According to the customs authority, which revealed the figures during the Gulfood 2020 Exhibition currently taking place in Dubai, exports totalled AED16.94 billion, a growth of 15.3 percent, compared to the 2018 figures, which reached AED14.69 billion…reports Asian Lite News
Figures released by Dubai Customs showed a three percent growth in Dubai’s external trade in foodstuff in 2019, reaching AED86.2 billion compared to AED84 billion in 2018.
According to the customs authority, which revealed the figures during the Gulfood 2020 Exhibition currently taking place in Dubai, exports totalled AED16.94 billion, a growth of 15.3 percent, compared to the 2018 figures, which reached AED14.69 billion.
Re-exports, Dubai Customs added, went up by two percent, reaching AED17.27 billion, while imports made AED52 billion.
“Promoting external trade in support of the national economy is a priority for us at Dubai Customs in line with the vision of the leadership to reach the target of AED2 trillion in trade by 2025,” said Nassim Al Mehairi, Manager of Statistics Section at Dubai Customs.
“We facilitate the business by introducing the latest and best services in clearing cargo to help a better trade flow of food products from and into the country,” Al Mehairi continued, adding that Dubai has become an essential trade corridor for foodstuffs in the region.
Dubai Customs noted that India topped the emirate’s partners in foodstuff trade with 6.41 percent at AED5.53 billion, followed by the United States with 6.3 percent at AED5.45 billion, Iraq with 5.3 percent at AED4.57 billion, Brazil with 4.72 percent at AED4 billion, Oman with 3.77 percent at AED3.25 billion, and China with 3.13 percent at AED2.7 billion.
Nuts took the lion’s share of the trade with AED4.2 billion, followed by frozen meats (AED3.69 billion), dairy products (AED3.21 billion), chocolate products (AED3 billion), tea and sugar each attaining AED2 billion, and rice with AED1.96 billion.
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a networking event at its headquarters on the sidelines of the 25th Gulfood exhibition, to highlight investment opportunities in the emirate’s F&B sector.
The event brought together close to 350 participants from 60 countries, marking a 29 percent growth from last year’s turnout. Some 27 VIPs, including ministers, ambassadors and consul generals in the UAE, also attended the function and explored the competitive advantages and opportunities Dubai offers in the F&B industries.
Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice President of Commercial Services at Dubai Chamber, said: “Due to its strategic location and a growing tourism sector, Dubai offers immense opportunities in the F&B sector. This briefing comes at a time of rapid expansion for Dubai as the city prepares for Expo 2020.” Set to attract 25 million visitors over a six-month period, the upcoming mega event is among the key factors driving demand and growth in the UAE’s food and beverage sector. Onsite F&B sales alone are expected to top $545 million, according to EXPO 2020 and Alpen Capital, with up to 835,000 meals served to visitors each hour.
Nasib pointed to the UAE’s leading global position in the F&B industries, where it is ranked first in the MENA region and 18th in the world for attractive investment environment in the F&B sector in the first quarter of 2020 on the Fitch Connect Risk Reward Index. This, in turn, reflects the UAE’s growing appeal to investors from around the world.
He called on global financiers to invest in Dubai, revealing the emirate’s tremendous investment opportunities in food processing, innovative agriculture and halal food, which is one of the fastest growing segments of the Islamic economy and forecasted to grow to $1.93 trillion by 2022.
More food brands and products, franchises and restaurants continue to enter the local market, while consumers continue to shift towards organic and healthier options and convenient delivery apps that are changing industry norms and providing new investment opportunities.
Mohammed Bin Sulaiman, Senior Manager – Business Relations at Dubai Chamber, talked about Dubai’s economic prospects and outlook, and Nizami Imamverdiyev, Economic Researcher – Economic Research & Business Development gave a presentation on the city’s food sector outlook and opportunities.
According to Euromonitor data, the sale of fresh food items in the UAE will grow at a compound annual growth rate, CAGR, of 5.2 percent in the 2018-2023 period. Moreover, sales of meat products are set to increase by 7 percent CAGR over the same period, while sales of grains and pulses expand by 5.5 percent, nuts by 5.4 percent, vegetables by 5 percent, fruits by 4 percent, eggs by 4 percent, and fish and seafood by 3.7 percent.
The Middle East and North Africa, MENA, region ranks first in the world in F&B consumption forecasts for the 2018-2023 period, which reinforces Dubai’s attractiveness to investors, given its status as a gateway for FDI in the food industries.
According to Euromonitor, the United States accounted for 11 percent of Dubai’s F&B imports in that period, followed by India at 1 percent, Brazil at 9 percent and Australia at 4 percent. Dubai’s top destination for exports of food and beverage in the same period were the Sultanate of Oman with 11 percent, Iraq with 8 percent, Saudi Arabia with 6 percent, and China with 3 percent.
The main F&B items imported by Dubai in the Q1-Q3 2019 period were fruits and nuts, accounting for 15 percent of the total imports, followed by meat products at 13 percent, and dairy products at 8 percent.