Dubai recorded AED551 billion worth of non-oil external trade in the first half of 2020. The emirate’s ability to minimise the impact of the pandemic-induced global economic slowdown on its trading sector reflects its exceptional logistics infrastructure, which enabled it to maintain uninterrupted trade flows and a streamlined supply chain.

Imports accounted for AED320 billion, exports AED77 billion, and re-exports AED 154 billion. A total volume of 44 million tonnes of goods were traded through Dubai including 30 million tonnes of imports, 8 million tonnes of exports and 6 million tonnes of re-exports.

Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said the emirate’s external trade sector is capable of overcoming the strong headwinds facing global trade thanks to the depth, resilience, diversity and flexibility of the Dubai economy.

“External trade is one of the key pillars of our economy. We are today reaping the fruits of the vision of our country’s founding leaders and our strong strategic planning, backed by decades of hard work in creating a robust trading and logistics infrastructure.

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Dubai’s external trade sector has shown a high level of preparedness in dealing with the crisis. It has provided exceptional trading facilities and services to help businesses around the world overcome the challenges of the current period,” he said.

Dubai’s external trade showed considerable growth in May and June compared to April 2020, a period in which widespread lockdowns were enforced across the globe to combat the pandemic. Dubai’s external trade grew in May compared to April by 17.2 percent to reach AED75 billion, and again grew 20 percent in June compared to May to reach AED90 billion.

The latest external trade figures for H1 2020 show strong integration between different modes of shipping: land, sea and air. Airborne trade accounted for AED250 billion, accounting for 45 percent of total trade. Sea trade reached AED212 billion (39 percent), while land trade touched AED89 billion (16 percent).

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Direct trade totalled AED320 billion, representing 58 percent of Dubai’s external trade, while trade through free zones reached AED227 billion (41 percent), and customs warehouse trade weighed in at AED4 billion (1 percent).

China maintained its position as Dubai’s largest trading partner in H1 2020 with AED66.4 billion worth of trade. India came in second with AED38.5 billion, followed by the USA in third place with AED31.7 billion, and Switzerland with AED24.3 billion. Saudi Arabia continued to be Dubai’s largest Gulf and Arab trade partner and its fifth largest global trade partner with AED24.1 billion worth of trade.

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