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The supply chain and logistics industry in the UAE is pinning its hopes on the new railway network to boost its growth. Currently, the industry contributes a significant 14% of the UAE's GDP. The strategic geographic location of the country along with superior multimodal transport links has made the country an excellent re-export and transhipment hub.
The new Etihad Rail network is set to connect the various ports, industrial zones and even the airports adding a new dimension to commercial transportation. Etihad Rail is planning to have logistics parks close to the Abu Dhabi Airport and the Al Maktoum International Airport. Cargo flown in from different parts of the world can then be transported by rail to industrial hubs and sea ports in the UAE.
An integrated bulk and container railway terminal facility is set to serve the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and the adjacent Khalifa Port. Even industrial hubs in Dubai – Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) and Dubai Industrial City, will be linked with the rail network. Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network will extend for approximately 1,200 kilometers across the emirates.
Storage of goods is also an important part of the supply chain and logistics industry. Maintaining an uninterrupted cold chain is the biggest challenge in the region for logistical companies because of the harsh weather conditions. A number of specialized storage facilities have come up in Dubai World Central (DWC). It recently unveiled 15,800 sq.m. of warehouse space dedicated to storing hazardous chemicals. The country's largest healthcare warehouse storing pharmaceutical products is also set to come up in DWC. This will not only help UAE pharmaceutical companies reach out to domestic consumers but will also help them market their products in the GCC countries and Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Supply chain, logistics industry contribute 14% to UAE economy
• Etihad Rail to connect airports and free zones across the country
• Warehouses for chemicals and pharmaceuticals coming up in DWC
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer