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18 July 2024

Strengthening trade and investment links with Africa

Dubai International Chamber Expands Presence in Africa with Launch of New Office in Johannesburg

By E247

Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, today marked the official inauguration of its latest international office in Johannesburg. The new office further strengthens the UAE’s growing trade links with Africa and will seek to boost the level of bilateral investments between Dubai and South Africa.

The Johannesburg office brings the chamber’s total number of international representative offices to 21, five of which are located in Africa. The opening further consolidates Dubai International Chamber’s growing presence on the continent following the launch of representative offices in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Ghana. These play a crucial role in facilitating trade and investment flows between Africa and Dubai, as well as unlocking opportunities for Dubai companies in African markets.

Dubai International Chamber will focus on providing comprehensive support to the South African business community and building strong relationships with key public and private sector stakeholders. The team at the office will deliver on-ground assistance to South African companies seeking to enter the Dubai market and expand internationally through the emirate. 

Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: "The new office in Johannesburg is yet another example of our commitment to positioning Dubai favourably in Africa, strengthening trade links with this vital continent and unlocking two-way investments. In line with our strategic priorities and the emirate's foreign trade plan, we are anticipating further growth in Dubai's non-oil trade with South Africa and other key African markets, together with increased strategic investments from businesses on both sides."

The UAE is the largest trading country and top host of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the MENA region, while South Africa is the UAE's top trading partner on the African continent and the second-largest FDI host in Sub-Sahara Africa. According to Dubai Customs statistics, non-oil trade between South Africa and Dubai achieved year-on-year growth of 11.5% in 2022 to reach a total of AED22.3 billion.

The inauguration of the Johannesburg office comes as part of the ‘Dubai Global’ initiative, which was launched in 2022 by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, to establish 50 representative offices for Dubai across five continents by the end of the decade. The initiative supports Dubai Chambers’ strategic goals of attracting international business and investment to Dubai and driving the global expansion of its members.

A total of 777 South African companies were registered with Dubai Chamber of Commerce by the end of 2022, representing growth of 77% since 2016. The new office is set to strengthen the already robust commercial relationship between the UAE and South Africa by identifying and capitalising on new trade and investment opportunities across a range of key sectors including precious stones and metals, agriculture, logistics, and mining.

Dubai’s strategic location and world-class logistics facilities position it as the trade hub of choice for South African companies with global ambitions. The emirate offers easy access to 2.2 billion consumers, serving as a hub to enable South African companies to expand their footprints worldwide.