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Dubai Reflecting UAE Economy’s Diversification Objectives

March 2016

By Wealth Monitor Intelligence

March 30, 2016 | 14:00 | Dubai

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, yesterday announced that Dubai recorded a non-oil foreign trade of AED 1.283 tn in 2015, details for which are provided in the charts below:

Chart Data Source:

Chart data source:

Trade dipped 3.6% from a year ago. Some of the highlights within the announcement include

  • Phones represented the most traded commodity with a total value of AED 185 bn.
  • Computers ranked sixth among traded commodities with a total value of AED 46 billion – a trading trend that validates Dubai’s status as a global and regional technology hub.
  • Dubai maintained its leading position as a global hub for precious metals and stones trading. Gold trading was valued at AED 117 billion, diamond trading at AED 94 billion, and jewellery trading at AED 65 billion.
  • Automobile trading also maintained its position among the leading trading sectors in 2015 at AED 68 billion.

Chart data source:

  • China maintained its position as Dubai’s leading trading partner with AED 176 billion of trade, nearly equaling the combined trade from India and the US.

Chart data source:

Given the share of China within the trading partners, focus would remain on Chinese economic data in the immediate term as observers make predictions around the trend of the regions non-oil foreign trade going into the rest of 2016.

Chart data source:; Wealth Monitor Intelligence

While the numbers reported reflect a marginal YoY decline, it needs to be reviewed in light of the overall slowdown which has gripped the global economy for a major portion of the year gone by. Using Oil as a barometer for global sentiment, the chart below reflects the 47% decline in average crude oil prices for 2015 as against the previous year. Thus, it is reflective of the proactive vision of the leaders at the helm in identifying the need to diversify the UAE economy. The UAE’s long-term plan is to lower the hydrocarbon contribution to its GDP down to 5% by 2021 from the currently estimated 30%.

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