Dubai Industrial City (DI) yesterday launched the second phase of its Dh750 million ($204.21 million) warehouse and showroom development. The new phase comprises 3.5 million square feet of warehouses and retail showrooms equipped with back storage, featuring units measuring 5,000 and 10,000 square feet and doubling the present size of the current storage facilities. It adds 3 million square feet of open storage yards that are equipped with asphalted tarmacs and round-the-clock security, bringing the aggregate amount of current storage at the light to medium industrial destination to 10 million square feet — the largest of its kind in one area — in the UAE. Dubai Industrial City now features a total of 627 eight-metre high warehouses, and 122 retail showrooms with amenities for temperature-controlled and chemical storage, workshops for light industrial activities and machinery operation, in addition to warehouses for general-use. Article continues below Abdullah Bel Houl, Managing Director, Dubai Industrial City, said: \"There is an increasing demand for quality and specialised storage facilities in the market, with a heightened emphasis on health and safety. The launch of the second phase of warehouses at Dubai Industrial City addresses such needs, and will further consolidate Dubai\'s position as the current logistics hub in the UAE and the Middle East. It will also spur growth in the nation\'s industrial sector, which has grown by approximately 11 per cent in 2011, making it the second largest contributor to the UAE\'s economy after the hydrocarbon sector.\" Pointing to the health and safety aspect of the warehouses, Bel Houl added: \"The warehouses are engineered to respond to the sophisticated industrial and safety needs of the diverse light and medium industrial units operating at Dubai Industrial City such as food and beverage, machinery and equipment, as well as base metals and chemicals. He said the units are periodically monitored by the Dubai Industrial City\'s Health, Safety and Environment Department. Ashraf Mahate, head of Export Market Intelligence at Dubai Exports, told Gulf News: \"The emirate\'s strategic central location at the crossroads between important trading routes between east and west is its main competitive advantage to be a logistic hub in the region.\" Mahate said by expanding the facilities, Dubai will be able to take advantage of the \"huge export potential\" and \"high quality logistic infrastructure\". \"Dubai has tried to leverage its strategic location through major logistics enablers, such as Jebel Ali Port and the new Al Maktoum International Airport. These projects are timely since they come in a period of increased trade between developing regions of Asia, which lie to the east of Dubai, and Europe to the north west of Dubai, he added. Commenting on the impact on Dubai\'s trade sector, Mahate said: \"But by building relationships with emerging markets and adding value to the trade sector by developing its manufacturing base, Dubai can place itself ahead of competing global markets.\"