

“The need for world-class eCommerce services has never been greater,” said Mohammed al Zarooni, director general of DAFZA, as per a CNN report on Friday (May 22). “Having previously identified the region’s growing eCommerce market and given the traction witnessed by clients (going) online due to the pandemic, we are on track for the scheduled opening by the end of 2020.”

The proposed 2.1 million-square-foot project will be split into three regions — business, logistics, and social, according to a report in the Global Construction Review. The Hong Kong architect P&T Group designed the project.

“Through cutting edge technologies, state-of-the-art services and the right infrastructure, we are establishing a base for eCommerce companies to feed into a greater ecosystem that works in an integrated way,” Amna Lootah, DAFZA’s assistant director-general, said in a statement in September.

DCC is the first eCommerce free zone to foster retail growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

DCC merchants will not have to pay income tax or corporate tax and will get support services for immigration, healthcare, administration and banking. It will also include warehouses powered by artificial intelligence (AI), restaurants and cafes.

The first phase of the project is anticipated to open in November and be completed in 2023. 

Last year, Dubai started looking at digital wallet technology to ease the friction of paying government fees for both businesses and consumers. The proposal is part of The Smart Dubai program, which was launched in 2014 as a government initiative. Its goal is to transform Dubai into “the happiest city on Earth” via digitization initiatives. Part of that effort means expanding consumer access to financial and banking services.