Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry saw its network of members grow by 9 percent or 16,800 companies in 2016, bringing the organisation’s total membership to 201,000 by the end of the year.
The rise in number strengthens its position as one of the largest membership-based chambers of commerce in the world.
The total value of the member companies’ exports and re-exports amounted to Dh273 billion in 2016. Saudi Arabia was the top destination for exports and re-exports during this period, valued at Dh87.8 billion.
A total of 923,056 Certificates of Origin were issued, and the number of ATA Carnets issued and received in the UAE reached 5,500, accounting for a total value of Dh3.1 billion.
The number of customers served by Dubai Chamber rose 14 percent YoY to 377,500 in 2016.
Dubai Chamber took part in 78 events across 50 cities and hosted 681 delegations from 81 countries. More than 1,500 meetings were held by the organisation with 1,525 delegates participating, while its international offices conducted a total of 484 meetings.
A total of 32 international associations were licensed by the Dubai Association Centre, DAC, marking a 100 percent increase compared to the 16 licences in 2015.
DAC, established by Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Business Events and Dubai World Trade, offers assistance for establishment of non-profit, apolitical and non-religious professional associations and trade bodies in the emirate.
Dubai International Arbitration Centre, DIAC, a Dubai Chamber initiative, received 214 arbitration cases in 2016, while the chamber’s Legal Services Department received 710 mediation cases, bringing the total number of registered commercial disputes to 924.
Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) organised 31 events that focussed on improving corporate social responsibility and sustainability within the local business community, which were attended by more than 2,126 delegates from 691 companies.
The sixth annual Give and Gain Day, held under the ENGAGE Dubai programme, saw the participation of 768 volunteers from 26 companies which put in 1,681 hours for various community projects that benefited 1,300 people.
In 2016, ENGAGE Dubai also attracted 24 new corporate members and five new community partners.
In addition, the chamber’s Sustainability Network had a total of 58 members by the end of the year, and hosted 19 events attended by 398 participants.
Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade remained steady in 2016, while key sectors continued to witness robust activity. The Expo 2020 also served as a catalyst for growth and expansion as infrastructure projects associated with the mega event began to take shape.
Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, said that Dubai’s economy remained resilient last year despite global economic challenges as the emirate scaled up its diversification efforts, which greatly minimised the impact of slowing global trade on the emirate.
"2016 was an important year for Dubai as several new strategies were launched to facilitate the emirate’s transition into a post-oil economy and a global hub for knowledge and innovation. We saw a number of mega projects surface such as Dubai’s next tallest tower and Dubai Harbour, which is set to become the Middle East’s largest marina. These major initiatives will only increase foreign investors’ interest in Dubai, and help boost the emirate’s profile globally," he said.
Buamim said that Dubai Chamber would continue to support this vision by protecting the interests of Dubai’s business community, promoting the emirate as an attractive trade and investment destination, and exploring opportunities in new markets which have the best potential.
He also added that Dubai Chamber would soon launch its new strategy aligned with the Dubai Plan 2021, which would place a stronger emphasis on growing its global network, boosting public-private-sector collaboration, developing the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, and fostering a culture of innovation in various sectors of the economy.