Dubai posts impressive trade figures

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Aerial view of a terminal at Dubai Port. Photo - Carter S'

Dubai’s direct trade with the world rose by 27% in the last five months whereas direct trade exchange with the world was recorded at Dh 228 billion over the same period of time last year. This year it has risen to Dh 289 billion.

?Likewise, free zone trade scored a 25 per cent growth and valued at Dh160 billion as opposed to Dh128 billion in the same period last year,” Ahmed Butti, the Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said while speaking to reporters. The customs and warehouse business has recorded a growth of 58%, he added.

?Thus, the total of Dubai trade volume, which includes direct trade, free zones and customs warehouses, jumped to Dh452 billion compared to the Dh358 billion last year with a growth rate of 26 per cent,? said the executive chairman.

According to Dubai Customs statistics, a growth of 36% which is the equivalent of Dh36.4 billion, has been registered in the volume of Dubai exports from January to May, 2011, while last year, the figure was around Dh26.7 billion. Dubai imports grew by 23 %, reaching Dh178.8 billion in the same period compared to Dh145.6 billion in 2010.


According to Mr. Butti, who is also Dubai Customs Director-General, ?The record rates scored prove that Dubai has already overcome the financial crisis which stormed the international markets and still does.? The country?s performance can be attributed to its economic diversity and its position in the business world as a business centre, he added.

?This indicates a growing purchasing power, available attractive opportunities in the local market, and a pressing local demand for consumption goods,? the government official underlined in his statement. “Dubai?s infrastructure supports export and import operations,” he continued while adding that re-exports also experienced a boom of Dh74.2 billion over Dh55.8 billion last year, an increase of 33%.?

?Statistics showed that Dubai imports from India stood at Dh41.3 billion from January to May 2011 whereas Dubai exports to India were estimated at around Dh16 billion and the goods and products re-exported to India hit Dh30 billion mark,? Butti explained. With over Dh87 billion of trade transactions with India, it represented 30% of Dubai?s trade with the world. India stood as the biggest direct trading partner of the UAE, both in terms of imports and exports in the first five months of the year.

China came second, while the US stayed at third position on the list of trading partners of Dubai. ?Dubai imports reached Dh18.5 billion from China and Dh13.1 billion from the US whereas Germany came fourth with around Dh10 billion,? Butti said. Switzerland ranked second in Dubai exports list with a value of Dh2.7 billion and Saudi Arabia followed with Dh1.7 billion.

The most imported goods to Dubai are rough and manufactured diamonds and they are valued at around Dh31 billion. ?Gold ore came second with over Dh29.5 billion, followed by jewellery, accessories and precious metals with a value of over Dh10.1 billion, and cars and spare-parts with more than Dh7.7 billion,? Butti said.

In terms of the emirate?s exports, gold topped the list with over Dh22 billion. Petroleum oil and bituminous minerals came on second with a value of Dh1.5 billion.

The figures for re-exports show that diamonds were at the top of the list for the first 5 months of the year, at a value of Dh 33.2 billion. Cars and spare parts came in second, valued at Dh3.75 and finally jewelry and precious metals with a value of Dh3.1 billion.


Mr. Butti said that not only were the rates positive and promising from January to May 2011 but also reflects the competitiveness and accessibility of local goods in the outside markets as well as external trader and consumer trust in the Emirati goods which meet high quality international standards.?

The rising figures of Dubai?s trade indicate the status of the country?s economy and reiterates its status as an important business hub. These figures will not only maintain Dubai?s image as an economic hub, they will attract further investment into the country and push it upwards.

Sources: Khaleej Times, Middle East North Africa Financial Network

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