While China remained Dubai's largest trading partner, there was a 20% year-on-year growth in trade with India
Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade reached AED 676 billion ($184.04 billion) in the first half of 2019, an increase of 5 percent from the AED 644 billion ($175.33 billion) recorded last year, according to government figures.
The H1 figures represent an 87 percent growth from 2009.
While China remained Dubai’s largest trading partner, there was a 20 percent year-on-year growth in trade with India. Saudi Arabia retained its position as Dubai’s largest Arab and GCC trade partner and fourth globally, behind China, India and the United States.
Exports were found to have risen 17 percent to AED 76 billion, while re-exports were up 3 percent to AED 210 billion and imports grew 4 percent at AED 390 billion.
Data released by Dubai Customs showed that the total volume of the emirate’s foreign trade reached 56 million tonnes, up from 43 million tonnes registered in H1 2018.
“The strong performance of Dubai’s foreign trade reflects the robust fundamentals of our economy and our ability to generate fresh growth opportunities even in an adverse global environment,” said Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.
“Dubai’s ability to maintain high levels of trade growth is a tribute to the vision and planning of its leaders who sought to drive economic diversification at an early stage and create a hard and soft infrastructure that empowers growth,” he added. “Dubai has constantly worked to introduce innovative policies and services that facilitate global trade through Dubai, in the process, transforming itself into one of the world’s foremost trading hubs.”
Additionally, Sheikh Hamdan said that Dubai’s foreign trade is benefitting from the emergence of new, tech-focused sectors, and by the creation of the Dubai Silk Road project.
Total trade out of free zones reached AED 287 billion, a 12 percent year-on-year increase. Direct trade continued to be the largest contributor, totalling AED 386 billion.
Air and sea trade accounted for 83 percent of the total, while trade by land saw the highest increase at AED 114 billion, an 8 percent year-on-year increase.
“Undoubtedly these are challenging times with the global trade war and regional geopolitical tensions causing uncertainty,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC). “Despite this backdrop, Dubai has delivered non-oil trade growth of 5 percent in H1 2019.”
“The strong growth delivered by non-oil foreign trade is a healthy sign of how resilient and appealing the Dubai economy is, which further reinforces Dubai’s profile as a key regional and international trading hub,” he added.