DUBAI: Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade grew 2.7% to reach Dh327 billion ($87 billion) in the first quarter of 2017 compared to Dh318 billion in the same quarter of 2016, according to data published by Dubai Customs. Imports accounted for the lion’s share of non-oil foreign trade at Dh201 billion (3% growth) while exports accounted for Dh35 billion and re-exports Dh91 billion (5% growth). The volume of Dubai’s external non-oil trade reached 24 million tons, while imports reached 15.84 million tons, re-exports 4.24 million tons, and exports 3.84 million tons, TradeArabia reported. Direct trade grew 3.5% to Dh209 billion in the first quarter of 2017, while free zone trade accounted for Dh108.5 billion. Customs warehouse trade grew 31% in the first quarter to reach Dh9.1 billion compared to the same period in 2016. Meanwhile, Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade conducted through land transportation grew 14.7% to reach Dh61 billion in the first quarter while sea trade accounted for Dh118 billion, and air trade reached Dh147.3 growing 1.1%.
DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said that Dubai Customs was the first to introduce many advanced systems and programs in support of Dubai’s preparations to host Dubai Expo 2020. Asia topped the list of markets that conduct non-oil trade with Dubai, accounting for business worth Dh208 billion in Q1 2017. Europe came second with Dh54 billion, Africa third at Dh32 billion, North America fourth at Dh25 billion, South America fifth at Dh4 billion, and Oceania including Australia sixth at Dh3 billion. China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest partner in Q1 2017 with Dh44.15 billion worth of trade or 13.5% of the total value, followed by India with Dh25.4 billion representing 7.8% of Dubai’s total non-oil foreign trade, while the USA came third with a total Dh22 billion or 6.7% of total trade.
Saudi Arabia is Dubai’s leading business partner among Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab countries, and its fourth biggest trade partner, with business worth Dh15.22 billion, representing 4.7% of Dubai’s total trade with the world. Mobile phones topped the list of high-value commodities in Dubai’s foreign trade, in the first three months of 2017, with Dh45 billion (14% of total trade). Next on the list was gold with Dh39 billion (12%), followed by diamonds at Dh26 billion (8%). Vehicles came fourth at Dh18 billion (5%), followed by jewelry at Dh15 billion (5%).