By Andy Sambidge
China drives small increase in total trade as it registers 29% jump in trade with emirate
Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade rose marginally to AED1.331 trillion ($362.3 billion) in 2014 from AED1.329 trillion the previous year, it was announced on Monday.
The small increase was driven by a notable boost in its trading with China which topped Dubai’s foreign trade partners with a trade value of AED175 billion, up 29 percent from 2013.
Previously Dubai's No 1 trade partner, India came second with a value of AED109 billion, followed by the United States at AED83 billion.
Saudi Arabia was Dubai’s fourth largest trading partner globally and first in the Arab world with a total trade value of AED52 billion, news agency WAM reported.
Imports were worth AED845 billion while exports and re-exports to the emirate reached AED114 billion and AED372 billion respectively.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Executive Council, hailed the "strong results".
"The steady growth for Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade, with the powerful performance in other economic sectors, open new horizons for plenty of promising opportunities; yet, shouldering us more responsibilities toward careful planning and smart implementation of these plans.
"We are looking forward for stronger commercial ties and expanded network of trade partners, underlining Dubai’s position as a global hub for international trade."
Figures released by Dubai Customs showed that direct trade contributed AED818.8 billion of Dubai's total foreign trade value, while free zones trade represented AED488.7 billion and the customs warehouses AED23.8 billion.
Of the commodities traded, phones topped the list with a growth of 9 percent, amounting to AED178 billion while the thriving tourism sector resulted in an 8 percent growth in jewellery trade to AED55 billion.
Commenting on the trade figures, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), said: "Dubai’s foreign trade remains a cornerstone of the prospering UAE economy. These figures are clear indicators that the state’s broadly diversified economy is well established now."