Global supply chains today are all about economies of scale, and Abu Dhabi aims to be among the best of the lot.
Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) is offering tenants warehouse space of up to three football fields in size as it seeks to meet demand for super-sized storage options.
The industrial zone taking shape in Al Taweelah is already attracting a flow of heavy industries, part of Abu Dhabi's efforts to diversify the economy away from oil. Kizad hopes to complement manufacturing with warehousing and turn the emirate into a vital link in the global supply-chain business.
"There are investors who will come into Kizad that will need companies around them as part of their value chain," said Charles Acworth, the senior manager of property at Kizad. "When they produce goods, they will sell them on to distribution companies and they will dispatch them across the UAE and globally."
Kizad yesterday began seeking commitments from prospective tenants to sign leases in advance for the pre-built warehousing, which will create more than 220,000 square metres of storage and distribution space, valued at more than Dh600 million (US$163.3m) on completion. Businesses can lease units from 1,000 sq metres up to 21,500 sq metres in the free zone area. In the non-free-zone area, units of up to 11,000 sq metres are on offer.
"Most pre-built stock is relatively small," Mr Acworth said. "Our research shows there is very strong demand for larger units."
Kizad hopes the location of the warehousing will be another big draw for businesses wanting to get their goods in and out quickly.
It is a short distance from Khalifa Port, the deepwater container terminal set to open in September. All warehousing is full at Port Zayed, Abu Dhabi's existing port.
It is also a few minutes' drive from both the E 11, a major artery running through Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and the extension of the Emirates Road. It is also well placed for Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai's new Al Maktoum International Airport.
Logistics, shipping companies, pharmaceuticals, retail and food storage firms are among the businesses targeted by Kizad.
It had already received strong interest in its warehousing before the launch of its pre-leasing yesterday, the company said. It plans to start building the warehouses towards the end of the summer, with a targeted completion date of the second quarter of next year. To gauge demand, Kizad will develop the project in three phases. Each of the three phases will itself have a first phase of about 40,000 sq metres of warehouses.
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