Dubai's nonoil foreign trade has achieved 6.6 percent growth during the first quarter of 2012, amounting to over AED 298.1 billion, compared to AED 279.7 billion achieved in the first quarter of last year, according to latest statistics released by Dubai Customs. Ahmed Butti Ahmed, executive chairman of Ports, Custom and Free Zone Corporation, Dubai Customs Director General, said, "The continued growth in Dubai's foreign trade reflects the strength and resilience of the UAE economy, thereby affirming the wise approach adopted to support economic diversity."
Butti explained that the statistics presented include nonoil direct trade, free zone trade and customs warehouses.
Butti has also revealed that Dubai's imports reached AED 175.2 billion during the first quarter of 2012, as compared to the AED 166.2 billion posted over the same period in 2011. The figures presented represent a growth rate of 5.4 percent while the value of exports and re-exports over the first quarter of 2012 amounted to over AED 122.9, billion, which shows a growth of 8.5 percent from the AED 113.4 billion entered during the same period in 2011.
According to Ahmed Butti, the country's positive trade rates and the continuing development of both infrastructure and legislative directives that are aimed at attracting more foreign investments, are expected to boost the UAE's chances of hosting Expo 2020. Aside from these factors, the chances are further made stronger with the country's experience in hosting previous international events like the annual meeting of the board of governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 2003.
India is currently ranked as Dubai's top trading partner in terms of imports, exports and re-exports, achieving as total value of over AED 40 billion. It emerged as Dubai's top exporting and re-exporting country at AED 21 billion and came second in terms of imports at AED 19 billion, following China at AED 25.5 billion, while the US came in third place at AED 16 billion.
Unwrought, worked and semi-manufactured gold topped the list of Dubai's imports with AED 25.6 billion from January to March 2012, followed by diamonds at AED 13.9 billion and jewelry and precious metals at AED 11.7 billion. Imports of telecom equipment have reached AED 11.4 billion, while cars touched AED 7.6 billion.
Gold was also the number one product to be exported from Dubai during the said period at AED 18.6 billion, followed by jewelry and precious metals at AED 1.4 billion and non-crude oil at AED 1.2 billion.
Telecom equipment and devices came in first in terms of re-exported products from Dubai to the rest of the world at AED 19.5 billion, followed by diamonds at AED 13.6 billion, non-crude oil at AED 4.6 billion, IT machinery at AED 4.3 billion and gold at AED 3.2 billion. Dubai issues more trade licenses in May.
Meanwhile, the number of trade licenses issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in May 2012 reached 1,542, an increase of 14 percent over the same period in 2011. The tourism sector accounted for the highest increase in number of licenses (57 (percent) followed by the professional (19 percent) and commercial (13 percent) sectors.
The rise in the number of licenses indicates a higher level of interest in commercial and professional activities among businessmen and investors in Dubai. Commercial licenses accounted for 73 percent of the total licenses issued last month, followed by professional (25 percent), industrial and tourism (1 percent each) licenses.