Dubai’s non-oil external trade grew 31% y-on-y to Dhs722bn in H1 2021
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Dubai’s non-oil external trade grew 31% y-on-y to Dhs722bn in H1 2021

Dubai’s non-oil external trade grew 31% y-on-y to Dhs722bn in H1 2021

China remained Dubai’s biggest trading partner with Dhs86.7bn worth of trade, up 30.7 per cent over H1 2020

Dubai non-oil trade

Dubai’s non-oil external trade in the first half of 2021 reached Dhs722.3bn, up 31 per cent from Dhs550.6bn it recorded in the corresponding period in 2020.

Exports grew 45 per cent year-on-year in H1 2021 to Dhs109.8bn from Dhs75.8bn, in line with the 10 x 10 programme (one of the nation’s ‘Projects of the 50’ initiatives) to increase the UAE’s exports to 10 global markets by 10 per cent annually.

Imports rose 29.3 per cent year-on-year to Dhs414bn from Dhs320bn. Re-exports grew 28.3 per cent to Dhs198.6bn from Dhs154.79bn.

The volume of Dubai’s non-oil external trade in the first half of 2021 rose 10 per cent to 48 million tonnes compared to 43.7 million tonnes in H1 2020. Exports skyrocketed 30.8 per cent year-on-year to reach 10.1 million tonnes. Re-exports totalled 7 million tonnes growing by 10.6 per cent, and imports rose by 4.25 per cent to 31 million tonnes.

China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in H1 2021 with Dhs86.7bn worth of trade, up 30.7 per cent compared to Dhs66.3bn in H1 2020. Trade with India also grew 74.5 per cent year-on-year to Dhs67.1bn from Dhs38.5bn. Trade with the US amounted to Dhs32bn, up 1 per cent from Dhs31.7bn in H1 2020. Saudi Arabia came fourth with Dhs30.5bn, up 26 per cent from Dhs24.1bn, followed by Switzerland with Dhs24.8bn, an increase of 2.3 per cent from Dhs24.2bn.

The total share of Dubai’s five biggest trade partners in H1 2020 amounted to Dhs241.21bn compared to Dhs185.06bn in H1 2020, an increase of 30.34 per cent.

Gold topped the list of commodities in Dubai’s H1 external trade at Dhs138.8bn (19.2 per cent of Dubai trade), followed by telecoms at Dhs94bn (13 per cent). Diamonds came third in the list at Dhs57.3bn (8 per cent), followed by jewelery at Dhs34.1bn (4.7 per cent), and vehicle trade at Dhs28bn (4 per cent).

Direct trade in H1 2021 totalled Dhs445.6bn, up 39.5 per cent, while trade through free zones reached Dhs272bn, an increase of 19.8 per cent. Customs warehouse trade increased 8.1 per cent to Dhs4.5bn. Airborne trade rose 46.15 per cent to Dhs364.8bn, while sea trade grew 16.7 per cent to Dhs247.5bn and land trade increased 23.7 per cent to Dhs110bn.

“Dubai’s existing sea and air network will be expanded to cover 200 new cities around the world,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. “The accelerated pace of external trade growth also reflects Dubai’s growing global role in facilitating and streamlining worldwide trade and supply chains. With Dubai all set to receive delegates from 191 nations at Expo 2020 Dubai, the emirate’s outstanding trade performance further raises its profile as a trading powerhouse.”

Read: UAE to enter 25 new markets to boost foreign trade – Sheikh Mohammed

Meanwhile, Dubai Customs confirmed that it had completed 12.7 million customs declarations in eight months; an average of 55,000 daily declarations. Customs transactions in H1 2021 grew 53.4 per cent to 11.2 million.

“Dubai’s World Logistics Passport (WLP) initiative is helping to reimagine how goods and services move around the globe, boost resilience in global supply chains and remove the barriers that prevent developing economies from trading as freely as they might. We are happy that 10 new countries have joined the world’s first logistics loyalty programme that brings together airport authorities, port operators and shipping agents. This incentive-based loyalty programme enables freight forwarders, traders and business owners to draw the maximum possible benefits from their trading operations, which can be translated to an increase of 5 percent to 10 percent in revenues,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

As part of a five-year plan approved earlier this year by the Dubai Council, the emirate intends to increase its foreign trade from Dhs1.4 trillion to Dhs2 trillion.

Read: Sheikh Mohammed restructures Dubai government; approves five-year foreign trade plan

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