Jafza set to open mega Bharat Bazaar in two years

Facility will house a variety of Indian stores, restaurants, as well as entertainment and leisure facilities

by

Issac John

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Jafza currently serves over 9,500 companies from 130 countries, with the Jafza-India route handling 19 per cent of non-oil trade between the UAE and India. — KT file
Jafza currently serves over 9,500 companies from 130 countries, with the Jafza-India route handling 19 per cent of non-oil trade between the UAE and India. — KT file

Published: Wed 17 May 2023, 2:36 PM

Bharat Bazaar, a proposed shopping complex mall catering to the retail and wholesale industries from India, is expected to become operational in Jebel Ali Free Zone in the next two years.

Abdulla bin Damithan, chief executive officer and managing director, DP World UAE and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, (Jafza), has said the launch of the Dubai Traders Market’s new initiative is expected to further boost trade and investment between India and the UAE.


Dubai Traders Market is a Jafza initiative aimed at revolutionising the trading experience for traders and consumers through its unique offerings.

The concept of Bharat Bazaar is already in place and talks with the Indian government are underway in this regard. “Many businesses are also waiting in the wings to join it. Several are already on board, including Tata Motor’s Jaguar Land Rover,” Damithan was quoted as saying on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) event on May 11 by Moneycontrol.


He said Bharat Bazaar complex is expected to be a major attraction for Indian expats living in Dubai and the UAE. It will house a variety of Indian stores, restaurants, as well as entertainment and leisure facilities to serve local and global customers from a single hybrid business platform for wholesale and retail.

Yiwu Market, a Chinese market conceived on the same lines, already exists in Jafza. It features a dedicated area that allows cross-border networking and information exchange between traders in Dubai and factories in China. It helps to directly connect local traders with Chinese factories without the need of a middleman. ‘Yiwu Connect’ will also allow these traders to inspect the goods for quality assurance before importing them to the Dubai Yiwu Market.

Yiwu project, initiated in 2019 and completed in 2021, spans over an area of 200,000 square metres. The massive complex houses 1,600 mainland showrooms and 324 warehouses. The showrooms are categorically divided into different sections, namely, electronics and appliances, furniture and lighting, beauty and accessories, tools and hardware (including auto spare parts), kitchen and bath, bedding, curtains, and clothing.

Speaking at the CII event, Damithan outlined Jafza’s efforts as a key player in achieving the $100 billion two-way non-oil trade target over the next five years between the UAE and India. He said the landmark Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) is already showing tangible benefits for UAE-India trade relations.

In a statement, Jafza said it seeks to provide a seamless and efficient logistics solution and create new business opportunities for companies in both countries through the India-UAE Bridge initiative that has been playing a key role in strengthening the economic ties between the UAE and India following the signing of Cepa a year ago.

“Tariffs have been eliminated on more than 10,000 products and services over the next 10 years, which will provide a major impact on trade between the countries and the wider Gulf region. Jebel Ali Port and Jafza have played a crucial role in boosting trade between the two countries, and we look forward to further contributing to the growth of trade between India and the UAE,” Damithan said in his keynote address at the CII event in New Delhi.

In the first quarter of 2023, the bilateral trade surged 24.7 per cent over the previous quarter, with the UAE's non-oil exports to India climbing 33 per cent. One year into signing of the Cepa, the bilateral trade has gone up to $84.5 billion in the financial year 2023 from $72.9 billion in FY22. The year-on-year increase stood at 16 per cent. India's exports to the UAE recorded a multiyear high. Indian exports to the UAE surged to $31.3 billion — a YoY growth of 11.8 per cent from FY22 to FY23.

Jafza currently serves over 9,500 companies from 130 countries, with the Jafza-India route handling 19 per cent of non-oil trade between the UAE and India, making it India’s largest supporting ecosystem for trade, Damithan said while explaining how DP World’s flagship free zone can play a catalytic role for Indian companies to expand operations into foreign markets and strengthen their global value chains.

In the free zone, Indian companies are the second largest partners in terms of trade volume and are fourth in terms of trade value. Jafza said in a statement that it also supports the ‘Make in India’ Initiative and ‘Production Linked Incentive’ schemes to boost manufacturing, investments, and exports in India via its Jebel Ali hub, offering unmatched logistics and trade solutions and greater access to new markets.

“Together, the port and free zone offer a comprehensive logistics solution that can help Indian companies thrive,” in line with a key goal of the trade pact that seeks to increase the flow of goods and services between two nations while stimulating key export sectors, driving industrial output and kick-starting an exciting new era of prosperity, Jafza said in the statement.

Jafza also links businesses to Jebel Ali Port’s F&B Terminal, which spans over one million square metres and offers dedicated facilities such as cereal silos, covered warehouses, and refrigerated container storage yards that cater to the specific needs of the food and beverage industry.


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