China remained Dubai's largest foreign trading partner in 2018, followed by India and the United States
Dubai’s external non-oil trade reached AED 1.3 trillion ($353 billion) in 2018 despite a global growth slowdown, according to new statistics from Dubai Customs.
According to the statistics, trade through free zones in 2018 grew 23 percent to AED 532 billion ($144 billion), while direct trade reached AED 757 billion ($206 billion).
Re-exports grew 12 percent to AED 402 billion ($109 billion), while imports totaled AED 770 billion ($209 billion) and exports AED 127 billion ($34.5 billion).
“The current growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification in alignment with the values and standards outlined in the 50-year charter,” said Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “The Dubai Silk Road strategy supports decades of successful investment in developing the emirate’s infrastructure.”
Sheikh Hamdan added that Dubai is also working to develop a first-of-its kind commercial zone that will allow investors to open bank accounts and grant e-residencies.
The statistics also show that China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in 2018, with AED 139 billion ($37.8 billion) worth of trade. China was followed by India with AED 116 billion ($31.5 billion) in trade and the US with AED 81 billion ($22 billion).
“Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is flexible and agile enough to overcome different global economic crunches,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.
“Despite a number of challenges that world trade has been through in the last decade, Dubai’s trade grew 72 percent from 2009 to 2018, and the volume of goods in this period grew 44 percent,” he added.