Dubai showed enough resilience against the pandemic outbreak, securing vital supplies and keeping trade routes open. Ecommerce related volumes were up a staggering 150 per cent. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Dubai's non-oil trade in the first six months totalled Dh550 billion, with imports making up Dh320 billion and exports Dh77 billion. re-exports accounted for the rest, at Dh154 billion, with the emirate able to "minimise the impact of the pandemic-induced economic slowndown", the government said in a statement. It was Dh676 billion for the same period last year.

China retained its position as Dubai’s largest trading partner with Dh66.4 billion, followed by India (Dh38.5 billion) and the US (Dh31.7 billion). Saudi Arabia continues to be Dubai’s largest Arab trade partner - and its fifth largest global one - with Dh24.1 billion.

Despite uncertain demand, gold, diamonds and jewellery topped the list of commodities at a value of Dh140 billion, followed by telecom-related hardware at Dh70 billion, and automotive in third place, with Dh25.6 billion. 

Stimulus packages hit their mark

"Dubai’s external trade sector has shown a high level of preparedness in dealing with the crisis," said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation. "It has provided exceptional trading facilities and services to help businesses around the world overcome the challenges of the current period,”

“During the pandemic, Dubai launched several stimulus packages to support the emirate’s business sector and reduce the impact of prevailing global economic conditions. The economy has efficiently navigated the turbulence in international markets by forging partnerships with markets less affected by the economic crisis."

Dubai recently launched the Food Security dashboard that uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to measure the five important indicators of food security: supply, stock availability, local production, consumption levels, and the cost of vital commodities in the emirate.

Direct trade totalled Dh320 billion, representing 58 per cent of Dubai’s external trade, while trade through free zones reached Dh227 billion (41 per cent), and customs warehouse trade at Dh4 billion (1 per cent).

With the pandemic as a catalyst, Dubai dispatched 4.3 million e-commerce-related parcels in first six months of 2020, with transactions up 150 per cent.