Dubai: Customs transactions saw a significant rise of 23 per cent to reach 16 million in 2020, despite the challenging global environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The strong growth from the 13 million transactions registered in 2019 reflects the resilience of Dubai’s economy and its ability to turn challenges into opportunities, Government of Dubai Media Office said in a press release.
Around 15.9 million (99.3 per cent) of last year’s transactions were completed through the organisation’s smart and electronic channels.
The number of customs declarations grew 30 per cent in 2020 to 13.8 million from 10.6 million in 2019, an average of 1.1 million a month. The Smart Workspace Platform enables completion of a declaration in less than five minutes, and 97 per cent of transactions receive automatic approval without any human intervention.
In yet another strong indication of investors’ trust in the national economy, business registration requests grew 37 per cent to 250,000 from 182,000 in 2019. Customs refund requests saw 875,000 applications and certificates, while there were 475,000 report and certificate requests, and 334,000 inspection booking requests.
“Dubai Government has implemented strong plans and programmes to ensure quick recovery from the impact of the pandemic. The Dh7.1 billion stimulus package launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has enhanced liquidity, reduced the impact of the global economic situation, and ensured continuous flow of local and foreign investments,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.
Around 99.3 per cent of customs transactions were completed through smart and electronic channels: 61.8 per cent for smart channels (9.9 million transactions) and 37.5 per cent for electronic channels (6 million transactions), whereas physical visits to the customer service centres did not exceed 0.6 per cent (only 102,000 transactions).
“Our smart systems helped speed up processes to achieve record numbers in 2020. It is the first time we completed 89,000 transactions in a single day on 8 December, and 441,800 transactions in one single week, between 6 and 12 December. This makes December the most productive month in 2020, and this trend and momentum is expected to continue in 202,” said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs.