The UAE’s logistics industry is booming with more and more logistics parks that are coming up in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Chinese companies are set to invest more than $4 billion (DHS. 14.68 billion) in logistics projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi according to the President of National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL).
“Logistics business is in for a boom. Many projects are being built for Expo 2020 and Chinese investors are coming to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. There will be large logistics parks in Jebel Ali and one near the Expo venue. One is for food processing and the other is for manufacturing and exporting. There will be $4 billion (Dh14.68 billion) investment by Chinese companies. Abu Dhabi will also have a huge logistics project that will boost the trading sector in the UAE,” said Nadia Abdul Aziz, President, NAFL and Vice President, Global Extended Board, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA).
Nadia Abdulaziz expressed her deep appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group for his guidance and constant support to the NAFL for realizing its goals and vision.
During the Annual General Meeting at Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Nadia said that the government is working constantly in order to attract foreigners to come and invest, manufacture and export goods to boost trade which is contributing 30% to Dubai’s GDP.
“NAFL continues to build government relations to always promote the industry and assist investors to come and invest in the UAE. More importantly, the Association’s mission is to raise the logistics service industry standards in the UAE,” she said.
“We are working to raise the industry standards, by training, networking, solving industry issues, by looking at opportunities to help the members, and by building platform for the members to market their companies. We also represent the UAE in international events and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to the country,” she added.
The strategy of NAFL is to motivate young students to join this ever-growing sector. She also stated that aligned with UAE strategy, NAFL will have a keen focus on empowering and training UAE nationals in this sector. The association also offers scholarships for UAE nationals in the freight industry courses. The government is investing heavily in logistics and infrastructure sectors which has the second largest job growth after tourism.
About the industry, she said that there is consolidation taking place in the UAE. “There are people buying companies, and joint ventures are taking place among shipping lines and freight forwarding companies,” said Nadia, who is also chairman for customs and trade facilitation of International Chambers of Commerce (ICC).
She advised NAFL members to avail the facilities offered by the UAE government offices and also by Dubai South, the 145 square kilometre purpose-built city that includes Al Maktoum International Airport.
Roula Mezher, the representative of Lebanese Forwarders Syndicate, remarked that there is a lot of business and trade between the UAE and Lebanon. She also called upon NAFL members to use Beirut as their hub to grab reconstruction business in Syria and Iraq. This business can be handled from the UAE as well as Lebanon in terms of logistics.