Dubai saw a 17% upsurge in the total volume of traded goods in the first half of 2016, rising as high a as 49 million tons of commodities from 41 million tons the same period last year.

The non-oil foreign trade in Dubai soared to Dh647 billion in the first half of the year, from January to June 2016. Imports had the lion’s share at Dh401 billion, while exports and re-exports accounted for Dh 74 billion and Dh17 billion, respectively.

The Dubai Customs trade statistics showed that Dubai is advancing well in its plan to reduce reliance on oil revenues and move towards an economy that depends on foreign trade as well as other income sources.

DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said “To offset the impact of the general slowdown in world economy, lower commodity prices and the slump in oil prices, Dubai has wisely restructured and broadened its sources of revenue while taking considerable measures to stimulate growth in the affected sectors.”

According to Bin Sulayem, Dubai early on realised that enticing foreign investments is a necessary must-do step. In order to maintain Dubai’s business appeal, an advanced trade infrastructure, convenient government services at seaports and airports, a well-established legislative structure and a unique public-private partnership were all in place.

“We had the honour of receiving His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rasid Al Maktoum, Crown Price of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, lately at Dubai headquarters. We hope to live up to the role HH Sheikh Hamdan set for Dubai Customs during the visit, particularly as Expo 2020 draws near” he added.

Dubai has at present positioned itself as a regional and global IT trading hotspot; smart, mobile and fixed phones made up the largest chuck of the commodities traded through Dubai’s borders in H1 2016, with a total value of Dh84 billion, whilst computers amounted to Dh20 billion.

Automobiles had a Dh30 billion shares of Dubai’s foreign trade, which reflects the emirates’ healthy automotive market. Petroleum oils worth of Dh21 billion were traded across Dubai during the first six months of the year.

The growth of Dubai’s tourism and travel industry together with the strong consumer power of local populations, continued to sustain foreign trade in precious metals and gemstones. The commodity of Gold represented Dh75 billion of Dubai’s total foreign trade, diamonds reaching Dh51 billion worth of trade, while jewellery was valued at Dh34 billion.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, the director of Dubai Customs conveyed Dubai Customs commitment to tailoring new projects and initiative that best respond to customers’ expectations and make the, happy.

“One of the most prominent initiatives targeting trade facilitation and growth is the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) program, which offers numerous benefits to licensed AEOs. Back in 2015, we announced the Virtual Corridor initiative, which is currently being developed and once implemented, will lead to a much smoother cargo movement within Dubai,” Musabih explained.