Dubai Q1 non-oil trade closes in on $100 billion mark

Dubai non-oil foreign trade rises 2.7% to Dh327 bn in Q1 2017

DUBAI 9 July 2017: The magic quarter mark of $100 billion seems achingly close as Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade grew 2.7 per cent to reach Dh327 billion in the first quarter of 2017, compared with the Dh318 billion in the same quarter of 2016, according to the data published by Dubai Customs.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, praised the growth in Dubai’s non-oil trade and noted that Dubai had once again proved its ability and readiness to overcome all challenges, said Wam.

“Dubai has been able to offset the impact of key challenges, including major currency fluctuations and slower global economic growth, increasing its non-oil foreign trade, as well as cementing its position as a regional and global business hub,” he said.

Imports accounted for the lion’s share of non-oil foreign trade at Dh201 billion (3 per cent growth), while exports accounted for Dh35 billion and re-exports Dh91 billion (5 per cent).

The volume of Dubai’s external non-oil trade reached 24 million tonnes, while imports reached 15.84 million tonnes, re-exports 4.24 million tonnes, and exports 3.84 million tonnes.

Direct trade grew 3.5 per cent to Dh209 billion in the first quarter of 2017, while free zone trade accounted for Dh108.5 billion. Customs warehouse trade grew 31 per cent in the first quarter to reach Dh9.1 billion, compared with the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade conducted through land transport grew 14.7 per cent to reach Dh61 billion in the first quarter, while sea trade accounted for Dh118 billion, and air trade reached Dh147.3, growing 1.1 per cent.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said that Dubai Customs was the first to introduce many advanced systems and programmes in support of Dubai’s preparations to host Dubai Expo 2020.

Top Non-oil Trade Regions

  • Asia – Dh208 billion in Q1 2017.
  • Europe was 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.

Top Non-oil Trade Partners

  • China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest partner in Q1 2017 with Dh44.15 billion worth of trade, or 13.5 per cent of the total value,
  • India with Dh25.4 billion, representing 7.8 per cent of Dubai’s total non-oil foreign trade,
  • USA came third with a total of Dh22 billion or 6.7 per cent of the total trade.
  • Saudi Arabia is Dubai’s leading business partner among the Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab countries, and its fourth biggest trade partner, with business worth Dh15.22 billion, representing 4.7 per cent of Dubai’s total trade.


  • 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 per cent).
  • Gold with Dh39 billion (12 per cent), followed by
  • Diamonds at Dh26 billion (8 per cent).
  • Vehicles came fourth at Dh18 billion (5 per cent), followed by
  • Jewellery at Dh15 billion (5 per cent).

By Angel Chan