Jebel Ali facilitates global sugar rush

Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone are the epicenter for over 90% of Dubai’s sugar exports to over 114 countries.

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A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 10 Jun 2022, 10:04 PM

Last updated: Fri 10 Jun 2022, 10:09 PM

Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) are the epicenter for over 90 per cent of Dubai’s sugar exports to over 114 countries, with an estimated value of more than Dh 4.4 billion. At the center of this is Al Khaleej Sugar, which currently refines and produces about 3 per cent of the total global sugar output.

Dubai is a major sugar exporter, ranking seventh globally in the UN’s Comtrade listings. Behind this extraordinary success is DP World’s Jebel Ali hub, with its world-class manufacturing and logistics facilities, which has played a prominent role in enabling the trade of sugar across the globe, enhancing food security, and ensuring the reliability of supplies for this vital commodity.

DP World worked with Al Khaleej to build the world’s largest standalone sugar refinery at Jebel Ali in 1995, providing the advanced facilities required to unload imported raw sugar from ships directly to storage areas for refining.

The sugar complex can now produce more than 7,000 tonnes of refined sugar per day (2.55 million tonnes a year. The goal is to meet the increasing demands of key exports regions, including GCC, Africa and ISC. Jebel Ali Port and Jafza, thus, not only facilitate sugar trade, but also safeguard the food security of its export markets, cementing Dubai’s position as a critical hub for global sugar trade.

Jebel Ali Port - simplifying a complex trade process

Jebel Ali Port has enabled the growth of sugar trading in the region with its unmatched integrated logistics solutions. The facility that has a feedstock inventory of 200K - 220K MT at all times manufactures products such as crystal white sugar, brown sugar, sugar cubes, powdered sugar and molasses.

The entire sugar production cycle takes about 2-3 weeks. First, raw sugar is imported from across the globe and discharged at Jebel Ali using a dedicated conveyor belt system. The raw product is then processed at Al Khaleej’s quay-side refinery, where the final product is bagged, palletised, packed and stored in temperature-controlled warehouses before being exported. The consignments are handled at the Jebel Ali Port’s general cargo facility and are loaded onto breakbulk vessels using advanced cranes and handling equipment.

Jafza – a seamless hub for food products

In addition to serving global export markets, Jebel Ali’s advanced sugar refining and processing facilities serve many food and beverage (F&B) companies within the UAE, which depend on this vital commodity for their products. Located adjacent to the port is the sprawling 60 million square metre free zone, which includes a 1.55 million square metre dedicated F&B cluster hosting 584 companies from 71 countries. The cluster accounts for 20 per cent of Dubai's total trade of food and beverages, making it a key part of daily life in the Emirate.

Moreover, Jafza provides F&B businesses with connectivity to over 150 ports, and access to more than 3.5 billion consumers across the globe. With the help of its quay-side warehouses, and cool and cold storages, the free zone serves as a one-stop-solution for sugar trade businesses. Jafza’s sophisticated infrastructure combined with its compliance to regulatory and high-quality standards helps in not only lowering production and logistics costs for companies, but also enables traders to have faster access to the market.

Connecting global supply chains through digital solutions

DP World has provided several digital platforms and services that give its customers better access to global supply chain data to help in better planning, and to solve potential issues with supply and demand.

Dubai Trade, for example, is a single window integrated e-platform for traders and logistics companies, which serves as an ideal platform for live access to vital commodity information right from its production sources, and a reliable source to have instant quotes to help get the best deals. Through Searates, DP World’s customers can view the best shipping offers from a range of shipping lines, to ensure the fastest delivery of goods at the lowest cost. Additionally, provides F&B companies access to innovative and low-cost finance to facilitate their import and ensure easy and seamless production activities.

Combined, these advantages provided by Jebel Ali Port and Jafza, have made Dubai an ideal hub for the F&B sector, especially for sugar processing and manufacturing companies across the globe. —

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