The UAE is a global trade center and a link between East and West

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The UAE has seen a real boom and tremendous achievements in its non-oil trade, which was evident in undeniable numbers. Within a few years, the country has become a link between East and West, managing to build bridges with various countries of the world, and has adopted a successful strategy to create an encouraging and attractive environment for business. For investment and able to increase economic growth.

The state’s strategy has been characterized by commercial openness and the granting of commercial facilities to those who want to work and start in promising future prospects, but all this would not have been achieved without a wise leadership that established balanced trade relations on strong laws and infrastructure not. , agreements and logistics and banking systems capable of providing an ideal response to trade requirements.

The UAE’s strategy in policy and legislation has achieved a real leap in attracting investment, with a strong shift in the service sector, such as transport, roads, finance, communication and information technology. Reports from international organizations and global reports on the competitiveness of foreign trade praised the UAE’s superiority.

The country’s economy has gained credibility in the regional and international trade and investment circles, which has contributed to the establishment of stable international trade relations reflected in the growth of foreign trade, whether in exports or imports.


The figures show that the UAE has made tremendous achievements in the volume of non-oil foreign trade as the country has become a link between the East and the West within a few years. The figures confirm that non-oil foreign trade recorded a qualitative leap, as it jumped from about one billion dirhams in 1971 to 41.1 billion dirhams in 1981, and in the second 10 years to 69.2 billion dirhams in 1991, bringing the figure to 151.1. billion dirhams in 2001.

At the beginning of the new millennium, the total volume of non-oil foreign trade rose to 754.4 billion dirhams in 2010, and only one year later it jumped to 927.6 billion dirhams in 2011, when total foreign trade reached trade one trillion and 55.9 billion dirhams in 2012, with an increase of up to 60 billion dirhams within one year, to rise significantly annually to one trillion and 56.5 billion dirhams in 2013, and to one trillion and 72 ,4 billion dirhams in 2014.

In 2015, the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade made a huge leap to reach one trillion and 556 billion dirhams, an increase of almost 584 billion dirhams in just one year, then a new increase of 4 billion to reach one trillion and 588 billion dirhams in 2016.

In 2017, the total rises to 24 billion new dirhams, reaching one trillion and 612 billion dirhams. By the end of 2019, the total volume of non-oil foreign trade reached one trillion and 603 billion dirhams, an increase of 67 billion dirhams over 2018, when it reached one trillion and 536 billion dirhams.

In 2020, the total non-oil foreign trade of the UAE exceeded 1.4 billion dirhams, and in 2021 it reached 1.9 billion dirhams, a growth of 27% compared to 2020, and 11% compared to 2019.


According to data from the Federal Center for Competitiveness and Statistics, 10 countries accounted for 51% of the UAE’s total non-oil foreign trade during the first quarter of this year, as China topped the list of trading partners of the UAE during the first quarter of 2022 with a total of 56.6 billion dirhams, followed by India with a value of 46.2 billion dirhams, then Saudi Arabia with a value of 32.5 billion dirhams, then the United States of America with ‘ a value of 25.8 billion dirhams, then Iraq with a value of 20.4 billion dirhams, and Switzerland with a value of 18.7 billion dirhams.

Turkey came in seventh with a value of 17.3 billion dirhams, followed by Japan with 13 billion dirhams, then Hong Kong with 12.6 billion dirhams, and Oman 11.5 billion dirhams.


The data also showed that Switzerland topped the list of the largest markets for UAE exports in the first quarter of this year after receiving exports worth 13 billion dirhams, followed by India with total exports of more than 8.7 billion dirham, followed by Saudi Arabia with exports of 7.9 billion dirhams. , then Hong Kong with 6.8 billion dirhams and Oman with about 4.6 billion dirhams.

Turkey came sixth with a value of 3.3 billion dirhams, Kuwait with 3 billion dirhams, then the United States with a value of 2.9 billion dirhams, then China with a value of more than 2.8 billion dirhams , then Iraq with a value of 2.7 billion dirhams. .

Raw or semi-processed gold was the most important state export during the first three months of this year with a total of 31 billion dirhams, followed by raw aluminum with 6.35 billion dirhams, followed by mineral oils with a value of 3.53 billion dirhams, followed by jewelery with a value of 3.5 billion dirhams.

real transformation

The wholesale and retail sector has gained great importance to support the economic diversification strategy in the UAE. The country’s government has taken many measures that have brought about a real transformation to improve the output of the wholesale and retail sector and provide an attractive environment for investors.

Taking advantage of its geographical location, the UAE has worked to support the participation of the private sector to strengthen the role of wholesale and retail trade. The state has provided an attractive local environment to revive the retail sector with a rising population to boost the national economy.

The UAE has become a global provider of high-level vital services such as air and sea transport, tourism, financial services and communications, and one of the most important re-export centers. International organizations have the UAE at the forefront of the world in the field of trade facilitation.

The significant expansion of the services sector has contributed to the UAE’s position as an international center for trade, finance and services, attracting well-known international companies to work in the field of services, such as international banks and international information technology companies.

giant leap

The UAE has made a giant leap in establishing free zones, and experts agree that the free zones have played an important role in serving the country’s economic development and the UAE’s role as a regional and global center established for trade and financial services.

The free zones were characterized by excellent facilities for investment, including tax exemptions and a low cost of doing business. The UAE has also signed agreements to protect and encourage investments, as well as agreements to prevent double taxation with most countries of the world. Free zones have also been launched in the fields of media, knowledge, healthcare and technology services.

According to statistics from the Federal Customs Authority, the number of free zones active in its trade with the state in 2010 amounted to about 16, and in 2018 the number of free zones reached about 37, of which 23 are in Dubai alone. In November 2020, the number of free zones in the country exceeded 44, spread over all emirates of the country, the largest part of which is in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The foreign trade in the free zones experienced a remarkable development, as its value doubled from 40.7 billion dirhams in 2000 to 655.5 billion dirhams in 2015. Exports from the free zones amounted to 320.0 billion dirhams , and imports 335.5 billion dirhams, with a large average annual growth of 19.0% during the period from 2015 to year 2000.

The UAE customs system, represented by the Customs Council, the Federal Customs Authority and the UAE customs outlets, played an active role in the development processes by optimally implementing its goals.


Inaugurated in 2016 and spanning an area of ​​550 million square feet at a cost of 30 billion dirhams, Dubai Wholesale City is the largest wholesale city in the world. Insurance, storage solutions, banking, residential and hotel units.

The city’s plans include holding permanent international exhibitions throughout the year, connecting it to Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport, and providing logistical support to fully connect four global continents to the new city, which will will be the world’s wholesale capital.


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