Bharat Mart; An upcoming world-class Indian marketplace in Dubai

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Foundation for Bharat Mart
Rep.Image | Courtesy: WAM

In a landmark partnership, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, have laid the foundation stone for Bharat Mart, a market and trading platform for Indian businesses in Dubai, during a ceremony held at the World Governments Summit 2024.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, attended the ceremony.

Dignitaries including S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India, Ajit Doval KC, National Security Advisor of India, Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World Group, were also in attendance during the ceremony, besides members of DP World’s senior leadership team.

Bharat Mart will be an exclusive world-class trading platform for Indian manufacturers and exporters to access global markets. Expected to open in 2026, plans for the marketplace were unveiled by DP World.

Sultan bin Sulayem_Foundation Laid for Bharat Mart
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem
Group Chairman & CEO,
DP World

“By laying the foundations for Bharat Mart, we are paving the way for stronger trade ties between the UAE and India. Our nations have set themselves the target of reaching $100 billion in non-oil bilateral trade by 2030, and Bharat Mart will support this goal, creating more opportunities for Indian manufacturers and contributing to government initiatives like Make in India and D33. With our world-class infrastructure, logistics capabilities and business-friendly ecosystem in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), Bharat Mart will be the ideal gateway for Indian goods to efficiently reach the UAE and other high-growth markets in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.”

Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO and Managing Director of DP World GCC, said that, “India is among the UAE’s top five trade partners, a relationship that has been significantly accelerated by a post-pandemic economic surge. This has created a dynamic trade landscape, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering continued growth. Bharat Mart is designed to complement Jafza’s existing offerings, providing Indian SMEs with a seamless platform to export their cargo to new markets and strengthening our position as a key trade gateway between the two nations.”

Bharat Mart, which will cover 2.7 million square feet in total, with 1.3 million square feet dedicated to the first phase, is designed to become a mega distribution hub for Indian businesses to trade domestically in the UAE and re-export to regional and global markets.

The market will be situated in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) and will be part of a wider trade ecosystem that DP World is developing through the Dubai Traders Market, a hybrid retail and wholesale marketplace that will host traders from around the world.

Once completed, Bharat Mart is projected to house 1,500 showrooms catering to retail and wholesale customers, and over 700,000 square feet of Grade A warehousing space, providing tenants with combined free zone and onshore benefits. The facility will also offer light industrial units, office spaces and meeting facilities.

It will be conveniently located 11 km from Jebel Ali Port, the largest seaport in the Middle East, and 15 km from Al Maktoum International Airport, providing seamless multimodal logistics solutions for Indian exporters. Through the Jebel Ali ecosystem, traders will have direct connectivity to more than 150 maritime destinations and air links to over 300 cities.

Dubai plays a significant role in the trade relationship between the UAE and India, with 87 percent or $44.9 billion of the total non-oil trade value of $51.4 billion flowing through the emirate in 2022. Close to 1,500 Indian businesses have made Jafza their home in the UAE, trading more than five million metric tons of cargo valued at $8.6 billion.

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