The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has reported a 42-per cent rise in export and re-export figures despite the global financial meltdown.
The total value of goods exported and re-exported from the emirate rose to Dh240 billion in 2008, the group revealed.
Meanwhile, membership increased by 14 per cent and the value of certificates of origin issued to exporters rose by 11 per cent. The latter increase meant the chamber issued more certificates than any other place in the world.
Membership in 2008 rose to 121,175 from 108,573 the previous year, while the number of certificates issued reached 624,066 compared with the 2007 total of 559,652.
"These figures represent the Dubai business community's resolve to face the onslaught of the global financial crisis and show optimism and determination to work towards the economic development of the emirate," said Hamad Buamim, Director- General of Dubai Chamber.
"In the present scenario the chamber has played its pivotal role of a business facilitator providing the best services and facilities to its members and stakeholders.
"The 2008 figures directly reflect on the magnitude of chamber's efforts in supporting the growth of business in the emirate and the promotion of Dubai as a global trading hub.
"In order to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community, the chamber did its best to create a business-friendly environment by organising various business-to-business networking events, while enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai businesses in global markets."
The chamber approved the establishment of new business councils for Bulgaria, Austria and Japan last year as well as new bodies such as the Dubai Computer Traders Group and the Foreign Exchange and Remittances Group.
It hosted business breakfasts and networking lunches for its 21 business groups, 34 business councils and 78 trade centre representatives.
And it signed 10 memorandums of understanding and strategic partnerships with international and local bodies including Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Tejari and Coface Emirates, among others.
Dubai Chamber also prepared a report on the effects of the global financial crisis on different economic sectors in the emirate. And it hosted 201 trade delegations led by, among others, the President of the Philippines, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, the mayors of Houston and Lyon, ministers, ambassadors and commercial consuls from its trading partner countries.
The group signed strategic partnership agreements with Unicef and the Emirates Green Building Council and was appointed to the International Chambers of Commerce's Commission on Business in Society.
Last year's flagship event was the second session of the Dubai Hamburg Business Forum held in the German city in December.
The event was attended by 230 delegates, including 60 from Dubai.