DP World’s state-of-the-art manufacturing clusters fuel the growth and expansion of the sector locally, regionally, and globally.
Amidst the backdrop of several transformative changes in global trade and finance, the resilience and growth of the manufacturing industry within the UAE has illuminated a path towards economic advancement. The sector stands as a testament to the nation’s ability to harness strategic synergies and create hubs of innovation and production. As the industry’s current market valuation stands at an impressive AED 133 billion, it serves as a tangible reflection of the country’s commitment to propelling its economy forward.
However, as we gaze ahead to an anticipated market valuation of AED 300 billion by 2031, driven by the UAE’s industrial strategies, it becomes evident that the sector is not only a financial asset, but an engine of the nation’s multifaceted growth, and a catalyst for its holistic transformation. This projected growth mirrors the country’s aspirations to foster a diversified and knowledge-driven economy.
In line with its support to local, regional, and global development, as well as its commitment to drive the progress of the manufacturing sector, DP World has pioneered the concept of manufacturing clusters that transcend traditional boundaries, and enhance cost and operational efficiencies. These clusters also stand as important elements of national initiatives as their trajectories align seamlessly with several of the UAE’s development projects such as Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, Make it in the Emirates, Operation 300bn, We the UAE 2031, and Projects of the 50.
This special report delves into the manufacturing clusters established by the leading smart trade enabler across the country, as well as dissects their impact, intrinsic advantages, and contributions to the ever-evolving global economic landscape.
At the centre of DP World’s strategic prowess lies its visionary approach to manufacturing clusters. These clusters include the manufacturing segments in Jafza, DP World’s leading trade and logistics hub, and in the National Industries Park (NIP). Both clusters are meticulously designed ecosystems, strategically positioned to facilitate seamless industrial operations, drive innovation, and catalyse economic diversification. Over the years, DP World’s manufacturing clusters have emerged as hubs for industry leading enterprises keen on tapping into markets spanning the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and beyond. This strategic geographic positioning not only fortifies their customers’ regional and global presence, but empowers them to access diverse markets with ease.
Manufacturing segment in Jafza
As far as Jafza is concerned, the manufacturing canvas in the free zone is vividly coloured by the presence of 800 companies from 75 countries. In 2022, these organisations handled imports and exports of goods worth AED 100 billion.
Jafza’s offerings for the manufacturing sector extend across 13.6 million sqm of combined facilities. Within this expanse, manufacturing entities find tailored solutions in the form of plots, offices and workstations, as well as versatile Light Industrial Units (LIUs) and warehouses customised to cater to the unique demands of the industry. This comprehensive infrastructure provides a solid foundation for manufacturing endeavours to flourish.
Business friendly environment
One of the standout features of Jafza is its commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment. It allows foreign investors to have 100 per cent ownership of their manufacturing businesses, encouraging international companies to establish a strong presence in the region, and take advantage of growing opportunities. Additionally, the free zone offers customs exemptions, as well as reduced import and export duties, significantly lowering the cost of importing raw materials and exporting finished goods.
Uninterrupted energy supply
At the core of Jafza’s manufacturing success story lies an unwavering commitment to ensuring an uninterrupted energy supply. Recognising the pivotal role energy plays in the smooth operation of manufacturing companies, the free zone has invested heavily in a resilient energy ecosystem encompassing power generation, distribution, and transmission systems. This sophisticated infrastructure is designed to cater to the diverse energy demands of various manufacturing companies within the free zone, offering a dependable source of electricity that businesses can rely on.
Diversity in energy sources has become a hallmark of Jafza’s energy strategy. By harnessing a mix of traditional sources like natural gas and oil, alongside cutting-edge renewable sources such as solar power, the free zone has significantly strengthened the resilience of its energy systems. This energy diversification not only ensures stability, but also underscores the free zone’s commitment to sustainable practices, aligning with global efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Furthermore, DP World and Jafza’s reliability as a manufacturing hub can be attributed to its partnerships with leading energy providers and authorities. By fostering ongoing collaborations, the smart trade enabler and the free zone ensure the efficient coordination of energy distribution. These ties act as a safeguard against potential disruptions, enabling swift resolution of challenges, and a consistent energy supply for manufacturing companies.
