Dubai aims bigger global trade slice in 2012

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An aerial view of Dubai. Photo - AP

One of Dubai’s top foreign trade officials announced city’s global trade is expected to increase by 20% to AED1.1 trillion ($300 billion) in 2012.

Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, said he expected a strong boost in trade. “Because of uncertainty in the world economy, our expectations for 2012 are 15-20% growth for non-oil and non-free zone. There are expectations of a drop in Eurozone GDP and in China’s and India’s GDP,” Al Saleh said while speaking on the sidelines of the Diplomatic Circle Dinner held by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Wednesday.

“Compared to last year’s result, Dubai trade will jump to AED1.1 trillion in 2012,” the trade ministry official added while attributing the increase to Dubai’s commercial links with fast-growing economies such as India, China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Hamad Bu Amim, Director General of the Dubai Chamber, also said in his keynote speech that the trade sector is once again leading Dubai’s economic growth.

“Dubai Chamber members’ exports and re-exports increased 12% in February compared to the same month last year to AED19.7 billion ($5.36bn),” he said. Bu Amim also thanked diplomats for their contributions and commitment to Dubai economy.

He insisted that the Dubai Chamber would explore and expand its business ties with key growth areas across the globe including Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and South East Asia.

“As part of our new strategy to explore new emerging markets, we need your support and cooperation to help us reach out to international businesses in your respective countries and to have a frequent exchange of trade missions and business networking meetings to consolidate our bilateral ties,” the Director General of Dubai Chamber added.

Dubai grabbed the ninth spot among the top 20 global destinations visited by people around the world in 2011. It was also ranked 18th among top 20 cities by international visitor spending, which totalled $8 million in last year’s list. The Emirati city was ninth among 10 cities in terms of the most popular business locations.

“Dubai has made its mark as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The Dubai International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the world, having received over 50 million passengers in 2011, reinforcing its position as the world’s fifth largest airport.”

He also said that Dubai hotels’ 86.2% occupancy in January made it the top destination among 15 others, while occupancy went up from 75.4%  in the same month last year.

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