Dubai builds online shopping ‘city’

(Photo: CNN)

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to take our shopping online. And Dubai believes this trend will continue even after the world gets corornavirus under control.

It’s why it has built a new free trade zone for e-commerce named “Dubai Commercity,” which will provide a base for online retailers.

The $870 million US development is the first of its kind in the region. It is 2.1 million square feet, almost the size of the Grand Central Station in New York. It is split into three clusters; business, logistics, and social. The site is a joint venture between two state-owned enterprises, the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) and property firm Wasl. The developers say the coronavirus pandemic has spurred rather than stalled their progress.

The business cluster will accommodate 12 office buildings that promise modern facilities and sustainable design for companies of varying size.

“Commercity” tenants will pay no income or corporation tax, and will benefit from a “one-stop shop” of support services including for immigration, healthcare, administration, and banking.

Clients will also be able to make use of the logistics cluster, consisting of heavily automated AI-powered warehouses, and a social cluster of restaurants and cafes.The first buildings are expected to be opened and occupied in November, with staged openings until the project is completed in 2023.