Dubai CommerCity recently announced the launch of new facilities as part of its first phase – can you clarify what is available?
Dubai CommerCity is a major free zone development project spanning 2.1 square meters. The city is an ideal opportunity for international and global brands and e-commerce players to better serve their end customers. Designed with a modern and innovative approach, Dubai CommerCity is divided into three groups with the aim of strategically achieving environmental sustainability and investments.
the business cluster consists of 12 buildings, of which we delivered an office building with a total leasable area of 215,278 square feet.
the logistics cluster consists of warehouses of flexible size and execution units equipped with the latest technologies to meet the needs of logistics providers and customers. The cluster is designed with PVC solar panels on the roofs to generate clean energy. We delivered a total leasable area of 146,313 square feet, including 20 dedicated units (79,000 square feet) and 67,306 square feet of multi-customer warehouse space.
Finally, the social cluster is at the heart of Dubai CommerCity, which is also open to the public. The area includes a diverse food court, shops, restaurants, versatile showrooms and quality amenities – all within walking distance, and can be used by pureplay e-commerce customers as a pick-up point for orders click-and-collect. and a drop-off point for customer feedback. Of a total area of 32,033 square feet, we have delivered 15,607 square feet to date.
Can you also tell us about the next stages of development?
The next expansion plans will be delivered by the end of 2022. This step will include dedicated logistics units (warehouses and distribution center as well as additional multi-client facilities) in addition to two office buildings. What are the main challenges in setting up / running an e-commerce business in the region right now?
There are several factors to consider when developing a regional e-commerce presence. If you are just starting out, it is always best to work with suppliers who understand the specific market challenges, can replace the legal and technical aspects, and can provide an extensive business and logistics infrastructure.
When selecting a base for your business in the area, you need to consider the ease of doing business – how advanced are the regulations and how supportive are government policies? And when we talk about e-commerce, we have to consider the speed of the mobile internet, internet penetration rates, and the tax environment. Recently, UAE was ranked 13 out of 99 countries for ease of starting an online business, which is one of the important considerations when choosing a regional base.
Another aspect concerns local payment preferences. Your business can accept credit card payments, but people in a specific country may have another preferred payment method. For example, COD is an important payment method in this region.
The ability to offer what shoppers see as a safe and acceptable form of payment in a specific geographic area is important to ensure reduced cart abandonment.
Another challenge relates to product returns and refunds. Up to 30% of e-commerce orders go through an exchange / return process. If the experience isn’t smooth for the customer, they may never come back to your online store.
Other important factors to consider are streamlining localization efforts, the importance of social commerce in the given market, accommodating cultural sensitivities, and ensuring an omnichannel customer experience, among others.
What are the main solutions you offer to help e-commerce businesses succeed?
The value proposition you get from Dubai CommerCity comes in the form of a specialized e-commerce freezone as well as a complete end-to-end e-commerce ecosystem. This means that we can create an e-commerce solution based on the varied needs of each of our customers. We help companies in the following areas:
- Pre and post installation support, including fast, automated registration and licensing
- Pre-integrated and preconfigured e-commerce platforms
- Last mile delivery solutions with pre-negotiated rates from major 3PLs in the region
- Direct customs assistance to consumers and streamlined processes for the movement of products between the free zone, mainland and borders
- Access to on-premises ecosystem service providers such as payment gateways, contact centers, talent recruiting, e-commerce platform developers, performance marketing, translation and content production, between other
With Dubai CommerCity as a one-stop-shop, you can simply remove the middleman and choose to select our full range of services, or simply activate the ones your business needs on a ‘Pay as you Go’ model.