Sultan bin Sulayem: An ingenious customs initiative in the Year of Innovation to deliver innovative trade solutions, giving new impetus to the sector
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih: The Virtual Corridor is a major catalyst in the implementation of trade and economic objectives of Dubai Plan 2021
Sami Al Qamzi: Collaborative approach creates the most favourable conditions for trade and logistics companies
Dubai, 3 May 2015 – Dubai Customs and the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) have unveiled ‘Virtual Freight and Logistics Corridor,’ an innovative and first-of-its-kind initiative aimed to sustain the business leadership and competitiveness of the UAE in general and Dubai in particular.
The Virtual Corridor is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to pursue and foster innovation in public service delivery to go beyond the limited notion of ‘customer satisfaction’ and aim for ‘customer happiness.’
The Virtual Corridor was officially launched at a ceremony held in the presence of Their Excellencies Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and Chairman of DP World, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, and Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED. Also present were representatives of various government departments and government-related entities, major shipping companies and a number of Dubai Customs’ clients.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said: “The UAE is moving confidently towards meeting its ambitious development goals, improving its rankings across global performance and progress indicators, and climbing to Number One position in all fields. In this Year of Innovation, Dubai Customs is supporting the national march through an ingenious initiative to deliver innovative trade solutions, giving the sector a new growth impetus and further reinforcing Dubai’s advantages in terms of trade and investment, specifically by simplifying goods movement between different customs points in the emirate. To that end, Dubai Customs, in partnership with DED, developed the Virtual Freight and Logistics Corridor following an integrated study of the current situation and needs of the freight and logistics sector. It’s a unique automated customs procedure designed to facilitate goods transport between two Dubai Customs centres by road, connecting the point of entry to the point of destination in Dubai, under Cargo Transport Requests submitted by clients for this purpose.”
This initiative, which assumes special significance with Expo 2020 drawing closer, is expected to enhance the position of Dubai and the UAE on the global trade map, Bin Sulayem further added.
“The Virtual Corridor connects the seaports, airports and free zones in Dubai on a single platform, enabling hassle-free customs clearance and making the entire process more streamlined, time-saving and cost-efficient without any financial burden,” he said.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih said the Virtual Corridor is a major catalyst in the implementation of trade and economic objectives of Dubai Plan 2021. The varied benefits and ease it offers to traders and customers help promote the position of Dubai as a preferred destination for business and investment.
“The pilot phase statistics of the Virtual Corridor point out to the uniqueness and of this initiative and the seamlessness it brings to cargo movement,” stated Ahmed Mahboob. “More than 12,000 transfers of cargo, weighing 64,000 tons have been processed since September 2014. Additionally, deposit-related financial burdens have been considerably minimized by some AED 120 million,” he noted.
Expressing his appreciation for all agencies and departments that contributed to the success of this initiative, including the Department of Economic Development, DP World, Dubai World Central, Economic Zones World, Dubai Airports, Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA), and Dubai Trade, the Dubai Customs Director said: “We are proud of this special partnership that stands as an exemplary model of positive government co-operation to achieve the common objective of taking the UAE and Dubai to new heights.”
Ahmed Mahboob also acknowledged the contribution of the joint project team as well as the companies that partnered with Dubai Customs in the execution of the project’s pilot phase, namely Dubai Express, Aramex, Weiss-Rohlig UAE, DB Schenker, Expeditors International, Gulf Agency, Transguard, Airlink Intl, Agility Logistics, Arabital Shipping, Danzas AEI Emirates, Brinks Global Services, Gava Forwarding, Inchcape Shipping Service Dubai, and Modern Freight.
Approved by the Executive Council of Dubai in 2012, the Virtual Freight and Logistics Corridor Policy was the result of collaborative efforts initiated by DED through a Multimodal Transportation and Logistics Stakeholder Platform in 2011.
“It’s important that we continue working together on this stakeholder platform in order to create efficient systems for upgrading the strengths of this Cluster and move higher up the global value chains. With the Virtual Freight and Logistics Corridors we have taken Dubai to its next level of global competitiveness”, said Sami Al Qamzi.
Al Qamzi added: “The introduction of the Virtual Freight and Logistics Corridors has since reduced the time and cost for transshipment via Dubai significantly. This collaborative approach creates the most favourable framework conditions for trade and logistics companies to grow locally as well as regionally, and expand to emerging markets. It will continue attracting new businesses in trade and logistics as well as developing businesses locally, and increasing investment inflows.”
The DED Director General noted that Dubai’s multimodal transportation and logistics cluster comprises two main economic sectors – (1) Transport, Storage and Communication, and (2) Whole Sale, Retail Trade and Repairing Services. Together, these economic activities account for over 40 per cent of Dubai’s GDP and over 30 per cent of the total employment.
More companies are expected to come on board the Virtual Corridor platform, marking strong involvement from the business community in joint initiatives and innovative work mechanisms that facilitate trade and economic activity.
The event was an opportunity to honour strategic partners and corporations that joined in the implementation of the Virtual Corridor’s pilot phase. They were presented with trophies of honour by Their Excellencies Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih and Sami Al Qamzi.