Dubai is to become a world-leading hub for the international distribution of Covid-19 vaccines after launching a major air, land, and sea campaign to combat the pandemic.
Under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, the emirate has established the Vaccine Logistics Alliance to deliver vaccine doses more swiftly and efficiently to all parts of the globe.
The ambitious project will support the World Health Organisation’s drive to deliver two billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine throughout 2021.
Dubai’s Vaccine Logistics Alliance will bring together Emirates Airline, DP World’s global network of ports, and logistic operations alongside Dubai Airports and International Humanitarian City to distribute vaccines worldwide.
A key focus of the campaign will be populations hardest hit by the pandemic, where pharmaceutical transport and logistics are challenging.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group said the move to combine expertise will help provide a solution to the pressing concern of how to deliver vaccines successfully to all parts of the planet.
“We currently stand at the cusp of a historic moment with the rollout of vaccines for countering Covid-19, a pandemic that has disrupted the lives of people around the world,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
“The UAE is leading the world in terms of rolling out the vaccine, and in line with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision to facilitate a global solution for the wellbeing of communities, the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance brings together key organisations to expedite the worldwide transport of urgently needed vaccines through Dubai.”
The merging of resources will allow Dubai to store large volumes of vaccine at any given time and bring in and distribute vaccines to any point around the world within 48 hours.
Emirates SkyCargo will play a significant role in ensuring temperature-sensitive vaccines are transported safely to where they are needed most.
It boasts more than 15,000 square metres of cool chain space for pharmaceuticals across its terminals in Dubai and has already successfully transported vaccine doses since December.
International Humanitarian City, the world’s largest hub for humanitarian logistics based in Dubai will be a vital partner in the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance bringing its vast expertise in humanitarian logistics for aid materials such as food and medicine in markets with limited infrastructure.
The formation of the alliance comes after DP World and Unicef announced a partnership to support the delivery of vaccines to lower-income nations.
The newly-formed alliance is just the latest UAE-led project aimed at supporting the mammoth task of delivering vaccines to billions of people.
Earlier this month, Dubai Airports and India’s GMR Hyderabad Airports launched an air corridor to handle up to 300 tonnes of vaccines a day.
The corridor connects major vaccine manufacturers in India with markets around the world through Dubai.
In November, Abu Dhabi set up a global logistics centre to deliver billions of Covid-19 vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2021.
The Hope Consortium provides vaccine storage and distribution.
The hub is being run by the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, Rafed, part of ADQ, and SkyCell.