As you know, Dubai was highly impacted by the recent global recession. Import and export is Dubai’s main income. It was hit badly by the recent problems in the global economy.
The situation is changing slowly. Let’s see what is happening in Dubai export and import market.
Toward the latter part of 2008, many countries started to feel the effects of the brewing troubles that hit the world economies. Export and import activities were declining; foreign trading transactions were simply on the downturn. Through all these, one economy continued to survive – Dubai’s.
During that period of recession, Dubai even managed to get its non-oil exports increase by almost 40 percent vis-a-vis the previous year (2007). And in that period too, Dubai’s bilateral trade partnership with India remained strong. This is true for both export and import activities.
The six-year period prior to the recession saw brisk Dubai foreign trade activities. For instance, the five-year period ending 2005 had the Dubai government investing close to 11 billion dirham (AED 11bn)) in developmental undertakings. This translated to certain positive effects on the foreign trade of the emirate. In particular, total Dubai foreign trade shot up about 150 percent, from AED 112bn to AED 280bn, between the years 2001 and 2005. The Dubai foreign trade, in connection with the emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP), likewise rose by about 30 percent during the same period.
Being both a free economic zone and a trade hub strategically situated in the Middle East, Dubai is indeed ideal for foreign trade. The Dubai International Airport and Dubai’s two main sea ports (Port Rashid and Jebel Ali Port) boast world-class facilities, which make handling of exports and imports a lot easier.
Already Dubai’s public works and transportation system are first-class. But because improvements and increases in Dubai foreign trade are expected to continue, the government still undertakes numerous infrastructure developments and improvements.
A big part of Dubai’s exports and imports go by sea. Using the figures in the year 2005 as examples, total exports and imports by sea amounted to AED 152bn, which was approximately 54 percent of the total Dubai foreign trade transactions for that year.
Dubai is noted for its production of oil and gas. Ironically, though, this makes up only about 5 percent of its economy. Its non-oil exports represent approximately 80 percent of the total UAE transactions in this area. Some of the traditional products that make up part of Dubai’s non-oil exports include scrap metals, dates, and frozen fish. These products are exported mostly to India, Pakistan, and the neighboring emirates.
Liquefied gases, cement, aluminum ingots, and clothing are some of the manufactured products that Dubai exports, mostly to India, Japan, the United States, and China.
As for Dubai’s free-zone trading transactions, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and India make up the top three destinations, in that order.
Dubai’s import transactions are going briskly as well. In fact, Dubai brings in more than 60 percent of the total requirements of the entire UAE. Some of the countries it deals with in this area include China, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, and Germany.
No foreseeable problem is expected to cause a slowing down in Dubai foreign trade activities; thanks largely to Dubai’s strategic location on the Persian Gulf and to its world-class infrastructure.