Dubai's IT foreign trade soars amid 'smart city' ambition

Trade in IT hardware and software increases by 35% to $64.5bn as Dubai transforms itself into smart tech city

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Dubai's foreign trade in IT hardware and software grew by 35 percent to AED237 billion ($64.5 billion), making up 18% of total trade volume as the emirate looks to transform itself into a smart city.

According to new figures by Dubai Customs, technology is increasingly becoming a "fundamental aspect of life" in Dubai on the back of ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's smart city plan.

"These figures show how active this sector is and how technology is becoming a fundamental aspect of life in Dubai. They also reflect Dubai's prestigious position of as a global trade hub connecting the markets of the East and the West," said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director of Dubai Customs in a speech at the 1st HP Customs Forum in Dubai.

It is expected that the IT sector will see a massive boom in the upcoming few years, in the light of the sizable projects planned in Dubai ahead of Expo 2020, said Musabih.

Dubai's smart city strategy features six key pillars and 100 initiatives covering transport, communications, infrastructure, electricity, economic services and urban planning.

Under the strategy, 1,000 government services will go smart in the next three years.

Sheikh Mohammed previously said the "gigantic project" aims to touch the life of every citizen in the country.

"Transforming Dubai into the world's smartest city will crown its experience and milestones in the IT realm, through to the implementation of mGovernment," said Musabih.

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