Dubai’s Yiwu Market, the Middle East’s first smart free zone market, has opened its doors to wholesale and retail traders. Yiwu Market commenced operations on 28 June 2022 at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai. It was established by global ports operator DP World and the China Commodity City Group, which built and operates the world’s biggest wholesale market in China. With its China connections, the market is expected to boost trade and economic cooperation between the UAE and China, according to Ahmad Al Haddad, COO at Parks and Zones of DP World UAE.
The market comprises 324 customs‑bonded warehouses, each with a dedicated loading dock, spread across two floors. It also features 1,600 showrooms on two floors divided into sector‑specific sections, such as furniture and lighting; electronics and appliances; tools and hardware, including auto spare parts; beauty and accessories; clothing; kitchen and bath; curtains; and bedding. Warehouses are located behind the showrooms to enable easy supply of products, and to minimise low‑stock delays on outbound trade. The market is also close to the Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport, allowing businesses to easily move goods for import and export by air to and from their warehouses at low logistical cost. Digitised trading processes are also available.
To entice customers to locate at Yiwu, there are zero management fees for tenants setting up in the first 27 months after its opening. They also benefit from a low licence fee, as it is located within Jafza; and have access to its regime of 100% foreign ownership, 100% foreign repatriation of capital and profits, and zero taxes for re‑export. Of particular value is that Yiwu Market allows local traders to directly network and exchange information with factories in China through a dedicated area called Yiwu Connect. The area also enables traders to inspect such goods for quality assurance before importing them to Yiwu Market.