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Dubai firm to build dry port in Indian-held Kashmir

Dubai ports giant DP World is set to build an inland port in Jammu and Kashmir. Source: Khaleej Times.

DUBAI: Dubai ports giant DP World is set to build an inland port in Jammu and Kashmir as part of plans by the emirate to invest in the Indian-occupied territory.

The Indian government last year said Dubai would invest in infrastructure and other projects in the disputed region. Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is in Dubai this week to promote investment, said DP World would soon visit the 250-acre site earmarked for the inland port facility.

Sinha, who is currently visiting the UAE, said DP World will build an inland port in the restive region. “They have already earmarked a 250-acre site. We have met with DP World officials and they will soon visit the site and finalise the project,” Sinha said in an interview.

A DP World spokesperson said the company had a “productive meeting” with Sinha on Thursday and that it was preparing a proposal for the project.

The announcement last October that Dubai would invest in the region was the first by any foreign government since Kashmir’s autonomy was revoked in 2019 and the Muslim-majority state was divided into two territories directly ruled by New Delhi.

An Emirati newspaper reported this week that Dubai’s state-owned real estate giant,developer Emaar Properties would build a mall in Srinagar, the main city in Jammu and Kashmir.

Lulu Group, a UAE-headquartered company headed by an Indian billionaire, also plans to set up a food processing hub there. The LuLu group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Jammu and Kashmir Government in this regard, the company said in a statement.

The government of Dubai had recently inked an agreement with India to ramp up infrastructure investment in Jammu and Kashmir. As per the deal, Dubai will deliver more than a billion dollars worth of projects in Kashmir, including industrial parks, a medical college, specialty hospital, logistic centres, and multi-purpose towers.

Investment in the heavily militarised Jammu and Kashmir is fraught with risk while the Indian government has faced international criticism for widespread crackdowns by security forces.

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