(Read more on the industrial market.)

DUBAI, INDIA-Continuing a trek into new territories, ProLogis has completed a major build-to-suit agreement that marks its arrival in the Middle East. The developer, manager and owner of industrial real estate will construct an 800,000-sf distribution facility for Aramex, a global powerhouse in the logistics sector.

Designed to provide the latest in efficiencies plus 21st century life safety and security systems, the ProLogis structure is being constructed in Dubai Logistics City, a master-planned complex a few minutes from the Port of Jebel Ali, the world’s seventh largest cargo hub. A new international airport is also on the drawing boards, notes ProLogis CEO Jeff Schwartz, who refers to Dubai as an emerging “gateway” to the Middle East thanks to its centralized location and access to transportation.

“Having a presence in this rapidly growing global logistics hub will enable us to become part of its burgeoning economic environment, and we are confident continued infrastructure development will drive further demand for our modern distribution space,” Schwartz says. DLC represents the first phase of a $33-billion urban community dubbed Dubai World Central. Situated 25 miles from the existing Dubai International Airport, the government-backed venture is expected to become one of the world’s largest multi-modal logistics centers, a platform expected to service Africa, India and the Middle East.

Aramex is convinced enough of the DLC’s potential to sign on, relays the company’s Gulf Region leader, Hussein Hachem. The strategic partnership with ProLogis “enhances our suite of innovative logistics solutions,” says Hachem, while ProLogis SVP Joseph Ghazal says his firm anticipates other multi-national logistics operators will be drawn to the opportunity. “We expect to grow our business by securing build-to-suit and fee-development agreements with leading companies…and through strategic land transactions in key markets throughout the [United Arab Emirates,]” says Ghazal, who focuses on the Middle East.

Traded on the Dubai Financial Market, Aramex leads a global distribution alliance that includes 40 independent express companies operating more than 12,000 offices supported by 65,000 employees. ProLogis boasts an similarly diverse operation, as the Denver-based firm has 483 million sf in 2,670 properties at the end of the third quarter. Valued at $34.4 billion, the portfolio extends into 20 countries throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

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