Dubai’s non-oil external trade grows 10% to Dh354 billion in Q1 2021

DP World,  Jebel Ali Free Zone
Dubai’s foreign trade in the first quarter 2021 touched Dh354.4 billion growing 10 per cent from Dh323 billion in the corresponding period in 2020, and 5 per cent compared to Q1 2019. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai’s economy has proved its resilience and ability to recover quickly from the global repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic by achieving high levels of external non-oil trade growth in Q1 2021.

Dubai’s foreign trade in the first quarter 2021 touched Dh354.4 billion growing 10 per cent from Dh323 billion in the corresponding period in 2020, and 5 per cent compared to Q1 2019. This reflects a rapid return to recovery and growth in the external trade sector and an ability to adapt to drastic changes in the international trade environment.

Exports grew 25 per cent to Dh50.5 billion, representing a volume of 5 million tonnes, a rise of 20 per cent, and imports accounted for D204.8 billion, growing 9 per cent. The value of re-exports reached Dh99 billion, growing 5.5 per cent.

“This remarkable performance reflects our external trade sector’s impressive resilience and its ability to rebound and grow in the face of major international crises. Inspired by the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we have always turned challenges into opportunities. We have been able to achieve this by virtue of our good governance, advanced infrastructure, strategic location, our status as a regional and global hub for trade, and the generous stimulus packages that the government has launched in support of trade and businesses,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

This remarkable growth will get Dubai closer to the ambitious target of its five-year strategy to raise the value of external trade to Dh2 trillion and consolidate its position as a bridge connecting regional and international markets by constantly enhancing its infrastructure and logistics services. “Furthermore, by hosting EXPO2020, ‘the world’s greatest show’, Dubai will make a significant contribution to the recovery of the global economy and help it move towards prosperity again,” said Sheikh Hamdan.

Dubai Trade
Dubai Trade Image Credit: Dubai Customs

China maintained its position as Dubai’s largest trading partner in Q1, 2021 with Dh44 billion worth of trade, representing a growth of 30 per cent. India came in second with Dh35 billion, growing 17 per cent, followed by the USA in third place with Dh15.4 billion.

Saudi Arabia continued to be Dubai’s largest Gulf and Arab trade partner and its fourth largest global trade partner with AED14.7 billion worth of trade, growing 20 per cent, followed by Turkey in fifth place with Dh12 billion, representing a staggering growth of 72 per cent.

Direct trade in Q1 2021 totaled Dh217 billion growing 15 per cent compared to Q1 2020, while trade through free zones reached Dh135 billion, growing 2 per cent. Customs warehouse trade weighed in at Dh2.3 billion, growing 23 per cent. Airborne trade accounted for Dh179 billion, growing 15 per cent. Sea trade reached Dh120 billion, growing 3 per cent, while land trade touched Dh55.3 billion, growing 7 per cent.

Gold topped the list of commodities in Dubai’s Q1 external trade at Dh63 billion, growing 27 per cent, followed by telecoms at Dh50 billion, growing 32 per cent. Diamonds registered a record growth of 61 per cent and came third in the list with Dh29 billion, followed by jewelry with Dh17 billion, and vehicle trade, which grew 9 per cent to reach Dh14billion.

“Dubai recovered quickly from the repercussions of the current global crisis and has resiliently grown its trade, spurred by its strong investments and advanced technological capabilities, which enabled it to continue its global trading activities during what has been a testing time. The impressive success of the vaccination campaign in the UAE has created high levels of global confidence in the country and helped Dubai add to its profile as the city with the world’s most favourable business environment,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.