Dubai Trade, the UAE Region’s single window platform for cross-border trade, has launched ZADI, a unified food import platform aimed at facilitating the import and re-export of food shipments throughout Dubai’s ports, according to DP World.
In a statement, DP World described the platform as the “first-of-its-kind” in the Middle East. It will be part of Dubai Trade’s drive to be the leading integrated platform in all import and re-export services.
Additionally, it will also align with the UAE’s plans for the post-COVID-19 era that it hopes to ensure a robust recovery and development.
The platform will help over 18,000 companies in Dubai execute 360,000 transactions annually via its streamlined process, according to DP World.
Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, said: “The launch of ZADI by Dubai Trade comes as part of our commitment to fulfilling the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE one of the leading countries worldwide in the post-pandemic economic recovery. “
“We can achieve this from lessons learned from the crisis and develop innovative solutions to combat future effects of the pandemic.”
Al Muallem added: “The core function of the ZADI platform is protecting the food supply chain from monopoly and disruption, as this may lead to spoilage of food crops, which will be difficult to compensate once the farming season is over.
“We efficiently connect food traders with food sources, enabling them to easily access food supplies. The presence of DP World in more than 50 countries makes this possible.
“Food traders can also transfer their shipments, choosing from a wide array of DP World’s shipping line partners. ZADI’s integration with Dubai Customs and Dubai Municipality helps to seamlessly facilitate the import and re-export process.
“This end-to-end integration allows us to offer our online services and logistics capabilities to the world, helping secure vital food supplies, both locally and regionally.”
Typically, Dubai Customs conduct security and customs inspections at Jebel Ali Port and Dubai Municipality teams check food safety and quality.
The new system, DP World said, will enable customers to submit their requests for both food or customs inspection via one unified platform which reduces their operational costs in addition to saving time and effort.
Dawood Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: “ZADI guarantees distinctive short- and long-term benefits. On a short-term phase, it simplifies the integration with Dubai Customs, to control the food import and re-export process, ensuring that food shipments comply with our standards of quality.
“It also unifies service delivery channels by ensuring that there is no duplication of any processes. In the long-term, the platform facilitates the release of imported food and unifies service delivery channels to meet the customers’ expectations.
“ZADI also gives decision-makers proper insight by providing integrated and comprehensive data which enables them to track local and external food supplies to secure our strategic food reserve.”
The platform will provide traders with access to food products either to sell in the local market or for re-export. They can easily request food evaluation form for the first phase instead of accessing several websites.
The unified platform enables them to submit their requests for both food or customs inspection. Therefore, the process is faster and more efficient. This helps companies reduce their operational costs, increase their profitability and eliminate manual transaction costs.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, said: “Since the world after COVID-19 is unlikely to return to the world that was, we are confident about ZADI’s capabilities of being a ‘Game-Changer’ in food trading business.
“In Dubai Customs, we deal with food shipments carefully and sensitively. Through the new platform, we will accelerate customs inspections and clearance of food shipments. ZADI facilitates our transactions through the integration of parties involved in food trading — especially Dubai Municipality.
“This will reduce the time and effort needed for inspection. The platform also allows us to plan and manage our operations around DP World operations and ship arrival schedules.
“We applaud the efforts made by the Dubai Trade team to build interconnectivity in our systems.”