Signifying Dubai’s rising role in global trade, the emirate’s external non-oil trade in the first nine months of 2018 reached AED965.3 billion, according to figures released by Dubai Customs.
Re-exports registered 13% growth to touch AED299.2 billion, while imports reached AED592.2 billion, and exports AED97.7 billion.
Dubai Customs pointed out that the emirate’s distinctive performance in external trade reflects the success of government policies and initiatives and strategic sustainability development plans to support the growth of various economic sectors.
Dubai has embarked on ambitious and forward thinking initiatives such as 10X which aims to place Dubai ten years ahead of other cities.
Technology is playing a major role in backing external trade in Dubai through advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence applications.
Trade through free zones grew 22% 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% to AED362 billion and airborne trade grew 2.3% to AED449.4 billion.
However, trade conducted through land transportation declined 13.6% at AED153.8 billion.
His Excellency 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.
“PCFC has recently launched a number of initiatives to facilitate trade as part of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to transform Dubai into the smartest city on earth.
“These include NAU, the smart platform that facilitates cargo activity reservation for traditional dhows on Dubai creek, which will make it more organised and facilitate the bustling movement of dhows across the creek and Port Al Hamriya.”
Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih said: “We have an integrated strategy in place to develop external trade performance in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the guidelines of Dubai Plan 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071.
“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.”
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% growth to reach 86.2 billion, followed by the USA 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.
This reflects the advanced status of the communications sector in Dubai and its vision to turn into the smartest city on earth.
Next on the list was gold with AED110 billion worth of trade, followed by jewellery (AED 78 billion), diamonds (AED69 billion), and cars with AED49 billion.