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Dubai trade grows 10% in Q1-2021

Gold tops total non-oil trade of AED 354 billion


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 the first quarter of 2021.

Foreign trade touched AED 354.4 billion, growing 10% from AED 323 billion in the corresponding period in 2020, and 5% 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% to AED 50.5 billion, representing a volume of 5 million tons, a rise of 20%. Imports accounted for AED 204.8 billion, growing 9%. The value of re-exports reached AED 99 billion, growing 5.5%.

Dubai has a five-year strategy to raise the value of external trade to AED 2 trillion and consolidate its position as a bridge connecting regional and international markets by constantly enhancing its infrastructure and logistics.

Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to contribute to the global economic recovery.

Direct trade in Q1-2021 totaled AED 217 billion, growing 15% compared to Q1-2020, while trade through free zones reached AED 135 billion, growing 2%. Customs warehouse trade weighed in at AED 2.3 billion, growing 23%.

Airborne trade accounted for AED 179 billion, growing 15%. Sea trade reached AED 120 billion, growing 3%, while land trade touched AED 55.3 billion, growing 7%.

China maintained its position as Dubai’s largest trading partner in Q1-2021 with AED 44 billion worth of trade, representing a growth of 30%. India came in second with AED 35 billion, growing 17%, followed by the USA with AED 15.4 billion. Saudi Arabia continued to be Dubai’s largest Gulf and Arab trade partner and its fourth-largest global trade partner with AED 14.7 billion worth of trade, growing 20%, followed by Turkey in fifth place with AED 12 billion, representing a staggering growth of 72%.

Gold topped the list of commodities in external trade at AED 63 billion, growing 27%, followed by telecoms at AED 50 billion, growing 32%. Diamonds registered a record growth of 61% and came third in the list with AED 29 billion, followed by jewelry with AED 17 billion, and vehicle trade, which grew 9% to reach AED 14 billion.