DUBAI: The increase strengthens the Chamber’s position as one of the largest membership-based chambers of commerce in the world. The total value of members’ exports and re-exports amounted to AED 273 billion last year. Saudi Arabia was the top destination for members’ exports and re-exports during the same period, which were valued at AED 87.8 billion. Meanwhile, 923,056 Certificates of Origin were issued and the number of ATA Carnets that were issued and received in the UAE reached 5,500, accounting for a total value of AED 3.1 billion. The number of customers served by Dubai Chamber rose 14 per cent YoY to 377,500 in 2016.
Dubai Chamber participated in 78 events across 50 cities and hosted 681 delegations from 81 countries. More than 1,500 meetings were held by the Chamber with 1,525 delegates, while its International Offices conducted a total of 484 meetings. A total of 32 international associations were licenced by the Dubai Association Centre (DAC), marking a 100 per cent increase compared to the 16 licences accounted for in 2015. DAC, established by Dubai Chamber, Dubai Business Events and the Dubai World Trade, offers assistance for the establishment of non-profit, apolitical and non-religious professional associations and trade bodies in the emirate. The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) a Dubai Chamber initiative, received 214 arbitration cases in 2016, while the Chamber’s Legal Services department received 710 mediation cases, bringing the total number of registered commercial disputes to 924.
Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) organised 31 events focused on improving corporate social responsibility and sustainability within the local business community, which were attended by more than 2,126 delegates from 691 companies. The 6th annual Give & Gain Day, held under the ENGAGE Dubai programme, saw the participation to 768 volunteers from 26 companies who contributed 1,681 hours to various community projects that benefited 1,300 people. In 2016, ENGAGE Dubai attracted 24 new corporate members and 5 new Community Partners. In addition, the Chamber’s Sustainability Network had a total of 58 members by the end of the year, and hosted 19 events attended by 398 participants.
Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade remained steady in 2016, while key sectors continued to witness robust activity. Expo 2020 served as a catalyst for growth and expansion as infrastructure projects associated with the mega event began to take shape. HE Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, explained that Dubai’s economy remained resilient last year despite global economic challenges as the emirate scaled up its diversification efforts, which greatly minimised the impact of slowing global trade on the emirate. “2016 was an important year for Dubai as a number of new strategies were launched to facilitate the emirate’s transition to a post-oil economy and a global hub for knowledge and innovation. We saw a number of mega projects surface, such as Dubai’s next tallest tower and Dubai Harbour, which is set to become the Middle East’s largest marina. These major initiatives will only increase foreign investors’ interest in Dubai, and help boost the emirate’s profile globally,” he said.
HE Buamim said that Dubai Chamber would continue to support this vision by protecting the interests of Dubai’s business community, promoting the emirate as an attractive trade and investment destination, and exploring opportunities in new markets that offer the most potential for its members. He added that Chamber would soon launch its new strategy aligned with the Dubai Plan 2021, which would place a stronger emphasis on growing its global network, boosting public-private sector collaboration, developing the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, and fostering a culture of innovation in various sectors of the economy.