Dubai Says Its Non-oil Foreign Trade Worth $263 bn During Jan-Sept 2015

Dubai has seen a high-value foreign trade due to the substantial upsurge in the total volume of goods imported, exported or re-exported via the emirate. REUTERS/Karim Sahib/Pool

DUBAI Dec. 30 – Dubai has managed to contain the impact of the instability of the global economic environment, marked by a decline in commodity prices and currency rates, to maintain a strong economic performance in 2015 writes the Government of Dubai’s Media Office. Despite the adverse impact of the recent downturn in oil and precious metals prices – including gold, Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade reached AED 966 billion ($263 billion) during the first nine months of 2015.

Imports had the biggest share of the overall trade with a value of AED 597 billion while exports and re-exports totaled AED 100 billion ($27.23 billion) and AED 269 billion ($73.25 billion) respectively, states the press release.

From January to September 2015, direct trade contributed AED 603 billion ($164 billion) of Dubai’s total foreign trade value; while free zones contributed AED 340 billion ($92.58 billion) and customs warehouses AED 23 billion ($6.26 billion).

“Dubai has been exemplary in surmounting the impact of the trade and economic hardships the world is currently facing, thanks to the wisdom of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness’s vision of diversifying the economic structure of Dubai to withstand and avoid being affected by sharp fluctuations witnessed across many key economic sectors globally,” the Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), and Chairman of DP World Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem was quoted as saying in the release.

“The foreign trade sector has enhanced Dubai’s capacity to build sustainable economic growth. Alongside other economic sectors, particularly tourism, it has positioned Dubai as a leading global and regional trading and business hotspot, in spite of the general slowdown in the world economy,” he said.

Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih said: “Dubai Customs is keen on constantly improving the efficiency of its customs services to a level that brings traders and investors, who choose Dubai as their preferred destination, real added value and increasing business returns.”

He further said: “In preparation for Dubai Expo 2020, which will be staged in less than five years from now, Dubai Customs has launched ambitious growth-driving initiatives to sustain the healthy performance of the foreign trade sector, such as the ​AEO program, the Virtual Freight and Logistics Corridor, the e-Inspection facility and many more. We also work closely with other government agencies to deliver an integrated package of superior customs services and trade simplifications to increase Dubai’s appeal as a major trade hub.”

Dubai has seen a high-value foreign trade due to the substantial upsurge in the total volume of goods imported, exported or re-exported via the emirate. The quantity of commodities traded went up 5 per cent from 60.6 million tons in the first nine months of 2014 to 63.7 million tons in the same period in 2015 – a growth of 3.1 million tons. Likewise, during the last four years from 2012 to 2015, the volume of goods in Dubai foreign trade grew by 23 per cent with an overall increase of 11.86 million tons.

Such a rise in the volume of cargo traded through Dubai proves the emirate’s successful expansion in terms of imports, exports and re-exports, attracting traders from all parts of the world and making inroads into new markets in five continents. This augmentation has helped Dubai minimize the impact of lower commodity prices, especially the global gold price that further dropped off in 2015.

The impact of declining gold prices was contained by a remarkable increase in its traded volume to 1.028 million kilograms in the first nine months of 2015, compared to around 977 thousand kilograms in the same period of 2014.

Gold also had the second biggest share in the total value of Dubai foreign trade during January-September 2015 with a value worth AED 92.54 billion ($25.2 billion). Phones and telecommunications equipment came first with a 6.3 per cent growth and AED 137.6 ($32.2) billion market share.

Aluminium trade in Q3 of 2015 jumped 42.68 per cent, totalling a value of AED 12.14 billion ($33.7 billion) , whereas jewelry amounted to AED 48.44 billion ($13.19 billion) up by 19.2 per cent.


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