Dubai's non-oil foreign trade  has seen a significant growth of 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012, reflecting the resilience and diversity of the UAE economy.
The statistics released by Dubai Customs showed that the emirate's non-oil foreign trade amounted to over Dh298.1 billion in the first three months 2012, compared to Dh279.7 billion over the same period in 2011 . Ahmed Butti Ahmed, the executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said the data released included non-oil direct trade, free zone trade and customs warehouses. "The growth is widely attributed to the implementation of several economic, tourism and construction projects, which also includes the development of modern infrastructure like customs facilities at ports and airports and the provision of more advanced services," he said. Butti, who is also director-general of Dubai Customs, said the department is very keen to improve the services being provided to customers, exporters and importers while developing more strategic regulations and procedures of custom clearance. "These achievements all reflect Dubai government departments' effort to reinforce trade  activity as Dubai foreign trade represents a big stake of the country's non-oil trade with the world by nearly 80 percent," Butti said. He furthered that Dubai's imports hit Dh175.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012 against Dh166.2 billion over the same period last year.
"The figures represent a growth rate of 5.4 per cent while the value of exports and re-exports over the first quarter of 2012 amounted to over Dh122.9 billion, which shows a growth of 8.5 per cent from the Dh113.4 billion entered during the same period in 2011," Butti said. The growing purchasing power parity has contributed to the increase in the volume of imports.
High-quality Emirati-made products, the promotion of the national industry and the strategic facilities offered to exporters have all played a significant role in increasing export volumes and expanding into more foreign markets, he added. Butti then said that India is currently ranked as Dubai's top trading partner in terms of imports, exports and re-exports, achieving a total value of over Dh40 billion. "It [India] emerged as Dubai's top exporting and re-exporting country at Dh21 billion and came second in terms of imports at Dh19 billion, following China at Dh25.5 billion, while the US came in third place at Dh16 billion." "Unwrought, worked and semi-manufactured gold topped the list of Dubai's imports with Dh25.6 billion from January to March 2012, followed by diamonds at Dh13.9 billion, and jewellery and precious metals at Dh11.7 billion. Imports of telecom equipment have reached Dh11.4 billion, while cars touched Dh7.6 billion," he added. Butti said gold was also the number one product exported from Dubai during the said period at Dh18.6 billion, followed by jewellery and precious metals at Dh1.4 billion, and non-crude oil at Dh1.2 billion. "Telecom equipment and devices came in first in terms of re-exported products from Dubai to the rest of the world at Dh19.5 billion, followed by diamonds at Dh13.6 billion, non-crude oil at Dh4.6 billion, IT machinery at Dh4.3 billion and gold at Dh3.2 billion."