Dubai-based ports operator DP World and the Zhejiang China Commodities City Group have agreed to build a 3 million square metre traders market in Jebel Ali Free Zone next to the Dubai Expo 2020 site.

According to a DP World statement, the market will include different clusters catering to household goods, building materials, food and beverage, cosmetics, healthcare, energy, power, engineering and technology.

The market is envisaged to help Chinese, local and international manufacturers benefit from Dubai’s strategic location as a business and trade hub.

“It will also enable trade within the GCC, Middle East and Africa and India sub-continent regions, widening market reach for goods and serving as a platform to trade at competitive prices,” the statement said.

The deal is understood to complement an agreement signed earlier this year between DP World, the Zhejiang Seaport Investment and Operation Group (ZPG) for a warehouse project in Yiwu, China. Dubbed a ‘straight-through warehouse’, the planned facility will hold cargo destined for Dubai and the Middle East.

Both projects aim to boost trade between the UAE and China, which was Dubai’s top trading partner in 2017. Trade between China and Dubai stood at AED176.5bn ($48bn) last year.

Dubai is already home to Dragon Mart 1 and 2, the Middle East’s largest mall offering consumer and household products made in China.