Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade crossed the Dh2 trillion mark for the first time in 2022. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade reached a record Dh1.24 trillion in the first half of 2023, marking a 14.4 per cent surge compared to the same period in 2022.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said, “The UAE’s non-oil exports continue to break records, experiencing a 22 per cent increase with its top 10 global trading partners in 2023.”

“The UAE will remain a major player in international trade, maintaining its position as a bridge linking the East with the West, and the North with the South.”

UAE trade
UAE trade Image Credit: WAM

These accomplishments, as per His Highness, reflect the success of the UAE’s balanced trading strategy under the leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Vice President emphasized the country’s ongoing role as a key player in global trade, connecting East to West and North to South.

Record-breaking non-oil exports were a significant contributor, totalling Dh205 billion in H1-2023, up by 11.9 per cent year-on-year. Notably, these exports in the first half of 2023 surpassed the entire exports of 2017. Non-oil exports accounted for 16.6 per cent of the UAE’s total foreign trade in H1 2023, compared to an estimated 14.2 pe rcent during the same period in 2019.

Re-exports and imports also showed substantial growth. Re-exports reached Dh341 billion in H1 2023, a 9.9 per cent increase from H1 2022. Imports rose to Dh693 billion, a 17.5 per cent jump from same period last year.

UAE’s top trading partners

According to the data released by the Ministry of Economy, China maintained its position as the leading global trading partner for the UAE, followed by India, the US, and Saudi Arabia. Following the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed in March, Turkey climbed to fifth place. The top 10 trading partners collectively witnessed a 16.7 per cent growth in non-oil trade, while other markets contributed to 12.4 per cent growth.

Turkey exhibited remarkable growth with an 87.4 per cent increase compared to H1 2022, representing 4 per cent of the UAE’s total non-oil foreign trade.

The UAE’s non-oil exports to the top 10 partners grew by 22.9 per cent. Among these, Switzerland topped the list, with Turkey moving to second place. Gold, aluminium, oils, cigarettes, copper wires, jewellery, and aluminium were the key exports. Gold exports experienced the most significant growth, rising by 40.7 per cent to reach Dh218.3 billion, contributing 17.6 per cent to the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade.