UAE’s Dubai trade value fell 13.7 percent in 2020

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Dubai’s trade in value terms fell by 13.7 percent last year, led by a decline in imports and re-exports, Reuters calculated, as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the Middle East’s largest trading hub.

Foreign trade reached 1.182 trillion dirhams ($321.8 billion) in 2020, state news agency WAM reported on Saturday, down from 1.37 trillion dirhams in 2019.

The value of imports declined 13.8 percent to 686 billion dirhams and re-exports, a key part of Dubai’s trade, fell 21.7 percent to 329 dirhams. Exports, however, rose 8 percent to 167 billion dirhams.

Total trade volumes decreased 8.3 percent to 100 million tons.

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“The resumption of trade with Qatar, the start of trade engagement with Israel, the positive spin-offs from hosting EXPO 2020 and the launch of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan will all contribute to accelerating the emirate’s growth momentum,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai state-owned port operator DP World.

Value of trade with China, Dubai’s largest trading partner, declined 5.3 percent to 142 billion dirhams, while value of trade with India, it second-biggest trading partner, fell 34 percent to 89 billion dirhams.

Trade in value terms with the United States decreased 21.5 percent to 61 billion dirhams, and the value of trade with Saudi Arabia, its largest Arab trading partner, declined 3.6 percent to 54 billion dirhams.

The value of gold trade rose 25.7 percent to 213 billion dirhams, while the value of diamonds traded decreased 23.7 percent to 64 billion dirhams, petroleum oils trade fell 33.3 percent to 57 billion and jewellery trade decreased 59.7 percent to 47 billion dirhams.

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said the emirate continues to target 2 trillion dirhams in trade in 2025.

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