Dubai recorded a non-oil foreign trade of AED339 billion ($92.2 billion) in the first quarter of 2019, up seven percent compared to the same period last year.
Exports registered the most growth, rising 30 percent to reach AED42 billion while re-exports grew seven percent to AED106 billion and imports went up by four percent to reach AED190 billion, state news agency WAM reported.
Data released by Dubai Customs showed that Dubai’s Q1 non-oil trade volumes increased by 32 percent to 28 million tonnes. Exports rose by 94 percent to six million tonnes while re-exports surged 41 percent to four million tonnes and imports rose 16 percent to 17 million tonnes.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Executive Council, said: “This robust performance and marked growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification in alignment with the values and standards outlined in the 50-Year Charter.
“The Dubai Silk Road Strategy supports decades of successful investment in developing the emirate’s infrastructure. In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, we are committed to developing our government services so that we can become a world-class model for future governments based on knowledge, innovation and advanced AI applications.”
Trade through free zones reached AED147 billion, up 20 percent, while direct trade was the largest contributor to total trade at AED189 billion, down 0.5 percent year-on-year, and customs warehousing accounted for AED2.3 billion, down 21 percent.
Trade with Asia, the largest trading region for Dubai, increased by seven percent to AED208 billion while trade with Europe, the second largest partner, touched AED58 billion, and Africa witnessed the biggest growth, rising 36 percent to reach AED42 billion.
The Americas and Oceania also contributed to high single-digit growth, up seven percent (AED27 billion) and nine percent (AED3.5 billion) respectively.
Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said: “This strong growth has been delivered despite the challenging macro and geopolitical environment, which further highlights the strength and resilience of the Dubai economy.
“Overall, despite geopolitical headwinds, we remain excited about the outlook for Dubai, particularly with the lead up to EXPO 2020,” he added.
The top three trading countries by value remained the same as Q1 2018, with China the biggest partner, followed by India and the US.