Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade reached AED 645bn in the first half of 2018; an increase of AED 5-billion from 2017 figures, according to Dubai Trade.
Dubai’s re-exports registered a AED 24-billion increase and grew 14 per cent to AED 203-billion, which reflects the robust and healthy position Dubai leads as a distinctive regional and international re-export hub, while imports touched AED 377-billion and exports totalled AED 65-billion.
The emirate’s free zones foreign trade scored an increase of 20 per cent, AED 43-billion in the first half of 2018 to AED 257-billion. Re-export activity through free zones touched AED 112-billion; with a 31% increase from the same period in 2017, while exports through free zones made a 23% increase to AED 8-billion, and imports through free zones made AED 136 billion; an increase of 12% compared to the same period last year.
Direct trade stood at AED 383-billion and customs warehouse trade weighed in at AED 6-billion.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council praised the growth and said that trade is one of the key sectors that drives Dubai’s growth as a major global trading hub.
“Dubai’s competitiveness plays a key role in attracting investments from around the world, which seek to take advantage of Dubai’s position as a regional and international trading hub,” he said. “The current growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification.”
"There is no doubt that Expo 2020 will showcase our unique economic experience and will highlight our ability to establish global leadership across various development sectors. Such events help towards a better connected world,” he added.
Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, credited the performance of the foreign trade sector to Dubai’s advanced infrastructure and policies.
He pointed out that Dubai Customs was the first to introduce many advanced systems and programmes in support of Dubai’s preparations to host Dubai Expo 2020.
“We are offering a plethora of facilities and advanced services to traders and investors that will make their experience of doing business with Dubai memorable,” he said. “For example, the AEO programme has successfully taken off and continues to be implemented across the UAE under the aegis of the Federal Customs Authority.”
“The new economic scheme follows the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, towards boosting the performance of the UAE’s foreign trade to better secure the UAE’s post-oil future,” he added. “The AEO programme is creating seamless commercial links between the UAE and the rest of the world.”
Dubai’s airborne trade accounted for AED 302-billion while seaborne trade recorded AED 237-billion. Trade conducted through land transportation weighed in at AED 106-billion.
China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in the first half of 2018 with AED 69 billion worth of trade.
This reflects the strong ties between China and the UAE which witnessed remarkable development underlined by the Chinese President’s recent state visit to the UAE.
India came second with AED 56 billion, followed by the USA in the third place with AED 39 billion. Saudi Arabia remains the largest Arab trade partner to the UAE and comes as its fourth largest global trade partner with AED 29 billion.
Gold topped the list of high-value commodities in Dubai's foreign trade in the first half of 2018 with AED 76 billion worth of trade. Next on the list was phones with AED 75 billion worth of trade, followed by jewellery (AED 51 billion), diamonds (AED 47 billion), and cars with AED 33 billion.