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Dubai external trade surges by 31% at Dhs722.3 billion

Dubai’s non-oil external trade surged 31 per cent in the first half of 2021 to reach Dhs 722.3 billion from Dhs 550.6 billion in the corresponding period in 2020.

Exports grew 45 per cent year on year (YoY) in H1 2021 to Dhs 109.8 billion from Dhs 75.8 billion, which supports the goal of the 10 x 10 programme (one of the nation’s ‘Projects of the 50’ initiatives) to increase the UAE’s exports to 10 global markets by 10 per cent annually. Imports rose by 29.3 per cent YoY to Dhs414 billion from Dhs 320 billion. Re-exports grew 28.3 per cent YoY to Dhs198.6 from Dhs154.79.

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, said Dubai, guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has reinforced its status as one of the world’s fastest growing business hubs.

Sheikh Hamdan said, “This marked growth in trade demonstrates the success of Dubai’s strategic plan to consolidate its position as a global logistics and trade hub that connects the world’s diverse markets. 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.”

He added, “The accelerated pace of external trade growth also reflects Dubai’s growing global role in facilitating and streamlining worldwide trade and supply chains. With Dubai all set to receive delegates from 191 nations at Expo 2020 Dubai, 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 percent to 48 million tonnes compared to 43.7 million tonnes in H1 2020. Exports skyrocketed 30.8 percent YoY to reach 10.1 million tonnes. Re-exports totalled 7 million tonnes growing by 10.6 percent, and imports rose by 4.25 per cent to 31 million tonnes. Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said, “This growth in trade reaffirms Dubai’s ability to turn challenges into opportunities based on strategic plans that leverage the stability and flexibility of its economy. Dubai is at the forefront of international economic recovery and we are on track to increase our global trade to Dhs2 trillion in the coming years. Trade is turning into the main growth catalyst of the economy of the UAE and Dubai under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. We continue to raise our commitment to developing customs services according to the evolving needs of businesses and investors and build more trade bridges to reach out to new markets.”

Bin Sulayem added, “Furthermore, Dubai’s World Logistics Passport (WLP) initiative is helping to reimagine how goods and services move around the globe, boost resilience in global supply chains and remove the barriers that prevent developing economies from trading as freely as they might. We are happy that 10 new countries have joined the world’s first logistics loyalty programme that brings together airport authorities, port operators and shipping agents. This incentive-based loyalty programme enables freight forwarders, traders and business owners to draw the maximum possible benefits from their trading operations, which can be translated to an increase of 5 percent to 10 percent in revenues.”

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and Director-General of Dubai Customs, said, “Standing true to our slogan: Gateway to Dubai’s Prosperity, we keep developing and investing in advanced technologies to deliver the best smart customs services globally that add tangible value to our clients.”

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 percent to 11.2 million.

China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in H1 2021 with Dhs 86.7 billion worth of trade compared to Dhs 66.3 billion in H1 2020, up 30.7 percent YoY. Trade with India grew 74.5 percent YoY to Dhs 67.1 billion from Dhs 38.5 billion. Trade with the USA amounted to Dhs 32 billion up 1 percent YoY from Dhs 31.7. Saudi Arabia came fourth with Dhs30.5 billion up 26 percent YoY from Dhs 24.1 billion, followed by Switzerland withDhs 24.8 up 2.3 percent YoY from Dhs 24.2 billion.

The total share of the five biggest trade partners in H1 2020 amounted to AED241.21 billion compared to AED185.06 billion in H1 2020, up 30.34 percent. Gold topped the list of commodities in Dubai’s H1 external trade at AED138.8 billion (19.2 percent of Dubai trade), followed by telecoms at AED94 billion (13 percent). Diamonds came third in the list at AED57.3 billion (8 percent), followed by jewelry at AED34.1 billion (4.7 percent), and vehicle trade at AED28 billion (4 percent).

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