Dubai's non-oil foreign trade has climbed to a record Dh602 billion during the first half of 2012, reflecting a 12 per cent increase compared to Dh537bn achieved over the same period in 2011, according to the latest statistics from Dubai Customs.
Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Custom and Free Zone Corporation, and Dubai Customs Director General, said these figures include non-oil direct trade, free zone trade and customs warehouses. Dubai's imports have shown a growth of 11.5 per cent in H1 2012, fetching Dh357bn compared to Dh320bn in H1 2011; while the value of exports and re-exports hit Dhs245bn with a growth rate of 13pc as compared to Dh217bn over same period last year.
He commended Dubai's foreign trade sector for breaking the barrier of Dh600bn for first time in its history, noting that this sector has suffered major losses in 2009, dropping from Dh458bn in 2008 to Dh361bn in H1 2009 amid the global economic crisis.
Nonetheless, the sector managed to get back on track during first halves of 2010 to 2012, registering Dh436bn in 2010, Dh537bn in 2011 and Dh602bn in 2012.
Ahmed Butti Ahmed further pointed out that the Department is continuing to establish better regulations and customs procedures, which provide more facilities for traders, cargo companies and all customers within a more attractive investment environment.
Dubai Customs looks toward promoting Dubai's position as one of the world's leading financial and business hubs, as well as preserving its gains as a crucial link in global trade connecting various countries through a robust network of ports and airports.
Unwrought, worked and semi-manufactured gold topped the list of Dubai's imports reaching Dh59bn during the first half of 2012, followed by jewelry at Dh25bn, diamonds at Dh24bn, telecom equipment at Dh23bn and automobiles at Dh15bn.
Gold was also ranked as the top exported product from Dubai during H1 2012, at a value of Dh42bn, followed by diamonds at Dh8bn, jewelry and precious metals at Dh3bn, aluminum at Dh2bn and non-crude oil at Dh2bn.
In terms of re-exported products from Dubai, telecom equipment came in first at Dh29bn, followed by diamonds at Dh15bn, jewelry and precious metals at Dh11bn, oil products at AED10bn, and IT machinery at Dh9bn.
According to the figures released by Dubai Customs' Department of Strategy and Corporate Excellence, India has managed to maintain its position as Dubai's top foreign trading partner with a total trading value of Dh77bn (13 per cent of Dubai's overall foreign trade exchange); while China came in second with Dh53bn (9 per cent), followed by the US at Dh36bn (6 per cent), Switzerland at Dh32bn (5 per cent) and Saudi Arabia at Dh23bn (4 per cent).
Accordingly, Dubai's trade exchange value with these top five countries hit Dh221bn in total, accounting for 37 per cent of Dubai's overall foreign trade during the first half of 2012.