The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) announced that its contribution to Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade for the first half of 2021 reached 11%. H1 trade in the Freezone grew 34% from the same period last year to reach AED77 billion, with a trade surplus of AED6.2 billion.
Imports recorded a growth of 44.5% in the first half of the year compared to the corresponding period last year, reaching AED35.4 billion, which represents 8.5% of Dubai’s total imports. In terms of re-exports, DAFZA grew 24% to total AED40.8 billion, representing 20.5% of Dubai’s total non-oil foreign trade. Exports saw a 501% growth compared to the same period of the previous year.
These results reflect Dubai’s success in reinforcing its role as a global trade hub and becoming a key player in the worldwide supply and trade chain. The strong growth figures, achieved despite disruptions to the movement of goods, trade chains and economic cycles due to the pandemic, demonstrate the agility and proactivity shown by the UAE and Dubai in spurring recovery through innovation and strong support for investors and businesses.
Returning to pre-pandemic Levels
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DAFZA, stated: “DAFZA’s latest statistics show that Dubai is returning to pre-pandemic growth levels, guided by the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We’ve overcome the pandemic’s challenges by creating opportunities and strengthening our resilience as well as supporting businesses in easing the impact of COVID-19 as well as assisting them in resuming growth. DAFZA has worked with diligence to tide over the repercussions of the pandemic with plans aimed at achieving specific targets. DAFZA’s H1 results reflect the world’s trust in the UAE’s trade ecosystem and a return to its rapid economic growth momentum.
“Dubai is on track to achieve its foreign trade target of AED2 trillion over the next five years. To realise this, it is strengthening foreign connections and adding 200 new cities to its network of global trade partners. In addition, DAFZA is continuing to grow its trade movement, with more strategic initiatives that elevate its services, customs facilities, as well as investment and commercial incentives.”
Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority, stated: “We were able to turn the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic into opportunities and continue our efforts to raise the quality of services offered to businesses, investors, merchants, entrepreneurs and companies headquartered in DAFZA. This was done to support their ability to enhance trade movement, whether in terms of imports, exports, or re-exports. DAFZA’s results confirm the success of our efforts. We will continue to work to increase these numbers in line with the leadership’s directives to expand the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade over the coming years.”
Machinery, sound recorders, TVs and electrical equipment are among the key commodities featured in DAFZA’s trading. These commodities saw a significant growth of 43% in the first half of the current year compared to the same period last year. As a result, the sector represented 74.4% of exports and re-exports amounting to AED31 billion and 76.8% of imports that amounted to AED27.2 billion.
This was followed by the precious stones and metals and jewelry cluster, which came in second with a 9% growth from the previous year. The cluster accounted for 19.4% of exports and re-exports amounting to AED8.1 billion and 16.8% of imports at AED5.9 billion. These two clusters represent approximately 94% of DAFZA’s overall trade.
In terms of commercial partners, China came in first at 30% with a trade value of AED23 billion in the first half of the year, representing a growth of 70% compared to the same period last year. Iraq came in second at 7.1% with AED5.4 billion, followed by India at 4.6% with AED3.3 billion. DAFZA’s trade with Turkey saw a five-fold growth in the first half of 2021.
In terms of imports, China came in first at 65%, followed by India at 8%, and both Turkey and Vietnam at 5.8%. Iraq came in first in exports and re-exports at 13.1%, while the USA accounted for 5%.
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