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UAE Non Oil Foreign Trade Hits New High as Dubai Non Oil Trade Increases by 12% for a Dh 600 Billion Boost


Middle East : 31 August 2012

Non Oil Foreign Trade in the UAE Reaches AED 1.3 Trillion Last Year

Non oil foreign trade rose to AED 1.3 trillion last year, an increase of AED 200 million or 18.2 percent over the 2010 figures, according to the FCA (or Federal Customs Authority).

A recent FCA statement put total non oil foreign trade in the UAE at AED 927.7 billion for this year, as trade within free zones jumped to AED 367.7 billion. Imports were valued at AED 212.5 billion and exports and re-exports totaled AED 145.2 billion.

According to an FCA press release, the 2011 data indicates recovery within the national economy and a higher rate of competitiveness within global markets. These figures also indicate the success of government policies put in place during the global financial crisis. Diversification policies have improved market activity and made national products more competitive.

Imports have regained the growth experienced before the worldwide financial crisis, and have reached AED 602.8 billion last year, a 24 percent increase over AED 485.4 billion reported in 2010. According to these figures, global markets trust the public and private sectors in the UAE, and have faith that the retail sector will recover well.

Significant exports growth indicates that national products are gaining competitiveness and capturing a wider piece of world markets.

Imports totaled around AED 369.9 billion last year. The FCA noted that ten nations captured nearly 67 percent of total imports in the UAE.

Non Oil Trade in Dubai Boosted by 12 Percent in Opening Six Months

India continues to be the leading trading partner for Dubai, as non oil foreign trade reached a record high of AED 602 billion in the opening six months of 2012. This figure is 12 percent higher than the same period last year, according to the recent stats from Dubai Customs.

Imports for Dubai have grown by 11.5 percent over the first half of 2012, reaching AED 357 billion, up from AED 320 billion in the opening half of last year. Exports and re-exports have risen by 13 percent, up from AED 217 billion in the first half of 2011 to AED 245 billion in the opening six months of 2012.

Director General of Dubai Customs Ahmed Butti Ahmad stated that this data includes direct trade (non oil), as well as customs warehouses and trade within the free zones. He praised the foreign trade sector in Dubai for pushing beyond the AED 600 billion barrier for the first time ever.

Gold was at the top of imports for Dubai, including worked, semi-manufactured and unwrought, with a total of AED 59 billion imported over the opening half of this year. Jewelry imports totaled AED 25 billion, diamond imports reached AED 24 billion and imports of telecom equipment totaled AED 23 billion. AED 15 billion in automobile imports were recorded.

Gold also remained at the top of Dubai’s exports over the first half of 2012, reaching a total value of AD 42 billion. Diamond exports reached AED 8 billion, while jewelry and precious metal exports totaled AED 3 billion. Non-crude oil exports and aluminum exports totaled AED 2 billion each.

Telecom equipment led the re-exports for Dubai, with a total value of AED 29 billion. Diamond re-exports totaled AED 15 billion, with precious metal and jewelry re-exports totaling AED 11 billion. Dubai recorded AED 10 billion in oil product re-exports and AED 9 billion in IT machinery re-exports.

India remains the leading trading partner for Dubai, according to data from the Department of Strategy & Corporate Excellence at Dubai Customs. Total trade value between India and Dubai equaled AED 77 billion, or 13 percent of the overall foreign trade in Dubai. China took second place with AED 53 billion in trade, or 9 percent of Dubai’s total foreign trade exchange. Switzerland recorded AED 32 billion in trade with Dubai, or 5 percent of the total, and Saudi Arabia recorded AED 23 billion, or 4 percent of the total.

Dubai’s trade exchange with these five nations reached AED 221 billion overall, representing 37 percent of the overall foreign trade in the opening half of this year.

Butti Ahmad stated that these figures represent the highest trading within the Emirate’s history. Compared to the boom of 2008, where trade hit Dh 458 billion before dropping to Dh 361 billion in 2009, these historic highs are truly impressive.

Trade in Dubai grew steadily in 2010, reaching Dh 436 billion, as well as last year when it hit Dh 537 billion.

Open to global markets and able to provide a diversity of consumer products, the UAE has dealt with cultural diversification across the nation.

Customs data indicates that increasing purchasing power has helped to drive increases in imports exports. High quality products, strategic facilities for exporters and promotions showcasing UAE industry have played a part in rising export volumes.

Economist Irfan Al Hassani noted that this 12 percent boost in trade during the opening six months of this year is likely to continue. Dubai has shown stable economic growth in spite of worldwide economic challenges, according to Al Hassani.

Dubai ports serve as a hub for re-exports heading around the Gulf region, mainly due to the highly acclaimed infrastructure that operates on global standards. DP World, the third largest port operator in the world, sets and upholds these standards. Dubai is to the Middle East what Singapore or Hong Kong is to Asia.

Well designed infrastructure and trade facilities, such as ports, airports and logistics services, have made Dubai the leading centre of business for the region, stated Al Hassani.

Trade within the region continues to offer a source of potential business for the future, although it is not currently recognized as such. Al Hassani noted that the Middle East deals in oil, petrochemicals and gas, but purchases almost anything else required besides the modest regional production

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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