01 October 2021

Dubai’s non-oil external trade up 31pc in H1
Dubai’s non-oil external trade surged 31 per cent in the first half of 2021 to reach AED722.3 billion ($196.6 billion) from AED550.6 billion in the corresponding period in 2020.
Exports grew 45 per cent year on year (YoY) in H1 2021 to AED109.8 billion ($29.9 billion) from AED75.8 billion, which supports the goal of the 10 x 10 programme (one of the nation’s ‘Projects of the 50’ initiatives) to increase the UAE’s exports to 10 global markets by 10 per cent annually. Imports rose by 29.3 per cent YoY to AED414 billion from AED320 billion. Re-exports grew 28.3 per cent YoY to AED198.6 from AED154.79.
The volume of Dubai’s non-oil external trade in the first half of 2021 rose 10 per cent to 48 million tons compared to 43.7 million tons in H1 2020. Exports skyrocketed 30.8 per cent YoY to reach 10.1 million tons. Re-exports totalled 7 million tons growing by 10.6 per cent, and imports rose by 4.25 per cent to 31 million tons.
The advanced systems at Dubai Customs completed 12.7 million customs declarations in eight months; an average of 55,000 daily. Customs transactions in H1 2021 grew 53.4 per cent to 11.2 million. China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in H1 2021 with AED86.7 billion worth of trade compared to AED66.3 billion in H1 2020, up 30.7 per cent YoY. Trade with India grew 74.5 per cent YoY to AED67.1 billion from AED38.5 billion. Trade with the US amounted to AED32 billion up 1 per cent from AED31.7. Saudi Arabia came fourth with AED30.5 billion up 26 per cent YoY from AED24.1 billion, followed by Switzerland with AED24.8 up 2.3 per cent YoY from AED 24.2 billion.
The total share of the five biggest trade partners in H1 2020 amounted to AED241.21 billion compared to AED185.06 billion in H1 2020, up 30.34 per cent. Gold topped the list of commodities in Dubai’s H1 external trade at AED138.8 billion (19.2 per cent of Dubai trade), followed by telecoms at AED94 billion (13 per cent). Diamonds came third in the list at AED57.3 billion (8 per cent), followed by jewellery at AED34.1 billion (4.7 per cent), and vehicle trade at AED28 billion (4 per cent).
Direct trade in H1 2021 totalled AED445.6 billion, up 39.5 per cent, while trade through free zones reached AED272 billion, up 19.8 per cent. Customs warehouse trade weighed in at AED4.5 billion, up 8.1 per cent. Airborne trade accounted for AED364.8 billion, jumping 46.15 per cent from AED249.6 billion in H1 2020. Sea trade reached AED247.5 billion, up 16.7 per cent compared to AED212.18 billion, while land trade touched AED110 billion, up 23.7 per cent compared to AED88.8 billion.


Dubai-Africa F&B trade reached $13.9bn by 2020
Dubai’s food and beverage trade, excluding tobacco, with Africa reached $13.9 billion during the 2015 to 2020 period, while the sector has been identified as a key factor expected to drive bilateral trade in the short-term, new Dubai Chamber analysis has revealed.
In 2020, the value of food and beverage trade (excluding tobacco) between Dubai and Africa amounted to $2.4 billion in food and beverage trade, marking a growth rate of 18 per cent compared to the previous year and the highest level since 2017. 
Dubai’s food and beverage trade with Africa accounted for around 13 per cent of the emirate’s total trade volume with the continent, over the same period, excluding trade in gold, jewellery and precious stones. Dubai’s exports in this category amounted to 31 per cent of the trade volume, and re-exports represented 23 per cent.
In 2020, North Africa accounted for the largest share of Dubai-Africa F&B trade, reaching a value of $971.2 million, followed by East Africa ($828.3 million). Southern Africa ranked third among Dubai’s largest food and beverage trading partners, with a total value of $362.9 million. 
According UNCTAD data, Africa registered a negative trade balance of $20.1 billion in F&B products with the world, and this trend was most prevalent in North, Middle, and Western Africa, indicating sizeable business opportunities in those regions.
The study concluded with a positive outlook for Dubai-Africa F&B bilateral trade, given Africa’s expanding urban F&B market, which offers vast opportunities for Dubai investors in warehousing and cold storage for agricultural outputs, farm equipment, transport, and repair services, among others.


Dubai Chamber exports to Eastern Africa up 2.4pc
Exports of members of Dubai Chamber to Eastern Africa grew by 2.4 percent in the first six months of the year, according to new trade figures released by the Chamber.
The latest statistics also revealed that there is an estimated untapped potential of over $2.9 billion, equivalent to 78 percent of the current export level, reported Emirates News Agency WAM.
The Chamber said it issued a total of 9,134 Certificates of Origin (COOs) for Eastern Africa-bound shipments from January to June 2021, with the certificates having a total declared value of $892 million (AED3.3 billion). The current level is more than double the value of exports to the sub-region from a decade ago.
Releasing the figures ahead of the Global Business Forum Africa, which takes place on October 13-14 on the sidelines of Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai Chamber said they show the investment potential of the 20 countries that make up the Eastern Africa region.
According to Dubai Chamber’s figures, the top five best-performing markets in the sub-region, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Burundi, added a cumulative $78.6 million to its members’ exports in the first half of this year compared to a year ago. The statistics also show that in 2011, Ethiopia dominated the Eastern Africa region with a 48 percent share in the total declared value, followed by Kenya at 14 percent, Tanzania at 9 percent, Djibouti with a share of 7 percent, and then Uganda at 6 percent. A decade later the position of these five markets remained the same, but with the distribution of their shares more balanced. The total declared value of Ethiopia in 2021 is estimated at 36 percent, Kenya and Djibouti at 17 percent each, Uganda at 8 percent and Tanzania at 7 percent.
Kenya dominates the East African region both in size and untapped potential, with the latter estimated at $573 million. 


Over 5,800 new licences issued in August
Dubai Economy, the department of economic development for the emirate, has announced that 5,885 new licenses were issued during August, up 54 per cent compared to the same period last year, when 3,829 licenses were given. 
The Business Registration and Licensing sector of Dubai Economy said of these licences, the lion’s share (59 per cent) of the new licences were professional (3,473), 40 per cent were commercial (2,378) and 1 per cent industrial activities. Regionwise, Bur Dubai accounted for the largest share (4,299) of the new licenses issued followed by Deira (1,577), and Hatta (9). Dubai Economy said it strives to deliver solutions that contribute to enhancing ease of doing business in the emirate and expanding investment and growth, which drives sustainable economic growth. n

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