Dubai is building a ‘virtual’ economic zone: Hamdan

By Eudore R. Chand

Emirate’s non-oil foreign trade hits Dh1.3 trillion in 2018

DUBAI 11 March 2019: Dubai’s external non-oil trade in 2018 reached Dh1.3 trillion despite challenges facing global trade growth resulting from trade tensions between major economic powers and a global growth slowdown that has led to currency rate volatility in developing countries.

According to Dubai Customs, trade through free zones in 2018 grew by 23% to Dh532 billion. Direct trade touched Dh757 billion while customs warehouse trade weighed in at Dh10.4 billion. Re-exports grew 12% to Dh402 billion while imports totalled Dh770 billion and exports Dh127 billion.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Executive Council, said: “The current growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification in alignment with the values and standards outlined in the 50-Year Charter. The Dubai Silk Road Strategy supports decades of successful investment in developing the emirate’s infrastructure.

Virtual Zone

“We are currently developing a virtual commercial zone, the first of its kind in the region, which will allow investors to open bank accounts and grant e-residencies according to the highest standards of international laws and regulations.”

Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said: “Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is flexible and agile enough to overcome different global economic crunches. Despite a number of challenges that world trade has been through in the last decade, Dubai’s trade grew 72% from 2009 and 2018, and the volume of goods in this period grew 44%.

The latest external trade figures show coherence, integration and diversity among the different modes of shipping: land, sea and air. Airborne trade rose 3.2% to reach Dh612 billion and sea trade rose 3.4% to Dh483 billion while land trade touched Dh205 billion.

Phones of all types topped the list of commodities in Dubai’s foreign trade in 2018 with Dh150 billion worth of trade. This reflects the adoption of advanced communications technology in Dubai as part of its journey to become the smartest city on earth. Next on the list was gold with Dh146 billion worth of trade, followed by jewellery (Dh106 billion), diamonds (Dh94 billion), and cars with Dh65 billion.

China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in 2018 with Dh139 billion worth of trade. India came in second with Dh116 billion worth of trade, followed by the USA in third place with Dh81 billion. Saudi Arabia continued to be Dubai’s largest Arab trade partner and its fourth largest global trade partner with Dh55 billion, followed by Switzerland in fifth place with Dh49 billion.

Dubai Gazette