Manufacturing cluster in NIP
On the other hand, NIP has transformed into a thriving zone for manufacturing enterprises. A leading advocate of industrial progress, the park spans an expansive 1.58 million sqm, offering a haven for manufacturing companies that is complemented by integrated trade and logistics services. NIP’s facilities, including ready-to-occupy land plots, tailor-made solutions, and modern offices, collectively contribute to a thriving ecosystem that facilitates every facet of the manufacturing realm.
A bustling cluster accommodating over 170 companies, the manufacturing sector within NIP offers premier amenities to support an array of industry-related endeavours. From reinforcement and production of steel bars to anti-corrosion and insulation materials, the industrial tapestry within NIP covers a gamut of activities.
Connecting the global dots
Situated in close proximity to DP World’s logistics corridor in Jebel Ali, both Jafza and NIP leverage their strategic location to offer customers an array of robust multimodal connectivity options. With unfettered access to inter-city highways and major airports, these manufacturing clusters connect their stakeholders to a range of end-to-end logistics solutions.
Furthermore, easy access to Jebel Ali Port grants Jafza and NIP customers an extensive network encompassing over 150 ports via more than 80 weekly services. This connectivity equips these businesses to effectively address the surging worldwide need for finished products, while also ensuring effortless connectivity to a consumer market surpassing 3.5 billion within the MEASA region.
Smart trade solutions
Jafza and NIP companies also enjoy the benefits of DP World’s smart trade solutions, making logistics operations more sustainable and seamless. With DP World CARGOES, for example, NIP companies can ensure transparent and simplified supply chains via Fourth-Party Logistics (4PL) solutions and services such as track-and-trace technology, trade financing, reverse logistics, and feeder services. Additionally, strategic trade bridges with key markets such as India, China, and Africa facilitate streamlined access to globally sourced manufacturing raw materials.
DP World’s manufacturing clusters further enhance the efficiency of their offerings through Dubai Trade, a digital platform that serves as a single window for cross-border trade. Through its Electronic Delivery Order service, the digital trade platform streamlines the order-delivery process for shipping agents, supporting business continuity for manufacturing companies in Jafza and NIP.
Recognising the challenges faced by manufacturing companies in securing affordable financing, DP World Trade Finance has emerged as a game-changer, offering a range of financial services designed to empower Jafza and NIP customers, while unlocking new opportunities for growth. Although SMEs account for 50 per cent of global trade, only 10 per cent of lending from the current financial ecosystem goes to these companies, usually at an excessive cost. This means the businesses driving half of world trade cannot access the finance they need to import, export, or grow. DP World Trade Finance has stepped in to bridge this gap by providing tailored solutions that cater to the unique needs of SMEs and large organisations through:
Affordable working capital: Offers affordable working capital solutions, allowing manufacturers to optimise their operations and seize growth opportunities without being constrained by financial barriers.
Global trade expansion: By enabling easier access to funds, manufacturers can manage their orders better and cater to the international market, which was not possible earlier due to financial limitations.
Streamlined processes: Simplifies the financing process, reducing the bureaucratic hurdles that manufacturers face when seeking funds. This efficiency allows companies to focus more on their core business activities.
Reduced risk for financial institutions: Offers trade data and visibility from its extensive global logistics network, enabling financial partners to make more informed lending decisions. This enhanced risk assessment benefits both the manufacturing companies and financial institutions.
Integrated logistics and finance: Uniquely combines financing and logistics capabilities, aligning with the manufacturing supply chain. This integration not only reduces costs, but also facilitates smoother operations and enables manufacturers to scale their businesses efficiently.
Partnership between CARGOES Finance by DP World and TradeFlow Capital Management: The partnership brings additional inventory trade solutions to manufacturers and aims to further bridge the trade finance gap for SMEs, opening up new avenues for growth and stability.