KEZAD breaks ground on UAE's largest e-commerce fulfilment centre
252,000 sqm facility scheduled for delivery in 2024, bolstering the local economy with the creation of thousands of new jobs.
Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi – KEZAD Group, the fully-owned subsidiary of AD Ports Group, and noon.com, the Middle East's online shopping destination, broke ground on the UAE's largest fulfilment centre in Abu Dhabi, which will form part of an anchor investment by noon into the emirate's fast-growing e-commerce space.
The 252,000 square metre fulfilment centre facility is being designed and developed by KEZAD Group under a build-to-suit agreement and is scheduled for delivery in 2024. With the introduction of new automation technologies for storage, material movement, and sorting, the facility will enable rapid delivery of products to millions of noon customers throughout the UAE and will bolster the local economy with the creation of several thousand new jobs.
The UAE's e-commerce market has grown exponentially in recent years, with customers increasingly moving toward the variety, convenience, and price benefits of online shopping. With managing inventory efficiently and cost-effectively being critical to meeting the spike in online consumer demand, fulfilment centres not only offer scalable warehousing opportunities, but provide speed and quality control across the entire value chain, from order picking and processing to packaging and shipping.
H.E. Mohamed Al Abbar, founder of noon, said: "More than 5,000 small businesses will use our fulfillment center to store their goods and conduct business. This will allow our youth and small businesses to connect with the growing number of e-commerce customers without having to invest in technology or real estate.
"This is not your typical real estate project—technology infrastructure projects of this scale are change agents for the future, not just for our company, but also for our community and country."
Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and CEO of AD Ports Group, said: "The state-of-the-art noon fulfilment centre perfectly aligns with this mission and represents an important milestone in our collective journey to enable the rapid expansion of e-commerce and same-day delivery models in the region. The facility will bring significant economic benefits with the creation of thousands of jobs and will offer new opportunities for the private sector looking to reach customers across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe."
While noon already has a facility with KEZAD, it has decided to expand its operations to a larger area by utilizing KEZAD Group's Build-to-Suit solution, which will facilitate the design and delivery of noon's turnkey facility. The development has been tailor-made to meet the company's specific operational requirements, helping to reduce costs, boost productivity and offer essential supply chain efficiencies. Additionally, the completed facility will be a sustainable building conforming to Estidama 2 Pearl rating which incorporates initiatives to enable water, energy and waste minimisation.
By leveraging the innovative development solution, the noon fulfilment centre will be delivered by KEZAD Group on a fast-track basis to the end users' exact specifications. This approach offers a very strong option for businesses seeking an asset light approach while still retaining full control of their operations and standards.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is also providing noon with financial and non-financial incentives as part of the continued expansion of Abu Dhabi's fast-growing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ecosystem.
Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General, ADIO said: "Abu Dhabi's e-commerce sector has taken another step forward with work commencing on the country's largest fulfilment centre."
Noon's new Abu Dhabi operations further strengthen e-commerce as an emerging sub-sector within the emirate's ICT cluster. It will enable entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs to leverage noon's platform, advanced technology and expansive delivery networks to reach new customers. Noon will operate in line with Abu Dhabi's e-commerce policy launched in August 2021 to unlock investment opportunities in the emirate.