Behind the numbers: What's really going on in Dubai's $272 billion foreign trade scene?
Dubai's foreign trade volumes surged to a record Dh1.329 trillion ( $272 billion) in 2013 from Dh1.235 trillion, thus achieving a Dh94 billion increase over the previous year, according to data from the emirate's customs department.
Foreign trade has successfully managed to keep up with Dubai's new economic surge; based on a wider diversity of growth, where various economic sectors contribute with convergent rates, the report stated.
In response to this massive leap in economic performance, foreign trade hits a growth rate that exceeds twice World Trade Organisation's (WTO) forecasted 2.5 per cent global trade growth.
This soaring economic performance surely solidifies Dubai's position at the forefront of the global economic scene. Being awarded the right to host Expo 2020 is a clear testament by the international community to Dubai's economic ability, and with the arrangements for such an event - considered the world's greatest and most highly-celebrated international trade exhibition - the emirate enters a new stage of continuous rise to new peaks of performance and achievement, stated the report.
This would ultimately make Dubai a regional leader and an international competitor according to all global indicators, most notably those of competitiveness, confidence and happiness, it added.
"We are driven by the comprehensive and insightful vision of . Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minster and Ruler of Dubai, about the nature of the new stage of Dubai's economic course," said
Ahmed Butti, the executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and the director general of Dubai Customs, said: "Dubai foreign trade growth of 8 per cent reflects the emirate's capability to enhance its trade dealings at all levels. The emirate's imports saw an increase of Dh74 billion which hit Dh811 billion in 2013, compared to Dh737 billion in 2012. On the other hand, exports and re-exports increased by Dh20 billion with a total value of Dh518 billion, compared to Dh498 billion registered last year."
Furthermore, Dubai's direct trade with the outer world rose to Dh846 billion, up from Dh808 billion. Dubai free zones trade volume recorded Dh467 billion, compared to Dh417 billion. Customs warehouse trade went up from Dh10 billion to Dh16 billion.
During 2013, Dubai maintained a relative diversity in its external markets. India once again emerged as Dubai's major trade partners with a total trade volume of Dh137 billion representing a 10 per cent share. China came second with a value of Dh135 billion which accounts for around 10 per cent, said the data.
The US came third with Dh86 billion garnering a six per cent share. Saudi Arabia rose to the fourth position with a total share of 4 per cent amounting to Dh56 billion followed by the UK with a total share of approximately 4 per cent accounting for Dh54 billion.
On the record trade growth, Bhutti said: "We are set to develop and implement a creative work strategy that is able to keep pace with a stage where Dubai embarks on a more prominent role in the global economy, by means of developing the emirate's ability to efficiently link with regional and international markets."
Dubai, he stated, will serve as gateway to markets that virtually extend across the world building on the emirate's advanced infrastructure and increasing competitive advantages.
"In line with Dubai's pivotal role in global trade, we work to develop Dubai Customs' array of services so as to respond efficiently to the global market expansion," he added.
Among the top importers, China led the list of trading partners followed by the US and then India. In the re-exports category, Saudi Arabia was the dominant player followed by India and then Iraq, said the data from Dubai Customs.
India, Turkey and Switzerland are respectively the leading partners of Dubai in terms of exports.