– DAFZ records a 36 percent year-on-year increase in non-oil trade in 2021
– DAFZ records a 36% year-on-year increase in non-oil trade in 2021
– Free zone’s non-oil trade exceeded AED162 billion in 2021 compared with AED119 billion the year before
Non-oil trade of Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), part of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), rose by more than 36 per cent year-on-year in 2021, reinforcing Dubai’s strength as a global hub for trade and commerce. Figures shared by the DAFZ in cooperation with Dubai Customs showed that the free zone’s non-oil trade exceeded AED162 billion last year compared with AED119 billion the year before.
These results reflect DAFZ’s prominent role in realising the strategic vision of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote the national economy and the investment environment of Dubai.
The exceptional financial results stem from DAFZ’s strategic initiatives and incentives to support and facilitate its community of multinational and small-to-medium businesses, enabling an investment environment and ensuring seamless trade activity.
Thanks to its strategic location, business-friendly policies, and robust sea and air infrastructure that connects with 400 international cities, Dubai is the proverbial heart of an investment ecosystem worth trillions of dollars. The commercial capital of the region, Dubai offers businesses unparalleled access to some of the world’s largest emerging and established markets in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, India, Asia and beyond.
DAFZ contributed 10.7% to Dubai’s non-oil trade in 2021, exceeding expectations across all sectors. The free zone also recorded a trade surplus of AED9.3 billion. This growth was fuelled by the massive 48% year-on-year increase in imports, exceeding even the record levels achieved in 2019 and resulting in a quadrupling of exports, reaching AED1.4 billion in 2021.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DIEZ, said:
“We are proud of these exceptional results that highlight the strategic contribution of DAFZ under the umbrella of DIEZ. These results have been pivotal in promoting economic recovery in Dubai and the UAE. The free zone has fully recovered from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, with trade returning to pre-2020 levels. This has reinforced its mission to enhance its strategic goals and contribute to strengthening Dubai’s position as a global trade hub.”
“These unprecedented results align with the national economic performance, which recorded qualitative leaps recently following the strong growth of Dubai’s non-oil trade. This has become a new base for further progress this year and in the future. Dubai has adopted various initiatives and undertaken development programmes in its commercial sectors, including a digital services system, developing its logistics infrastructure, and attracting national and international competencies. These initiatives have successfully implemented operational systems that meet the highest speed, efficiency, and competitiveness,”
His Highness added.
His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ, said:
“These exceptional results highlight the success and effectiveness of the strategic plans developed by Dubai to enhance the growth of the non-oil trade sector and develop its operations by following a new and comprehensive organisational structure. This has resulted in establishing the integrated business environment of DIEZ, which heralds a new stage of excellence and growth across all levels, in addition to offering flexibility in adapting to regional and global conditions and turning challenges into real opportunities for all parties.”
“During the pandemic, Dubai focused on developing accurate plans and continued to strengthen its partnerships and operations, a step that facilitated these exceptional results. This year serves as a new roadmap toward achieving the strategic goals of the Emirate’s non-oil trade sector and becoming a global hub for international trade. This is evident by the overall growth of imports to the Emirate and the enabling partnerships and attraction of new global companies that have chosen Dubai as the base for their global operations,”
Al Zarooni added.
Sectors and partners
In 2021, DAFZ achieved exceptional growth that contributed to surpluses in various sectors, particularly in the ‘machinery, equipment, and appliances’ and ‘precious stones, metals and jewellery’ sectors. These two sectors achieved growth between 36% and 46% and made up an average of 94% of DAFZ’s overall trade.
Machinery, equipment, and appliances were the main contributor to DAFZ’s trade in 2021, making up 74.6% of exports with a value of AED63.9 billion, and 77.1% of imports with a value of AED 58.9 billion. Precious stones, metals, and jewellery made up 19.3% of exports with a value of AED 16.5 billion, and 16.7% of imports with a value of AED 12.7 billion.
In terms of DAFZ’s trading partners, Asia accounted for 43% of DAFZ’s total trade with a value of AED69.5 billion, followed by the Middle East and North Africa with 37% and a value of AED60.7 billion, and Europe with 13% and a value of AED21.6 billion.
DAFZ launched a series of economic stimulus packages to support international companies and SMEs during the pandemic to overcome the economic challenges that affected most business sectors. This was in line with Dubai’s strategic vision to offer companies and businesses effective packages and incentives to provide flexibility in their operations and help them tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic.
News Source: Dubai Media Office