Dubai – MENA Herald: Yesterday, IKEA Group opened the doors to its first Distribution Center in the Middle East. The vast development will support the brand’s ambitious plans to expand across the region.

Located in Dubai South, the new unit boasts 100,000 square meters of storage space, which is equivalent to almost 20 football pitches. The structure is composed of 120,000 cubic meters of racking, plus 8 levels of storage distributed across 2 modules of operations. It is estimated to take more than 10,000 steps just to walk around the new center.

“We are excited to welcome IKEA as part of our Dubai South community,” said His Excellency Mr. Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation. “This facility represents one of the best in class examples of an efficient and effective distribution solution. At Dubai South, we are ideally placed to support companies of all sizes in meeting their logistical challenges. We do so by offering purpose built, fully customizable solutions, giving them the freedom to operate and grow their businesses in the best way possible.”

“Today IKEA Group is writing one more important chapter of its history with the opening of its first direct investment in the Middle East. The new distribution center will enable the company to deliver fast-moving products more efficiently to stores across the GCC, lowering handling costs as well as shipment times,” said Abdeldaziz Kadri, Managing Director of IKEA DC Dubai at the center’s opening event.

The new IKEA Distribution Center is already the workplace for more than 200 employees, and is generating many opportunities for local suppliers. They are working together with the aim to improve product availability in IKEA stores and maximize customer satisfaction.

“I am proud to see the investments of IKEA in the UAE – a natural hub for trade in the region. Sweden has a long tradition of providing innovative design and cutting edge retail solutions and IKEA is a good example of this”, says His Excellency, Mr. Jan Thesleff, Ambassador of Sweden to the United Arab Emirates.

Today there are seven IKEA stores in the GCC: two in the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), one in Doha (Qatar), three in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran) and one in Kuwait City (Kuwait).