Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade at Dhs679bn in H1 2013

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Gold chains hanging at a gold shop in Gold Souk, Dubai. Dubai’s non-oil foreign rose 16% in H1 2013 to reach Dhs679bn. Gold was both the top commodity imported as well as exported from Dubai.

Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade performance has exceed expectations in the first half of 2013 by achieving a growth of 16% from last year to reach Dhs679bn. The commendable growth has largely been fueled by a significant rise in exports by 22%, which represents a climb from Dhs69bn to Dhs84bn. Imports also registered a remarkable increase of 16%, rising to Dhs406bn compared to Dhs349bn. Re-export trade recorded a growth rate of 13%, climbing from Dhs166bn to Dhs188bn.

Dubai’s foreign trade growth accelerated from nine percent in the first half of 2012 to 13% for the entire year. Dubai’s foreign trade during the first half of 2013 has exceeded the expected growth rate for the entire year, which was estimated to be at 14%.

The figures quoted for the growth reflect the ability of foreign trade to benefit from the growth of other sectors. The spill-over effect can be observed from the significant growth of the tourism sector which subsequently contributed to the growth of trade, as the number of tourists who visited Dubai in the first half of 2013 increased by 11% to reach 5.5m tourists. This follows the record growth in 2012, with 10m tourists and a 9.3% annual growth rate compared to 2011.

The growth in Dubai’s non-oil trade exchanges is a result of efficient and effective economic policies upheld by Dubai Government. These polices sustain development to serve the emirate’s strategic objectives.

Dubai’s foreign trade statistics show that India comes in first place among the Dubai’s trade partners in the first half of 2013, as the value of exchanged goods is Dhs81bn compared to Dhs77bn for the same period last year; followed by China in the second place with a trade value of Dhs63bn against Dhs54bn. The United States came in the third place with the value of foreign trade at Dhs45bn compared to Dhs37bn. The United Kingdom came in the fourth place with Dhs30bn compared to Dhs12bn.

Trade with GCC countries witnessed a continuous increase, as it recorded a growth percentage of 17% in the first half of 2013 to reach Dhs58bn compared to Dhs50bn achieved in the first half of last year. In full coordination with the Federal Customs Authority, Dubai Customs is keen to fulfill the requirements of the GCC Customs Union, and is scheduled to start the execution of its final phase by the beginning of 2015. Dubai Customs effectively contributes in moving forward towards achieving this goal, especially in terms of reaching unified procedures to distribute the customs’ revenues in order to finish all the arrangements prior to the set date.

The UAE total foreign trade with the Arab countries has achieved a growth of 8% to reach Dhs105bn in the first half of this year against Dhs98bn for the same period last year. This increase reflects Dubai’s ability to attract Arab businesses, despite the political and security tensions in many Arab countries that are major players in the trade movement. The growth of trade with the European Union has also increased in spite of the financial crises that some of the European countries witnessed, as the amount of Dubai’s foreign trade with the European Union in the first half of 2013 reached Dhs103bn, compared to Dhs79bn for the same period last year, representing a 31% growth percentage.

In terms of commodities distribution of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade in the first half of 2013, gold was on top of imports, recording a value of Dhs81bn; followed by mobile and land phone devices that were equal to Dhs40 billon. Next came the loose diamonds, which amounted to Dhs27bn; then ordinary cars and racing cars, which amounted to Dhs18bn, and finally different types of jewelry and parts of jewelry, which amounted to Dhs17bn.

As for the exports, gold was on top of the exported commodities from Dubai at a value of Dhs50bn; followed by raw aluminum amounting to Dhs3bn; then petroleum oils amounting to Dhs2bn; various types of jewelry and parts of jewelry amounting to Dhs2bn, and cigars and tobacco substitute cigarettes amounting to Dhs2bn.

In re-export, mobile and land phones were on top of the list, as they reached Dhs36bn, followed by loose diamonds at Dhs30bn, computers and parts of computers at Dhs10bn; then jewelry and parts of jewelry at Dhs7bn; followed by gold at Dhs7bn.

Dubai Customs contributed to enhancing the flow of consumer goods to the local markets during the high seasons, such as feasts and the holy month of Ramadan, through the rapid pace of customs clearance procedures and the guarantee that the consignments reach the traders on due time. This enabled traders to meet the increased demand typical of the holiday season. Dubai Customs continually follows-up on changes in local markets to address their business needs in a timely manner, and in line with the UAE government’s efforts to reduce the unjustified increase in prices.


Photo-Eole Wind/Flickr

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