Foundation stone laid to mark new trade gateway for India in Dubai

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, laid the foundation stone for Bharat Mart during a ceremony at the World Governments Summit 2024.

DP World today unveiled plans for Bharat Mart, a Dubai marketplace set to open in 2026 that will offer a world-class trading platform for Indian manufacturers and exporters to access global markets.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, also attended the ceremony. S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India; Ajit Doval KC, National Security Advisor of India; Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE; Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, and members of DP World’s senior leadership team.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “By laying the foundations for Bharat Mart, we are paving the way for stronger trade ties between the UAE and India. Our nations have set themselves the target of reaching $100 billion in non-oil bilateral trade by 2030, and Bharat Mart will support this goal, creating more opportunities for Indian manufacturers and contributing to government initiatives like Make in India and D33.  With our world-class infrastructure, logistics capabilities and business-friendly ecosystem in Jafza, Bharat Mart will be the ideal gateway for Indian goods to efficiently reach the UAE and other high-growth markets in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.”

Commenting on the launch, Rizwan Soomar, CEO & MD, DP World North Africa and India Subcontinent, said, “The establishment of Bharat Mart is an important milestone towards achieving the objective of USD 100 billion non-oil bilateral trade between India and UAE. This initiative will help connect India’s manufacturers with buyers from key markets such as Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and Europe by showcasing goods manufactured in India at Bharat Mart, directly promoting exports from India. With its proximity to the Jebel Ali Port & Free Zone ecosystem, Bharat Mart will play a pivotal role in unlocking new possibilities for Indian exporters and further boost trade between the two nations by leveraging Dubai’s strength as an important hub for value addition, trading, and logistics”.

Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO and Managing Director, DP World GCC, said: “India is among the UAE’s top five trade partners, a relationship that has been significantly accelerated by a post-pandemic economic surge. This has created a dynamic trade landscape, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering continued growth. Bharat Mart is designed to complement Jafza’s existing offerings, providing Indian SMEs with a seamless platform to export their cargo to new markets and strengthening our position as a key trade gateway between the two nations.”

Spanning an area of 2.7 million square feet, with the first phase encompassing 1.3 million square feet, Bharat Mart is poised to become a mega distribution hub for Indian businesses to trade domestically in the UAE and re-export to regional and global markets.

The market will be situated in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) and will be part of a wider ecosystem of trade that DP World is developing through the Dubai Traders Market, a hybrid retail and wholesale marketplace that will host traders from around the world.

Bharat Mart is planned to house 1,500 showrooms catering to retail and wholesale customers, and over 700,000 square feet of Grade A warehousing space, providing tenants with combined free zone and onshore benefits. The facility will also offer light industrial units, office spaces and meeting facilities.

Bharat Mart will be conveniently located 11km from Jebel Ali Port, the largest seaport in the Middle East, and 15km from Al Maktoum International Airport, providing seamless multimodal logistics solutions for Indian exporters. Through the Jebel Ali ecosystem, traders will have direct connectivity to more than 150 maritime destinations and air links to over 300 cities.

Dubai plays a significant role in the trade relationship between the UAE and India, with 87% or $44.9 billion of the total non-oil trade value of $51.4 billion flowing through the Emirate in 2022.  Close to 1,500 Indian businesses have made Jafza their home in the UAE, trading more than five million metric tonnes of cargo valued at $8.6 billion.

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Author: Edward Hardy