The Business Year

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FRANK-UWE UNGERER HUSSEIN HACHEM JACOB MATTHEW © The Business Year

Frank-Uwe Ungerer

Country Manager for the UAE, DHL Express

We are in the Middle East and Africa, which are really the only remaining growth opportunities in the world. We have double-digit growth here in Dubai and the UAE, and this is really sustainable growth, too. Due to bothpast and projected growth, we have taken on a lot of importance, so CEOs here report directly to the global CEO. We have been allocated substantial investments, and we have just started breaking ground on a $100 million ground-operations facility. We have also just expanded to Egypt. However, we are not just investing in infrastructure; we also have to invest in our fleet, both in terms of aircraft and ground vehicles, and start new routes, such as between the US and Bahrain. We run a two-tier hub model in the Middle East. Dubai is our commercial hub, and we utilize its wonderful flight connections to the region and serve about 200 flights a day. Bahrain works as our intercontinental hub. It is a mix of both, though, as we have large aircraft coming in from Europe en route to Asia, and we have 757s shuttling between Dubai and Bahrain. We run on both hubs. Dubai is a transit hub for shipments from Asia into the Middle East, and we use it as our own hub for distribution in the region, and then Bahrain is the entry point, especially for Saudi Arabia.

Hussein Hachem

CEO, Aramex

We are pioneers of e-commerce in terms of connectivity in the Middle East. We started our work serving this sector about 10 years ago, connecting shoppers from the East who wanted to purchase goods from the US, and the model continues to expand. We have witnessed many entrepreneurs entering the market and this continues to be the case, in addition to the increasing confidence of consumers in online purchasing. We have been developing Aramex as a brand over the last 30 years, and we are proud to be serving most of the e-commerce players that operate in the region. When it comes to the future of the sector in the region, the outlook is extremely promising. E-commerce has been growing by between 30% and 40% a year, and we are witnessing what could be described as an explosion of e-commerce across the region. The same can be said about the growth of e-commerce in Russia, Africa, East Asia, and in every region we go to. The population in these regions is quite young, and consumer habits are changing. Young people buy things online, and if they buy once, they will buy again. We continue to invest in this sector because we see significant growth, and we want to make sure that every time our customers order online we are there. We are offering solutions that include warehousing, stock management, replenishment, and the full integration of services.

Jacob Matthew

President, Middle East & Pac-Rim & Board Member, Jacob Matthew

Our operations mainly focus on air transportation; however, we cannot solely focus on just air, and we have to take land and sea transportation into consideration as well. Our operations from Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central (DWC), Jebel Ali have been instrumental in contributing toward the expansion of our growth to become the largest freight operator at the airport. We wanted to be close enough to perform all forms of trade logistics. We evaluated the other emirates within the UAE, but found that Jebel Ali in Dubai was the most conducive for our multi-modal air, land, and sea operations. We consulted our largest client and offered to bring the freight by sea into Jebel Ali, and then fly it to Afghanistan, and vice versa. The concept was agreed on by the client, and that was the start. Given the excellent multi-modal infrastructure of DWC, we decided to consolidate all our efforts around Al Maktoum International Airport. Since the opening of the airport in May 2011, National Air has become the lead operator with over 2,500 flights operated to date. In order to further fully facilitate an expanded service in Dubai, we have announced the construction of our own $50 million, 40,000 sqm warehousing facility.

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