UAE's Surge: Dubai forecast to see 20% trade expansion
Dubai's global trade is expected to increase by 20 percent to Dh1.1 trillion in 2012, according to Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Diplomatic Circle Dinner held by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Wednesday, Saleh said he expects strong growth in trade over last year. "Because of uncertainty in the world economy, our expectations for 2012 are 15-20 per cent growth for non-oil and non-free zone. There are expectations of a drop in Eurozone GDP and in China's and India's GDP," Al Saleh said.
"Compared to last year's result, Dubai trade will jump to Dh1.1 trillion in 2012." Saleh attributed this increase to Dubai's commercial links with fast-growing economies such as India, China, Singapore and Hong Kong. Hamad Bu Amim, Director General of the Dubai Chamber, said in his keynote speech that the trade sector is once again the frontrunner of Dubai's economic growth.
"Dubai Chamber members' exports and re-exports increased 12 per cent in February compared to the same month last year to Dh19.7 billion," he said. Addressing a gathering of diplomats, Bu Amim thanked them for their contributions and commitment to the economy of Dubai. "Your active commercial sections and trade centres have been immense, not to mention the support you continue to provide local businesses interested in your respective countries," he said.
He said the Dubai Chamber would look at exploring and expanding its business network to key growth areas across the globe including Latin America, East Europe, Africa and South East Asia.
"As part of our new strategy to explore new emerging markets, we need your support and cooperation to help us reach out to international businesses in your respective countries and to have a frequent exchange of trade missions and business networking meetings to consolidate our bilateral ties," Bu Amim said.
He added that in 2011 Dubai ranked ninth among the top 20 destination cities by international visitors and was ranked 18th in the top 20 cities by international visitor spending, which totalled $8 million. In terms of the most popular business locations, Dubai was ninth among 10 cities, he said.
"Dubai has made its mark as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The Dubai International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the world, having received over 50 million passengers in 2011, reinforcing its position as the world's fifth largest airport." He also said that Dubai hotels' 86.2 per cent occupancy in January placed it at the top of the list of the 15 top performance destinations, up from 75.4 per cent occupancy in the same month last year.
Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Dubai Expo 2020 executive bid committee, urged the diplomatic gathering to support Dubai's bid for Expo 2020. In her speech, she said that communication is playing an increasingly critical role for governments, businesses and society.
"Connectivity and dialogue — between peoples and among nations — are so central to our shared future," she said. "That is why communications professionals like you play such an important role in shaping the positive direction of the world."