As countries and regions continue to prepare for the advent of the emerging new global economy, the city of London in the United Kingdom is looking forward to being in a strong competitive position, following the completion of one of the best and most-modernized ports in the world. The UAE’s DP World has done a great job in constructing the massive London Gateway so far and is on schedule to open by the end of 2013. Their £1.5 billion investment into the creation of the deep-water, high-tech port is expected to bring London back to it’s former glory days, as a leading world shipping port destination.
The London Gateway is modeled after DP World’s flagship state-of-the-art facility in Jebel Ali in the UAE, which is currently ranked as one of the top ten ports in the world. London’s leaders are hoping that they will enjoy the same measure of success in years to come, once their new super-port is open for business. It is expected that the London Gateway will support at least 12,000 jobs when finally open and that number could indeed grow as the port realizes it’s full potential. To date, the construction of the port has generated many thousands of jobs for the city and region already, and has provided a tremendous lift to the local economy.
Recently, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was in the UAE to meet with leading officials. While visitng he took a closer look at the port of Jebel Ali facilities and indicated that he was quite impressed by the modern, efficient structure.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to show the Mayor of London our flagship facility. Jebel Ali port together with the free zone have both supported and driven the growth of Dubai and the UAE over the past four decades. We have modeled DP World’s London Gateway on Jebel Ali, knowing that a modern deep-water port and logistics park within the important London and South East market will bring direct benefits to the wider UK economy.”- DP World Chairman.
Officials are looking forward to the London Gateway being a catalyst for further inward investment into the UK. By bringing the world’s largest ships to the capital, which is Europe’s largest economic zone, it is hoped that the sizable investment will ensure London is once again globally connected to the major trading ports of the world. In doing so, this will make London and the wider UK, more competitive for global imports and exports, reduce costs and eliminate millions of unnecessary road miles from global supply chains.
In recent years, an increasing number of wealthy Gulf sovereign wealth funds and state-owned companies, have been purchasing iconic buildings across London and investing millions of dollars in key infrastructure projects, such as DP World’s port project that will revitalize the city’s shipping industry. At the moment, investors in Qatar own (or have a sizable stake in) The Shard, Harrod’s department store, Chelsea Barracks, One Hyde Park, the Olympic Village as well as the building housing the American Embassy in London. Furthermore, Abu Dhabi owns numerous venues within the Olympic Village and has built a clean energy facility that generates electricity for approximately 20 percent of London’s households.
“When you look at the opportunities in London, there are 18 huge opportunity areas … ripe for development; believe me there’s plenty of room for investors, not just from the Middle East but from around the world.”- Mayor of London.
The Mayor of London, who is hoping to encourage even more investment from the region, recently revealed that London is interested in linking DP World’s port to a (yet-to-be-announced) new airport and that the City has already entered into discussions with organizations to facilitate the project; including Abu Dhabi-owned developer Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Motivated by the need to accommodate future growth and development, London’s population is estimated to grow by another 1 million people by 2021 and that is expected to put huge pressure on the housing market and transport infrastructure. This means that encouraging investor confidence and introducing new investment opportunities in the region is not only extremely important to rebuilding the economy, but also to sustaining growth over the next decade; as well.
The UAE, Dubai in particular, is looking forward to a strong economic future as their past infrastructure investments continue to pay dividends. Over the past number of years, Dubai has invested billions of dollars on their transport and port systems to put themselves into a better competitive position in the new global economy of the future. The UAE, was always heavily reliant on it`s oil exports but now the focus of the region is to increase other exports such as manufactured consumer goods and increase their imports as well. This will not only help grow and sustain their economy but will also help drive their local economies by providing more employment opportunities for the local residents, ever-increasing their GDP level.
Dubai is attracting more and more businesses and investors as a result of their stable/secure business practices, not to mention their bustling economy and alternatives for investors who are seeking refuge from Western markets.
“Dubai has invested significantly in ensuring that the emirate has the right infrastructure in place to support its growing economy. Dubai has some of the world’s leading multi-modal logistics capabilities. By sea, it is situated between more than 150 shipping lanes and is the third-largest hub after Hong Kong and Singapore.”- Executive Chairman of the Dubai Multi-Commodities Center Authority
There is little reason to not believe that the UAE will be a major force in the new global economy. They have the location, they have made wise investments, they have the growing consumer base, they have great new modern infrastructures and above all that, they have the money to make it prosperous. When you add it all up, they have a great plan in place to build a solid foundation for the region’s economic future and a means for investors to enjoy a great investing experience, when making investments that support the UAE’s growing shipping industry.