Workers load cargo on to a dhow at Dubai Creek. Dubai Chamber’s half-year data put its members’ exports and re-exports in the first half of 2011 at Dh17 billion. Image Credit: Javed Nawab/Gulf News archive

Dubai: Dubai's trade value increased 16.5 per cent to Dh120.2 billion during the first half of the year, compared to Dh103.2 billion reported during the corresponding period last year, according to a report issued by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The report is based on the performance of Dubai Chamber's members. Between January and June, a total of 5,233 new members joined the trade body representing a 3 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2010, when 5,098 new members joined.

Dubai Chamber currently has 123,000 members.

Dubai Chamber's half-year data shows that its members' exports and re-exports between January and June 2011 stood at Dh17 billion.

Hamad Bu Amim, director general, Dubai Chamber, said, the half year results were positive and pointed to continued strength in Dubai's economy.

"Our members' export and re-export figures are a good indicator of the health of Dubai's trade sector, so it is extremely positive to see year-on-year growth reach double figures. The trade sector plays such a major role in the overall health of Dubai's economy that this is certainly a strong indicator that the economy is on track to meet its forecast percentage growth this year," Bu Amim said.

During the same period, Dubai Chamber issued a total of 344,067 certificates of origin, an increase of 8 per cent compared to the 318,557 certificates of origin issued during the first half of 2010. March was the month with the highest number of certificates issued (62,300), while February was the month with the least (50,612).

Economic experts attributed the growth in trade to higher demand and supply of food products and basic consumer items which have not been affected by the economic meltdown,

Food demand

Dr Mohammad Al Asoomi, UAE-based analyst, told Gulf News that, despite the impact of the economic crisis on the UAE market, the effect on the trade sector was not that big.

"The growth in trade relies on demand and supply of food products and basic consumer items which have not been affected by the economic meltdown," he added.

"The outcomes of the trade sector for 2011 are a clear indication that Dubai is on the recovery path, putting the financial crisis behind," he said. "With port and airport capacity, the UAE will remain the main business hub in the region."