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Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, Image Credit: Twitter/Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Dubai’s foreign trade recorded a strong 31 per cent growth during the first-half of 2021 reaching Dh722 billion, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

"We continue to strengthen ties with the world in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s vision to raise foreign trade to Dh5 billion over the next 5 years," said Sheikh Hamdan in a series of tweets.

"Dubai facilitates trade growth for stakeholders with its world-class logistics and advanced IT infrastructure that streamlines transactions. We build on our vast experience to tackle any challenges that may arise in global markets." he added.

Exports grew 45 per cent year-on-year in H1-2021 to Dh109.8 billion from Dh75.8 billion, which supports the goal of the 10 x 10 programme (to increase the UAE’s exports to 10 global markets by 10 per cent annually). Imports rose by 29.3 per cent year-on-year to Dh414 billion from Dh320 billion. Re-exports grew 28.3 per cent to Dh198.6 from Dh154.79.

Dubai’s existing sea and air network will be expanded to cover 200 new cities around the world. We are confident that we will continue to build on our growth momentum to achieve our ambitious sustainable development projects and plans.

- Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai

“The accelerated pace of external trade growth also reflects Dubai’s role in facilitating and streamlining worldwide trade and supply chains,” said Sheikh Hamdan. “With Dubai all set to receive delegates from 191 nations at Expo 2020, the emirate’s outstanding trade performance further raises its profile as a trading powerhouse.”

The volume of Dubai’s non-oil external trade in the first-half of 2021 rose 10 per cent to 48 million tons compared to 43.7 million tons during the same period last year. Exports skyrocketed 30.8 per cent year-on-year to reach 10.1 million tons. Re-exports totalled 7 million tons growing by 10.6 per cent, and imports rose by 4.25 per cent to 31 million tons.

“Dubai is at the forefront of international economic recovery and we are on track to increase our global trade to Dh2 trillion in the coming years,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

Dubai’s World Logistics Passport (WLP) initiative is helping to reimagine how goods and services move around the globe,

- Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation

The advanced systems at Dubai Customs completed 12.7 million customs declarations in eight months; an average of 55,000 daily. Customs transactions in H1-2021 grew 53.4 per cent to 11.2 million.

Dubai’s top trade partners
China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in H1-2021 with Dh86.7 billion worth of trade compared to Dh66.3 billion in the corresponding period in 2020, up 30.7 per cent. Trade with India grew 74.5 per cent year-on-year to Dh67.1 billion from Dh38.5 billion. Trade with the US amounted to Dh32 billion up 1 per cent from Dh31.7 billion. Saudi Arabia came fourth with Dh30.5 billion up 26 per cent year-on-year from Dh24.1 billion, followed by Switzerland with Dh24.8 billion up 2.3 per cent from Dh24.2 billion.

The total share of the five biggest trade partners during first six months of 2021 amounted to Dh241.21 billion compared to Dh185.06 billion during same time last year, up by 30.34 per cent.

Top commodities exported from Dubai:

  • Gold topped the list of commodities with Dh138.8 billion (19.2 per cent of Dubai trade)
  • Telecoms at Dh94 billion (13 per cent)
  • Diamonds came third in the list at Dh57.3 billion (8 per cent)
  • Jewellery at Dh34.1 billion (4.7 per cent)
  • Vehicle trade at Dh28 billion (4 per cent)

Direct trade during January to June period totalled Dh445.6 billion, up 39.5 per cent, while trade through free zones reached Dh272 billion, up 19.8 per cent. Customs warehouse trade weighed in at Dh4.5 billion, up 8.1 per cent. Airborne trade accounted for Dh364.8 billion, up by 46.15 per cent from Dh249.6 billion in H1-2020.

Sea trade reached Dh247.5 billion, up 16.7 per cent, while land trade touched Dh110 billion, up 23.7 per cent compared to Dh88.8 billion.