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Dubai trade surges to Dh600b

Figures are the highest in Dubai's trade history, Dubai Ports CEO says

Port Rashid in Dubai
Image Credit: Gulf News archive
DP World’s UAE ports, including those at Jebel Ali and Port Rashid in Dubai, have seen consolidated growth of 1 per cent.
Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade swelled by 12 per cent to Dh600 billion in the first half of 2012 compared to Dh535 billion in the same period last year, Dubai Customs announced on Monday.

Ahmad Butti Ahmad, CEO of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (DPCFZC), said that Dubai’s imports was valued at Dh356 billion during the first half of 2012 compared to Dh320 billion in the same period in 2011, showing a 11.5 per cent increase.

The value of exports and re-exports in the first half of 2012 amounted to over Dh245 billion, a 13 per cent increase compared to the Dh217 billion achieved in 2011, he added.

According to Butti Ahmad: “The figures of Dubai’s foreign trade in the first half of 2012 is the highest ever in the trade history of the emirate.”

“Comparing this figures to the same period of 2008, the booming era, Dubai’s foreign trade achieved Dh458 billion, later to drop to Dh361 billion in the first half of 2009 as a result of world economic crisis.”

However, Dubai’s trade grew steadily through 2010 and 2011 to Dh436 billion and Dh537 billion, respectively.

The UAE’s openness to the world markets, combined with its capacity to deal with diverse consumer products, has helped to address cultural diversification in the country, said Butti Ahmad.

Gold is the most valuable trade for the city with imports and exports worth a total of Dh59 billion, followed by Jewellery at Dh25 billion, Diamond at Dh24 billion, Telecommunication networks at Dh23 billion and vehicles at Dh15 billion.

Trade partners

India is currently ranked as Dubai’s top trading partner in terms of imports, exports and re-exports, achieving a total value of over Dh77 billion representing 13 per cent of the total Dubai foreign trade. It emerged as Dubai’s top exporting and re-exporting destination and came second in terms of imports, following China at Dh53 billion representing 9 per cent of Dubai’s overall foreign trade, the US came in third place at Dh36 billion by six per cent, Switzerland is at fourth place with Dh32 billion by five per cent followed by Saudi Arabia at Dh23 billion by four per cent, Dubai Customs said.

Customs data showed that growing purchasing power has contributed to the increase in the volume of imports exports. “Moreover, high quality Emirati made products, the promotion of the national industry and the strategic facilities offered to exporters have also played a significant role in increasing export volumes,” said Butti Ahmad.

The 12 per cent rise in trade to over Dh600 billion in the first half of this year will spillover into a similar rate of growth for the coming years as well, Irfan Al Hassani, a UAE-based economist told Gulf News.

Dubai has been showing steady economic growth despite global economic challenges, he added.

Dubai ports function as a re-export hub for the entire Gulf region with its port infrastructure highly praised for operating to global standards. Indeed DP World is the world’s third largest port operator and sets these standards. Dubai is the Hong Kong or Singapore of the Middle East.

“Trade facilities and well planned infrastructure, including the airports and ports, in addition to logistics services, have all made Dubai the preferred business centre in the region,” he said.

Inter-regional trade remains a great potential source of future business but the facts show that it is not at the moment. The Middle East sells oil, gas and petrochemicals and buys just about everything else it needs from the rest of the world with the exception of some modest local production, Al Hassani said.


Key numbers


12 per cent -- Growth of Dubai’s Trade during the first six months of 2012

Dh600 billion -- Dubai’s total trade during the first half of 2012

Dh535 billion --- Dubai’s total trade during the first half of 2011

Dh245 billion -- Value of Dubai’s exports and re-exports in the first half of 2012