Dubai’s non-oil external trade surged 31% in the first half of 2021 to reach AED722.3 billion from AED550.6 billion in the corresponding period in 2020.
Exports grew 45% year on year (YoY) in H1 2021 to AED109.8 billion from AED75.8 billion, which supports the goal of the 10 x 10 programme (one of the nation’s ‘Projects of the 50’ initiatives) to increase the UAE’s exports to 10 global markets by 10% annually. Imports rose by 29.3% YoY to AED414 billion from AED320 billion. Re-exports grew 28.3% YoY to AED198.6 from AED154.79.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, said Dubai, guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has reinforced its status as one of the world’s fastest growing business hubs.
His Highness said: “This marked growth in trade demonstrates the success of Dubai’s strategic plan to consolidate its position as a global logistics and trade hub that connects the world’s diverse markets. Dubai’s existing sea and air network will be expanded to cover 200 new cities around the world. We are confident that we will continue to build on our growth momentum to achieve our ambitious sustainable development projects and plans.”
His Highness added: “The accelerated pace of external trade growth also reflects Dubai’s growing global role in facilitating and streamlining worldwide trade and supply chains. With Dubai all set to receive delegates from 191 nations at EXPO2020, the emirate’s outstanding trade performance further raises its profile as a trading powerhouse.”
The volume of Dubai’s non-oil external trade in the first half of 2021 rose 10% to 48 million tons compared to 43.7 million tons in H1 2020. Exports skyrocketed 30.8% YoY to reach 10.1 million tons. Re-exports totalled 7 million tons growing by 10.6%, and imports rose by 4.25% to 31 million tons.
Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “This growth in trade reaffirms Dubai’s ability to turn challenges into opportunities based on strategic plans that leverage the stability and flexibility of its economy. Dubai is at the forefront of international economic recovery and we are on track to increase our global trade to AED2 trillion in the coming years. Trade is turning into the main growth catalyst of the economy of the UAE and Dubai under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We continue to raise our commitment to developing customs services according to the evolving needs of businesses and investors and build more trade bridges to reach out to new markets.”
Bin Sulayem added: “Furthermore, Dubai’s World Logistics Passport (WLP) initiative is helping to reimagine how goods and services move around the globe, boost resilience in global supply chains and remove the barriers that prevent developing economies from trading as freely as they might. We are happy that 10 new countries have joined the world’s first logistics loyalty programme that brings together airport authorities, port operators and shipping agents.. This incentive-based loyalty programme enables freight forwarders, traders and business owners to draw the maximum possible benefits from their trading operations, which can be translated to an increase of 5% to 10% in revenues.”
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Director General of Dubai Customs said: “Standing true to our slogan: Gateway to Dubai’s Prosperity, we keep developing and investing in advanced technologies to deliver the best smart customs services globally that add tangible value to our clients.” The advanced systems at Dubai Customs completed 12.7 million customs declarations in eight months; an average of 55,000 daily. Customs transactions in H1 2021 grew 53.4% to 11.2 million.
China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in H1 2021 with AED86.7 billion worth of trade compared to AED66.3 billion in H1 2020, up 30.7% YoY. Trade with India grew 74.5% YoY to AED67.1 billion from AED38.5 billion. Trade with the USA amounted to AED32 billion up 1% YoY from AED31.7. Saudi Arabia came fourth with AED30.5 billion up 26% YoY from AED24.1 billion, followed by Switzerland with AED24.8 up 2.3% YoY from AED 24.2 billion.
The total share of the five biggest trade partners in H1 2020 amounted to AED241.21 billion compared to AED185.06 billion in H1 2020, up 30.34%. Gold topped the list of commodities in Dubai’s H1 external trade at AED138.8 billion (19.2% of Dubai trade), followed by telecoms at AED94 billion (13%). Diamonds came third in the list at AED57.3 billion (8%), followed by jewelry at AED34.1 billion (4.7%), and vehicle trade at AED28 billion (4%).
Direct trade in H1 2021 totalled AED445.6 billion, up 39.5%, while trade through free zones reached AED272 billion, up 19.8%. Customs warehouse trade weighed in at AED4.5 billion, up 8.1%. Airborne trade accounted for AED364.8 billion, jumping 46.15% from AED249.6 billion in H1 2020. Sea trade reached AED247.5 billion, up 16.7% compared to AED212.18 billion, while land trade touched AED110 billion, up 23.7% compared to AED88.8 billion.