Dubai, UAE, November 16, 2017: The Dubai economy continued to witness strong economic progress despite challenging regional and global economic conditions. The sustained growth supports the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, which seeks to further raise living standards for future generations and create a sustainable society.
Dubai's non-oil foreign trade increased to AED 344 billion in the third quarter of 2017, an increase of 13% year-on-year from AED 305 billion in the corresponding quarter of last year. Re-exports were the key driver of growth in the quarter, rising 34% to AED 103 billion, a relatively strong performance given the challenging geo-political backdrop.
Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Dubai's resilience to external economic turbulence demonstrates the strong fundamentals of its economy and its ability to constantly find new avenues for growth. Sustainability along with innovation and diversification are deeply embedded in Dubai's economic strategies as well as its key initiatives. This dynamism has been driven by the development vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his determination to ensure Dubai ranks among the leading cities of the world. New projects together with the hosting of Expo 2020 promise to provide another strong boost to its economic vitality. Dubai is well-positioned to further enhance its growth momentum in the years ahead.”
Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, commented: “During this challenging year, the Dubai economy has maintained its high competitiveness thanks to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and the clear government vision that has informed the development of goals, plans and initiatives.”
He added: “We are pleased to see that trading in Dubai continues to grow despite the economic and geopolitical challenges in the region. This is testament to the best-in-class infrastructure that we have built and our firm commitment to serving our customers, which has allowed trade to flourish. The World Bank recently stated that ‘Ease of Doing Business' in the UAE improved further in 2017 with the country jumping 13 places to rank 21st worldwide in the index, which means the country continues to top the Arab region, a feat it has now achieved for the fifth year in a row. Our aim is to continue to build on our success. We strive to further improve efficiencies and remove bottlenecks to allow business to prosper”.
Dubai saw growth across all three trade components (direct, free zones, customs warehouses) with free zone trade growing by a significant 21% in the quarter, direct trade by 9% and customs warehouses by 8%.
Similarly, Dubai saw growth across all modes of cargo with air, land and sea growing by 12%, 15% and 13% respectively. Value traded through sea reached AED 124 billion, air AED 153 billion and land AED 67 billion.
Dubai's non-oil foreign trade volumes, measured in weighed tonnes, grew by 5.1% to 23.4 million tonnes in the third quarter of 2017. This was driven primarily by export cargo, which grew 11.4% year-on-year in the third quarter and import cargo, which grew 5.2% year-on-year.
In the nine-month period to 30 September 2017, Dubai non-oil foreign trade grew by 3.5% year-on-year to AED 985 billion with re-exports being the key growth driver. Imports remain the largest segment with AED 592 billion in value. Nine-month trade by weight declined marginally by 2.9% to 68.8 million tonnes.
Trading with Dubai's top ten partners remained robust as it grew 2.4% in the first nine months of the year to AED 497 billion (Total value of 9M 2017 Dubai non-oil foreign trade was AED 985 billion). China remains the largest trading partner, accounting for more than 25% of the trade (AED 128.9 billion). India (AED 74.1 billion) and the USA (AED 62.4 billion) remained in the top three with Saudi Arabia (AED 44.7 billion) being the largest trading partner within the region.
Dubai remains a key trading hub for electronics and jewellery as transactions in mobile phones reached AED 127 billion in the first nine months, followed by gold (AED 120 billion), diamonds (AED 75 billion), and motors (AED 52 billion).