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Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade rises 2.7% to reach AED 327 billion in Q1 2017


Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade grew 2.7 per cent to US$89.1 billion (Dh327 billion) in the first quarter of 2017 compared to Dh318 billion in the same quarter of 2016, according to data published by Dubai Customs.

Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, “Dubai has been able to offset the impact of key challenges including major currency fluctuations and slower global economic growth, and increase its non-oil foreign trade as well as cement its position as a regional and global business hub. We seek to enhance the UAE’s competiveness by developing commercial and customs services that bring significant financial benefits for all those that choose Dubai as a hub for their operations.”

Imports accounted for the lion’s share of non-oil foreign trade at Dh201 billion (3% growth) while exports accounted for Dh35 billion and re-exports Dh91 billion (5% growth).

The volume of Dubai’s external non-oil trade reached 24 million tonnes, while imports reached 15.84 million tonnes, re-exports 4.24 million tonnes, and exports 3.84 million tonnes. Direct trade grew 3.5% to Dh209 billion in the first quarter of 2017, while Free Zone trade accounted for Dh108.5 billion. Customs warehouse trade grew 31 per cent in the first quarter to reach Dh9.1 billion compared to the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade conducted through land transportation grew 14.7 per cent to reach Dh61 billion in the first quarter while sea trade accounted for Dh118 billion, and air trade reached Dh147.3 growing 1.1 per cent.

DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said, “We won the first place on the happiness index last year scoring 96.2 per cent, and this is evident in the volume and results of 2.329 million declarations carried out during the first three months of 2017 and 9.1 million declarations done in 2016.”

Asia topped the list of markets that conduct non-oil trade with Dubai, accounting for business worth Dh208 billion in Q1 2017. Europe came second with Dh54 billion, Africa third at Dh32 billion, North America fourth at Dh25 billion, South America fifth at Dh4 billion, and Oceania including Australia sixth at Dh3 billion. 

China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest partner in Q1 2017 with Dh44.15 billion worth of trade or 13.5 per cent of the total value, followed by India with Dh25.4 billion representing 7.8 per cent of Dubai’s total non-oil foreign trade, while the USA came third with a total Dh22 billion or 6.7 per cent of total trade.

Saudi Arabia is Dubai’s leading business partner among GCC and Arab countries, and its fourth biggest trade partner, with business worth Dh15.22 billion, representing 4.7 per cent of Dubai’s total trade with the world.  

Mobile phones topped the list of high-value commodities in Dubai’s foreign trade, in the first three months of 2017, with Dh45 billion (14% of total trade). This supports Dubai’s transformation into the world’s smartest city and its growth as a major regional and global trading hub for ICT products.  

Next on the list was gold with Dh39 billion (12% of total trade), followed by diamonds at Dh26 billion (8% of total trade). Vehicles came fourth at Dh18 billion (5% of total trade), followed by jewellery at Dh15 billion (5% of total trade).