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Dubai trade growth hits record levels

Dubai trade traffic statistics have revealed a 36% growth in trade during 2005, reinforcing the emirate’s position as the trading hub of the Middle East.

Dubai trade traffic statistics have revealed a 36% growth in trade during 2005, reinforcing the emirate’s position as the trading hub of the Middle East.

According to the figures, compiled by the Statistics Department of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zones, total trade through the emirate surged to US$130.7 billion during the year, as compared to US$95.6 billion in 2004.

The compounded average growth rate between 2000 and 2005 also records significant growth of 194%. In 2005, direct trade grew 30% to reach US$76.2 billion, free zone trade increased 47% to US$48.5 billion, and customs warehouse trade grew 49% to US$5.7 billion.

Total imports increased from US$62.5 billion in 2004 to US$83.8 billion in 2005, while exports jumped from US$17.5 billion to US$25 billion during the same period. Re-exports increased from US$15.5 billion in 2004 to US$21.5 billion in 2005.

The significant growth in trade reflects the overall growth of Dubai and the UAE, and reinforces the country’s role as one of the major trading nations in the region. The figures also indicate that Dubai has further enhanced its reputation as a major re-export hub, with re-exports recording a 38% year-on-year growth.

The remarkable surge in exports also points to increased activity in the manufacturing sector in the UAE, particularly in the free zones. Machinery, electrical and electronics equipment formed the bulk of total imports with a 23.7% share, followed by semi-precious and precious stones and metals and imitation jewellery at 23.6%. Vehicles, aircraft and transport equipment accounted for 11.4% of imports, with other products combining to make up the remaining 41%.

Base metals and products made from it comprised the majority of total exports with a 29% share, followed by prepared foodstuffs and mineral products at 17.4% and 6.5% respectively. Other miscellaneous products together formed the remaining 46%.

In the re-export market, semi-precious and precious stones, metals and imitation jewellery commanded a 33.9% share. Machinery, electrical and electronics equipment had a 26.5% stake in total re-exports while vehicles, aircraft and transport equipment held a 9.4% share.

India replaced China as Dubai’s leading trading partner in 2005. Total imports from India last year were worth US$6.5 billion, with China coming next at US$6 billion, followed by the USA, UK and Japan. India also constituted Dubai’s largest export market with total exports of US$240 million, ahead of Pakistan who accounted for exports worth US$227 million. Kuwait, USA and Iran rounded out the list of Dubai’s top five export markets.

India also maintained its position atop the list of top re-export destinations. The total value of re-exports to India in 2005 was pegged at US$4.9 billion, while re-exports to Iran amounted to US$3.2 billion. Iraq, Switzerland and the Netherlands followed next with US$1.5 billion, US$980 million and US$790 million respectively.

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