Trade surge proves Dubai's 'economic strength'

Crown Prince speaks of strategy to further expand local private sector

A surge in Dubai’s non-oil trade to a record high of more than Dh1 trillion in the first 10 months of 2012 proves the emirate has fully recovered from the global fiscal crisis and is now enjoying a strong economy, its Crown Prince has said.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said trade remains a key component of Dubai’s economy and would continue to grow as part of a strategy intended to further expand the private sector and diversify sources of income.

Sheikh Hamdan was commenting on new government figures showing Dubai’s non-oil trade leaped by nearly 13 per cent from around Dh911 billion in the first 10 months of 2011 to Dh1.025 trillion in the first 10 months of 2012. It was the first time that the non-oil trade of the region’s commercial and business hub broke the Dhone-trillion mark in such a period of time, according to the report.

“The trade sector has been and will remain the main pillar of Dubai’s economic structure and the driving force in its growth, supported by a clear vision for the future…we are now evaluating more business opportunities and our links with the rest of the world to further boost trade and expand the role of the private sector so it will play an active role in economic growth and supporting the infrastructure and investment,” he said.

“The steady growth in the trade sector reflects the strength of Dubai’s economy and shows that the emirate has overcome all repercussions of the global crisis…this is underscored in the announcement of many new projects in all sectors in the emirate.”

Sheikh Hamdan said Dubai, which handles over a fifth of the Gulf’s non-oil trade, would continue to follow a policy of “establishing successful relations with regional and international companies and of developing a set of economic legislations that will match the ambitions of the local and global business community.”

“Our efforts in this field have largely paid off, with the commercial sector making big leaps over the past period, allowing Dubai to further enhance its position on the world map and boost its status as a major transshipment centre linking regional states as well as the eastern and the western parts of the world.”

Figures provided by Ahmed Butti Ahmed, the Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone and Director General of Dubai Customs, showed trade in the first 10 months of 2012 was nearly equivalent to the level recorded through all 2011.

The figures showed Dubai’s imports during January-October 2012 soared to Dh609 billion from Dh549 billion in the same period of 2011 while exports and re-exports of goods leaped to Dh420 billion from Dh363 billion in the same period.

In the first 10 months of 2008, Dubai’s trade stood at around Dh785 billion before diving to about Dh619 billion in 2009 because of the financial crisis. It sharply rebounded to Dh742 billion in the same period of 2010 and maintained that trend to reach Dh911 billion in the first 10 months of 2011 before hitting an all-time high this year.

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