Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade recorded Dh645 billion ($175.5 billion) in the first half of 2018, an increase of Dh5 billion from 2017 figures, a media report said.
Dubai’s re-exports registered a Dh24 billion increase and grew 14 per cent to Dh203 billion, which reflects the robust and healthy position Dubai leads as a distinctive regional and international re-export hub, while imports touched Dh377 billion and exports totalled Dh65 billion, reported Emirates news agency Wam.
The emirate’s free zones foreign trade scored an increase of 20 per cent, Dh43 billion in the first half of 2018 to Dh257 billion. Re-export activity through free zones touched Dh112 billion; with a 31 per cent increase from the same period in 2017, while exports through free zones made a 23 per cent increase to Dh8 billion, and imports through free zones made Dh136 billion; an increase of 12 per cent compared to the same period last year. Direct trade stood at Dh383 billion and customs warehouse trade weighed in at Dh6 billion.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Executive Council, said: "Dubai’s competitiveness plays a key role in attracting investments from around the world, which seek to take advantage of Dubai’s position as a regional and international trading hub."
His Highness said that trade is one of the key sectors that drives Dubai’s growth as a major global trading hub, which is supported by the emirate’s long heritage of being a gateway for global trade.
"The current growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification," Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed continued.
"Dubai’s external trade growth reflects global economic trends, especially in the areas of communication and information technology. This is driven by the national economy’s focus on innovation and creativity, and our leadership in adopting artificial intelligence technologies in various sectors.
"There is no doubt that Expo 2020 will showcase our unique economic experience and will highlight our ability to establish global leadership across various development sectors. Such events help towards a better connected world," he added.
Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, credited the performance of the foreign trade sector to Dubai’s advanced infrastructure and policies. He pointed out that Dubai Customs was the first to introduce many advanced systems and programmes in support of Dubai’s preparations to host Dubai Expo 2020.
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"We are offering a plethora of facilities and advanced services to traders and investors that will make their experience of doing business with Dubai memorable. For example, the AEO programme has successfully taken off and continues to be implemented across the UAE under the aegis of the Federal Customs Authority. The new economic scheme follows the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, towards boosting the performance of the UAE’s foreign trade to better secure the UAE’s post-oil future. The AEO programme is creating seamless commercial links between the UAE and the rest of the world," he added.
"We work hard to enhance the competitiveness of the UAE and Dubai by offering unique advantages and developing customs services and product offerings. This is why we launched a number of pioneering programmes such as the Smart Workspace, Mirsal 2, Risk Engine, Advanced Container Inspection System and Smart Customs Luggage Inspection System, amongst many others" he said.
Bin Sulayem added that making customers happy is a priority for Dubai Customs, as part of which it launched the new seven-star Mina Rashid customs centre. The initiative was inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
"Dubai Customs won the Best Expo Supporting Entity award in the Dubai Government Excellence Program. This encourages to provide more facilities and support to the renowned event.”
Bin Sulayem pointed out that Dubai Customs is moving forward in its distinctive path to attain more attention and recognition.
It has already bagged 109 awards in the field of innovation. So far in 2018, Dubai Customs has received 14 innovation awards including nine awards from Ideas America 2018, 4 of them are golden.
Dubai’s airborne trade accounted for Dh302 billion while seaborne trade recorded Dh237 billion. Trade conducted through land transportation weighed in at Dh106 billion.
China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in the first half of 2018 with Dh69 billion worth of trade. This reflects the strong ties between China and the UAE which witnessed remarkable development underlined by the Chinese President’s recent state visit to the UAE. India came second with Dh56 billion, followed by the USA in the third place with Dh39 billion. Saudi Arabia remains the largest Arab trade partner to the UAE and comes as its fourth largest global trade partner with Dh29 billion.
Gold topped the list of high-value commodities in Dubai's foreign trade in the first half of 2018 with Dh76 billion worth of trade. Next on the list was phones with Dh75 billion worth of trade, followed by jewellery (Dh51 billion), diamonds (Dh47 billion), and cars with Dh33 billion.
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