Coronavirus: Dubai Crown Prince hails emirate’s economic resilience during COVID-19

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Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to 323 billion dirhams ($87.9 billion), down 4.7 percent when compared to 339 billion dirhams in Q1 2019. Meanwhile, exports reached 43 billion dirhams, up 2 percent from 42 billion dirhams in Q1 2019.

The volume of Dubai’s external non-oil trade amounted to 24 million tons, a drop of 14.3 percent from 28 tons in the corresponding quarter next year.

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Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, Crown Prince of Dubai said: “Dubai has demonstrated its economic resilience amidst the global COVID-19 crisis. Though the pandemic has impacted markets around the world, Dubai’s external trade has been able to maintain its momentum thanks to the diversity of its markets and its ability to adapt to global changes, trends and needs.”

Sheikh Hamdan highlighted how Dubai is supporting businesses to help mitigate the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic through a stimulus package plan which included a refund of 20 percent of customs fess on imported products sold locally in Dubai markets from March 15 till June 30.

The stimulus package also included the cancellation of the 50,000 dirhams bank guarantee or cash required to undertake customs clearance activity.

Out of Dubai’s total non-oil foreign trade in Q1 2020, Direct trade amounted to 188 billion dirhams, down 0.53 percent from the same period last year. Trade out of free zones in the emirate reached 133 billion dirhams, down 9.5 percent year-on-year. Customs warehouse trade accounted for 2 billion dirhams, down 13 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

Jump in customs transactions

Customs transactions in Dubai shot up 60 percent to reach 4 million in Q1 2020 from 2.5 million in Q1 2019, Dubai media office said.

Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said: “Dubai’s strong customs structure helped achieve a 60 percent increase in customs transactions despite the challenging global environment, growing from 2.5 million transactions in Q1 2019 to 4 million transactions this year. This makes Dubai one of the best customs and logistics hubs in the world, and a very attractive environment for foreign investments and businesses.”

Trade partners

China remained Dubai’s largest trading partner, contributing 35.8 billion dirhams, followed by India contributing 30.4 billion dirhams, and the United States with 19.5 billion dirhams.

The value of trade with those partners decreased slightly when compared to q1 2019 figures. Trade with China dropped by 0.56 percent, trade with India decreased by 7.9 percent, and trade with the US declined by 2.5 percent.

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