The total value of exports out of Dubai realised through Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development, crossed AED3 billion in 2011, as exporters in Dubai continued to penetrate new markets and diversify their product range.
The export sector performance in 2011 marks a significant achievement for Dubai Exports and its strategy of enhancing the export capabilities of local companies. Of the 58 export transactions facilitated by Dubai Exports during the year, 29% were new deals while 52% of the deals were won by new exporters. Also, companies based in Dubai were the beneficiaries of 83% of the deals concluded last year.
The largest share of exports – 61% - transacted through Dubai Exports went to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries while Africa accounted for 35%, an increase from their share in 2010. The remaining four per cent was distributed among countries in Asia, Europe and rest of the world.
Food products, electronics and petrochemicals were the leading export from Dubai, together constituting 95% of the net exports. The GCC market took in 82% of the food products exported, indicating strong and continued prospects for this sector in the region. Europe (8%) and Africa (5%) were the next major export destinations with the remaining share going to Asia and other parts of the world.
Africa accounted for the lion's share of electronics exports from Dubai in 2011, receiving more than 87%. Meanwhile, Europe remained the main export market for plastics from the emirate with a share of 89% and GCC while 92% of the construction exports went to GCC countries. Australia led in services export transactions through Dubai Exports with a 65% share and Saudi Arabia (6%) and Asia (1%) absorbed the remainder.
“Dubai Exports was able to achieve positive growth in exports from the emirate in 2011, mainly through diversification of export products and opening business channels in new markets. In 2012 we will continue to focus on increasing the exports of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Dubai, enhancing competitiveness of local companies, and raising the level of their products to make them exportable to regional and global markets,” said Engineer Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Exports.
Al Awadi added that Dubai Exports will participate in international exhibitions across the Gulf, Africa, Europe, and Central Asia in 2012 to promote bilateral trade and exports between countries in these regions and the UAE, particularly Dubai. “Several Dubai companies managed to penetrate international markets through attending global forums. These forums undoubtedly are the most important marketing channels to build relations with existing and new clients, launch new products and raise the profile of companies through dialogue with senior officials in specialised sectors.”
Steady growth in exports of building materials, plastics, food and technology over the past year confirms the status of Dubai as a major source market and especially the growing confidence in Dubai among African countries. Dubai Exports will give special attention to developing communication channels and building trade relations with countries in Africa as they remain an important destination for exports from Dubai.
“Dubai Exports intends to strengthen its partnership with a number of local, regional and international bodies and organisations, in addition to a wide range of companies in the UAE, to promote SME products and expand their export capabilities in 2012,” stated Al Awadi.
The thrust areas of Dubai Exports strategy for 2012 are developing the export environment in the emirate, identifying key sectors, and enabling exporters to access targeted markets with the assistance of foreign trade missions in the UAE and Dubai Exports offices in India, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well as through strengthening international relations.