Dubai Customs data shows that China, India and the US are Dubai's top three trading partners so far in 2018
Dubai’s external non-oil trade for the first nine months of 2018 reached AED965.3 billion ($262.8 billion), it was announced on Tuesday.
Re-exports registered 13 percent growth to touch AED299.2 billion, while imports reached AED592.2 billion, and exports AED97.7 billion, according to official figures from Dubai Customs.
Dubai Customs said in a statement that the trade performance reflects "the success of government policies and initiatives and strategic sustainability development plans to support the growth of various economic sectors".
China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in the first nine months of 2018 with AED102.9 billion worth of trade.
Trade with India registered 16 percent growth to reach AED86.2 billion, followed by the US in third place with AED59.6 billion.
Saudi Arabia remains Dubai’s largest Arab trade partner and its fourth largest global trade partner with AED38.6 billion.
Phones of all types topped the list of commodities in Dubai's foreign trade in the first nine months of 2018 with AED111 billion worth of trade, followed by gold with AED110 billion and jewellery (AED78 billion).
Dubai has embarked on ambitious initiatives such as 10X which aims to place Dubai 10 years ahead of other cities.
Dubai Customs said technology is playing a major role in backing external trade in Dubai through artificial intelligence applications.
The figures showed that trade through free zones grew 22 percent to reach AED394.3 billion in the first nine months of 2018. Direct trade touched AED562.8 billion while customs warehouse trade weighed in at AED8.3 billion.
Dubai’s seaborne trade grew 4.1 percent to AED362 billion and airborne trade grew 2.3 percent to AED449.4 billion. However, trade conducted through land transportation declined 13.6 percent to AED153.8 billion.
Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) said: “Hosting Expo 2020 encourages us to further enhance the trade and customs services and facilities provided by Dubai Customs to investors and traders. Work on e-commerce is progressing and is expected to further facilitate trade and support the economy."
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director of Dubai Customs, added: “We have an integrated strategy in place to develop external trade performance... We are closely watching the changes taking place in international trade and we will turn challenges into opportunities by entering new markets and expanding our existing ones.”