Dafza Image Credit: File photo

Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (Dafza), a state-run economic zone that includes Dubai International Airport, reported that non-oil foreign trade volumes jumped 62 per cent in 2018 to hit Dh146 billion.

The significant growth is largely due to the increase in exports and re-exports, which amounted to Dh83.3 billion, an increase of 90 per cent over the previous year, as well as by robust imports, which soared 35 per cent to reach Dh62.5 billion.

According to the latest data from Dafza, non-Arab Asian countries accounted for 46 per cent of Dubai’s non-oil trade in 2018, amounting to Dh66.5 billion.

Arab countries came closely behind at 27 per cent, with a value of Dh39.5 billion, while Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states comprised 62 per cent at Dh24.5 billion.

The value of non-oil foreign trade with India, which amounted to Dh24.1 billion, emerged as the highest, followed by China, with a value of Dh24 billion and Switzerland, with Dh23 billion.

Dafza, which has been the home for major global fortune 500 brands, including Richemont Group, Airbus, Boeing, GE Aviationa, Rolls Royce and Panasonic Avionics, also saw a six per cent increase in the number of multinational companies (MNCs) signing up last year.

In terms of earnings, Dafza saw its net profit increase by five per cent, while its total assets grew by three per cent.

Dafza’s budget for the year has been increased to Dh1 billion, reflecting the free zone’s commitment to continuously increase its contribution to Dubai’s non-oil-trade.

The authority’s investment in new expansion projects is estimated to be around Dh780 million, representing 78 per cent of the new outlay.