Across the Middle East and the world, the UAE is considered a fast-growing hub for global logistics activities. Its competitive edge lies in its many strengths as a strategically located country with a modern infrastructural system and increasing trade volumes. Logistics businesses naturally gravitate to the Gulf nation, capitalizing on numerous opportunities that also arise from its investor-friendly environment, open market approach, and close links to the global economy being that it serves as a gateway between the East and the West. Many international logistics companies have chosen the UAE as the headquarters of their regional operations – putting up their facilities across different parts of the country. This makes the logistics industry one of the state’s key economic drivers.
More recently, the Emirates’ steady shift to sustainable development has fast-tracked the logistics sector’s adoption of the sustainability concept. This is evident in the rise of more eco-friendly warehouses in the country, as well as the continuous implementation of globally recognized sustainable practices within the industry.
As a result, eco-friendly industrial spaces have grown in numbers over the years, enabling logistics companies to operate their facilities with the least environmental impact. At Ajman Free Zone alone, world-class sustainable warehouses located in its 9,070-square-meter green zone are now serving the needs of local, regional, and global logistics businesses of today. Within this AED 36-million green project are 82 multipurpose units and service blocks.
According to H.E. Eng. Ali AlSuwaidi, Director General of Ajman Free Zone, the green zone, is integral to the Ajman Free Zone’s overarching environmental sustainability initiatives. Designed to fully support commercial and industrial activities using eco-friendly methods, the green zone represents as one of the contributions of Ajman Free Zone, an advocate of sustainability, to Ajman’s efforts to build a green logistics economy.
In designing its sustainable warehouses, the free zone has made sure to combine the economic, environmental, and social inputs and outputs of typical warehousing operations. This is why the eco-friendly facilities are both fully capable of handling regular warehousing operational processes and meeting environmental regulations.
As they are equipped with the right technologies to limit waste, reduce energy costs, and improve efficiency, the facilities can help companies save money while meeting their environmental sustainability goals, which is good for the bottom line. For instance, the management behind Ajman Free Zone is looking to reduce their water consumption. The warehouses have effective waste management solutions, dedicated loading, vehicle parking, e-charging stations powered by solar energy, and readily available pantry. These are adjacent to Ajman port and connected to main ports in the UAE. Moreover, the warehouses are integrated with fire alarm, water sprinklers, and 24-hour CCTV surveillance. Within the free zone, logistics businesses can minimize their environmental impact through these eco-friendly facilities.
H.E. Eng. AlSuwaidi said that sustainable warehouses, which are a key step forward in the logistics industry, can contribute to Ajman’s transition to a green economy by helping increase the market share of clean energy in the country, in line with UAE Vision 2021. This is also part of Ajman Free Zone’s efforts to support the green economy plan, which is one of the five objectives of Ajman Vision 2021 adopted by H.H. Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman and Chairman of Ajman Executive Council.
Reaffirming the free zone’s commitment to sustainability in the logistics sectors, H.E. assured that the Ajman Free Zone team will continue to implement steps to address the sustainability requirements of stakeholders and members of the business community - including the logistics companies – while fostering an investor-friendly environment within its jurisdiction. These initiatives aim to entice and encourage environmentally conscious corporations to invest in Ajman and the UAE, particularly in Ajman Free Zone. The free zone’s efforts are also in recognition of the business community’s all-encompassing role in Ajman’s economic advancement. Sustainability is the way forward for the local logistics industry. Anticipating the requirements that come with this trend, Ajman Free Zone will strategically manage and implement sustainable-driven projects according to the nation’s sustainable development goals.