It was another year of growth and success for the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) in 2018, with 1,868 new businesses arriving to join the free zone, which translates into a rise of 12% compared to 2017.

The DMCC can now proudly announce it is home to over 15,000 companies, which equates to as many as 7 new members signing up every day since the zone was first inaugurated. The collective financial total contributed by these companies offers over 10% of Dubai’s GDP, which underlines just how important the DMCC is to the long-term economic strategy of the UAE.

Speaking recently about the recently released performances figures, the executive chairman and chief executive officer of the DMCC, Ahmed bin Sulayem, said that 2018 was an extremely strong year for the free zone organisation. He went on to say its success owes a huge debt to the groundwork laid by the UAE government, whose business initiatives have set out a clear economic pathway that has allowed Dubai to become one of the most attractive business hubs in the world.

Sulayem reiterated that the DMCC was now the preferred free zone for a growing number of businesses looking to establish a trading base in the region, as it possessed all the infrastructural support they need to grow and enjoy long-term economic success.

A record-breaking year for trade

Trade flows through Dubai have also increased as a result of more companies joining the DMCC. In 2018, Dh1.205 billion worth of diamonds were traded by 27 diamond tenders in the DMCC's Dubai Diamond Exchange, which marks a significant increase from Dh104.7 million from 13 tenders in the previous year.

Also celebrating a record-breaking year was the DMCC's Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCE). The total value of contracts traded during 2018 was Dh1.744 trillion, based on an aggregate of 22.26 million deals. Compared to 2017, this is a year-on-year increase of 28% and is the highest annual volume ever traded at the DGCE. Elsewhere, the DMCC Tradeflow – which registers the ownership and possession of commodities in the free zone – posted a total of Dh126 billion, which is a rise of 37% from the previous 12 months.

Part of the DMCC’s ongoing economic strategy is to attract foreign investment and expand trade routes through Dubai. During 2018, the DMCC signed 10 new agreements with a number of strong international partners across the world.

The aim of these agreements is to strengthen business relations, introduce and encourage best practices and encourage knowledge sharing that will benefit both parties. Some of the agreements signed include partnerships with organisations such as the China Council for The Promotion of International Trade, the Indian Institute of Directors and the Astana International Financial Centre.

Emrah Yar, Head of Commercial at leading estate agency firm, Allsopp & Allsopp, highlighted how the introduction of long-term and investor visas by the UAE Cabinet are playing a key role in encouraging businesses to look towards Dubai as a credible place of business. He said as the population in the city continues to grow, so do the business opportunities as a result.

And if 2018 is anything to go by, the future looks extremely bright for the DMCC and the UAE as a whole.