HomeCompaniesGrowth in Dubai's five year trade volumes underlines Emirates' economic resilience

Growth in Dubai's five year trade volumes underlines Emirates' economic resilience

01 April 2017

Dubai’s trade performance has shown steady and sustainable growth over the last five years, with non-oil trade volumes in metric tonnes registering a compound growth rate of 6.1% according to figures from Dubai Customs.

Despite a challenging macroeconomic environment which impacted global trade, Dubai’s trade volumes grew a healthy 8.2% in 2016, compared to the previous year, reflecting the resilience of the Emirate’s economy, and reinforcing its reputation as a global trading hub. 



Trade in Metric Tonnes

















Compound growth


Source: Dubai Customs

Despite the increase in volumes, currency fluctuations impacted the dirham value of Dubai’s trade, reporting a decline of 4.1% between 2014-2016  from AED 1.331 trillion to AED 1.276 trillion. However, in Euros the figures grew 15.0% from EUR 273 billion in 2014 to EUR 314 billion in 2016. The same trend occurred in Sterling with trade values increasing from GBP 220 billion in 2014 to GBP 257 billion in 2016, up 16.8%.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “Although we have witnessed periods of economic volatility, Dubai’s trade patterns continue to display strong resilience. The results highlight the wisdom of our leadership in planning for the years ahead for the benefit of the nation decades from now. Dubai’s flexibility and ability to adapt to change and world class infrastructure are paying dividends. The decision to diversify was taken over thirty years ago and is bearing fruit, focusing efforts on sustainable and accelerated growth. It has helped shift our reliance from hydrocarbons to a wider variety of sectors able to support the economy long term.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently announced a positive outlook for Dubai’s prospects in 2017 predicting 3.6% growth, slightly ahead of the 3.1% growth forecast announced by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee earlier this ‎year.

© Press Release 2017

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