This is now in your Top Picks!

Login or create an account to save your favourites and receive personalised recommendations.

LoginRegister

Login to like

Sign in or register to like this content

LoginRegister

Global gateway to trade

Positioned at the nexus of the East and West, Dubai is a futuristic and thriving hub for global trade.

Jump to section

Gateway to the world

The hyper-connected emirate acts as a nerve centre for trillions of dollars of business and investment into the Middle East, Europe, Africa, India, Asia and beyond.

Its strategic global location, combined with business-friendly policies and future-forward infrastructure, have shaped Dubai into a leading global trade, finance and e-commerce powerhouse.

Dubai is set to be at the fore of exponential thinking

Access to the world
With 2.5 billion people living within a four-hour flight, and 5 billion within an eight-hour flight or less, the city offers unparalleled access to the world's largest emerging growth markets too.

Global trade

A major trade hub and re-export capital, Dubai’s non-oil external trade volumes surged 10% year-on-year (YoY) in the first half of 2021 to 48 million tonnes. China was Dubai’s largest trading partner with US$23.6 billion-worth of trade, followed by India with US$18.27 billion-worth of trade and the USA with US$8.7 billion.

exports-rate-white icon

US$30bn

Value of exports

The total value of exports from Dubai rose 45% in the first half of 2021.

re-exports-white icon

US$196.5bn

Non-oil foreign trade

Dubai’s external trade value surged 31% year-on-year in the first half of 2021.

Trading partners

China is Dubai's largest trading partner, contributing US$29 billion to the economy in 2019, a 6% increase on the year before.

India is the second-biggest trading partner, contributing over US$27 billion, a growth of 16% followed by the USA with US$15.5 billion and Switzerland US$12.7 billion. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia maintained its position as Dubai's largest Arab trade partner. The country was its fifth-biggest partner globally reporting in excess of US$ 11 billion worth of trade in 2019.

China

US$23.6 bn

As of H1, 2021, China is Dubai’s top trading partner

India

US$18.27 bn

India is Dubai’s second largest trading partner as of 2019.

USA

US$8.7 bn

As of 2019, the USA is Dubai’s third largest trading partner.

KSA

US$8.3 bn

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Dubai’s forth largest trading partner.

Switzerland

US$6.75 bn

Switzerland is Dubai’s fifth largest trading partner as of 2019.

Logistics nexus

The logistics industry comprises more than 14% of Dubai’s GDP and this sector is forecasted to grow at a rate of 4% through to 2022. Through substantial investments in transport infrastructure and logistics capabilities, the city has become a major regional trade gateway and a re-export zone for commodities on the Europe-East Asia trade route. Dubai was named among world's top 5 shipping hubs according to the latest edition of the International Shipping Centre Development Index. The report said that backed by legal and legislative excellence, Dubai is known for its advanced infrastructure, world-class maritime and logistics capabilities - a competitive environment conducive to trade, business and investment.

DP World

logistics-and-trade-cargo-ship-white icon

9th

Busiest port

Jebel Ali Port handled 13.5 million TEUs in 2020, making it the world’s ninth busiest port.

Aviation hub

The city is also a world-class aviation hub, acting as a hyper-mobiliser for trade and logistics. Dubai International Airport was the busiest international airport in the world in 2019, for the sixth year running.

passenger-airline-travel-white icon

86m

passengers via DXB

Dubai International Airport welcomed 86 million passengers in 2019.

finance-money-growth-white2 icon

118m

passengers by 2023

Planned expansions are projected to take Dubai International Airport from 90 million passengers annually to 118 million by 2023.

transportation-air-airplane-white icon

160m

passengers via DWC

There is a planned annual capacity of 160 million passengers at Al Maktoum International Airport upon completion.

tonnes-of-cargo-white icon

12m

tonnes of cargo

The planned annual cargo at Al Maktoum International Airport upon completion is set to be 12 million tonnes.

African export boom

At the 5th Global Business Forum Africa held at the end of 2019, it was noted that there is immense potential for the UAE to double its exports to Africa with products such as rubber and sugar.

Dubai’s non-oil trade with the African continent is expected to have exceeded US$272 billion in the period from 2011-2019; with over 21,000 African companies currently registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Dubai International Airport

Related insights and articles

More from Why Dubai

Discover why Dubai is a global hub for business and investment.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Receive the latest news and insights from Business in Dubai straight to your inbox

All information provided will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Notice.

Happiness Meter