July 2019

Gulf Industry Magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.


Dubai non-oil trade surges 7pc to hit $92bn

DUBAI recorded a non-oil foreign trade of Dh339 billion ($92.2billion) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, an increase of 7 per cent year-on-year (YoY) from Dh316 billion recorded in Q1 last year. Exports registered the most growth, rising 30 per cent to reach Dh42 billion while re-exports grew 7 per cent to Dh106 billion and imports went up by 4 per cent to reach Dh190 billion.

 Data released by Dubai Customs showed that Dubai’s Q1 2019 non-oil trade volumes increased by 32 per cent to 28 million tons (21 million tons in Q1 2018). Exports rose by 94 per cent to 6 million tons while re-exports surged 41 per cent to 4 million tons and imports rose 16 per cent to 17 million tons.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, 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.

Dubai’s non-oil trade grew 58 per cent in the 2010-2019 decade; an increase of Dh124 billion from Q1 2010 which saw Dh215 billion. Trade through free zones reached Dh147 billion (+20 per cent YoY). Direct trade was the largest contributor to total trade at Dh189 billion (-0.5 per cent YoY) and customs warehousing accounted for Dh2.3 billion (-21 per cent YoY). Air and sea trade accounted for 85 per cent of the total trade, with both witnessing double-digit increases. Air trade accounted for Dh158 billion (+11 per cent YoY) and sea trade recorded Dh129 billion (+10 per cent YoY). Trade by land reached Dh52 billion.


Bahrain-origin exports hit $553m

THE value of Bahrain-origin origin exports increased by 16 per cent as it reached BD210 million ($553 million) during May of versus BD181 million for the same month of 2018, the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) said in its latest foreign trade report. The top 10 countries account for 82 per cent of the exported national origin value and 18 per cent for other countries.

Saudi Arabia was ranked as the first country importing from Bahrain with BD63 million, USA second with BD30 million and UAE comes in third place with BD21 million.

As for national export products, agglomerated iron ores and concentrates emerged as the top products exported in May of 2019 with BD60 million; unwrought aluminium alloys were positioned second products exported with a value of BD23 million; and aluminium wire stood third place for exported products with BD19 million. In regards to the re-exported field, the value of re-exports increased by 57 per cent as it reached BD66 million during May of 2019 versus BD42 million for the same month of the previous year. The top 10 countries account for 88 per cent of the re-exported value and 12 per cent for other countries. UAE is ranked as the first country to re-export from Bahrain with BD20 million, Saudi Arabia is ranked as the second with BD17 million, and China as the third with BD7 million.


Dubai issues 2,599 new business licences

DUBAI has issued 2,599 new business licences during May 2019, a growth of 50 per cent compared to May 2018 (1,736), said a report.

The new licences created 8,348 jobs in the labour market, the Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED), added the Wam report.

Among the new licences issued, 54.7 per cent were professional, 42.7 per cent commercial, 1.8 per cent related to tourism and 0.8 per cent industry, it said.

The ‘Business Map’ digital platform of DED, which seeks to reflect the economic realities in Dubai by providing vital data on each license category including their numbers and distribution on a monthly basis, saw 24,992 business registration and licensing transactions being completed during the month of May 2019, while the outsourced service centres of DED issued 17,983 transactions, a 72 per cent of total transactions, thus demonstrating their vital role in delivering value-added services to the public in Dubai.

BRL also issued 187 instant licences, which is issued in a single step without the need for either the Memorandum of Association (MoA) or an existing location for the first year only, while the number of DED Trader licences during May 2019 reached 144 licences. The report also showed that the top nationalities who secured licences in May 2019 included citizens of Bangladesh followed by India, Pakistan, Egypt, Britain, China, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Philippines, and Lebanon.


UAE’s e-commerce market to grow to $17.8bn

THE UAE e-commerce market is poised to grow to $17.8 billion in 2020, and the logistics providers they choose will play a key role in the exponential growth of online shopping, according to industry specialists.

Average annual online spend per-capita in the UAE is around $300, significantly higher than Saudi Arabia at $90 and France at $94, according to UK-based consultancy firm Business Monitor International (BMI). Online shopping is growing faster in the UAE than other countries. The UAE currently ranks 33rd in the world, in terms of the size of its e-commerce market.

The UAE is also a leading emerging market player in the logistics industry as the country ranks first in the Gulf region and third globally after China and India, according to the latest Emerging Markets Logistics Index. Gulf Pinnacle Logistics chairman Shailesh Dash said: “The aggressive growth of the e-commerce market in the UAE increases demand for professionally qualified logistics service providers to meet the logistics requirements of their customers.” Logistics include many aspects like product handling, packaging, billing, labelling, inventory management, warehousing, transportation, cash on delivery, payment, product return and exchange, in addition to other value-add services. More than 80 per cent of UAE’s 8.2 million internet users make purchases online, according to the annual report of Admitad – a global affiliate network.


Global economic growth to fall to 3.4pc

THE momentum of the global economic expansion that slowed down in 2018 to 3.7 per cent is expected to carry on to 2019–2020, when annual global output expansion is forecast to decline to 3.3–3.4 per cent, said Euromonitor in a new report.

Advanced economies are expected to see their economic activity slow down gradually in 2019–2020, with real GDP growth averaging 1.5–1.8 per cent annually in 2019–2020, according to Euromonitor’s “Global Economic Forecasts Q2 2019”.

Labour productivity and real wage growth will improve but remain disappointing at 0.7–1.7 per cent annually. Emerging economies, by contrast, are anticipated to witness improving economic dynamics and expand by around 4.6–4.8 per cent annually in 2019–2020. India and China, despite the gradual slowdown of the latter, will remain a core of emerging economies’ output growth, the report said.

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