Bilateral trade between Dubai, UK was Dhs21.5 billion in 2020 - GulfToday

Bilateral trade between Dubai, UK was Dhs21.5 billion in 2020


Dubai Customs officials during a virtual meeting with their British counterparts.

The implementation of Brexit and the following consequences on trade, travel and security were the main highlights of the meeting that took place between Dubai Customs and its British counterpart.

The meeting was organised online, and Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs confirmed to Bill Williamson, Director of British Customs that Dubai Customs will provide all what is necessary to British businesses and investors to help them overcome any challenges that might result from them leaving the trading bloc.

Britain has officially left the European trading block and started applying new procedures from the first day of the new year.

On his part, Williamson highly commended the outstanding achievements and performance of Dubai Customs in the past few years. He attributed that to the hard work of its teams and the sophisticated and advanced technologies used in its operations.

This has helped in expediting trade, close monitoring of traffic of goods between the two sides, and helping British authorities thwart cross border illegitimate shipments, he explained.

“We would like to enhance international efforts in what is related to legitimate trade and to have more cooperation and exchange of information and experience with Dubai Customs,” Williamson asserted.

“Dubai Customs has long and outstanding experience that will help us facilitate trade and build advanced customs systems. Dubai Customs and Her Majesty Revenue & Customs (HMRC) share important relations. The work undertaken by the Fiscal Crime Liaison Officers based in Dubai is important as we seek ways in which to deepen our mutual co-operation further”.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih said: “The UK is one of our biggest trade partners. Dubai external trade with the UK stood at Dhs21.5 billion in 2020 (Dhs16.3 billion for imports, Dhs1.6 billion for exports, and Dhs3.6 billion for re-exports).

Director General of Dubai Customs stressed the strong relations between the United Arab Emirates and Britain, which resulted in fruitful mutual trade and expanded security and investment horizons.

“The cooperation between Dubai Customs and the UK authorities has helped in fighting illegitimate trade, especially in counterfeit tobacco products. The UK and Dubai have seized 198m cigarettes and 122 tonnes of illegitimate tobacco products that were to be transported to the UK.”

Musabih invited his British counterpart to attend the 5th WCO Global AEO Conference, hosted by Dubai in coordination with the World Customs organisation and the Federal Customs Authority. The international event will include rich discussion panels and roundtable meetings to discuss all customs related issues and means to develop the sector. It will see the participation of around 1,500 experts in the field.

The meeting has also covered procedures taken by the two sides to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Musabih said Dubai Customs has increased the stimulus packages to 7.1billion, which will be distributed to businesses to help them quickly recover from the repercussions of the crisis and go back to normal.

The meeting was attended by a number of executive directors and heads of departments in Dubai Customs, Zakari Confiri and Caterina Grasey from the British Customs, and Tom Stapilton and Darin Aloum from the British Embassy.

Meanwhile the UAE’s non-oil trade amounted to Dhs1.033 trillion during the first nine months of 2020, according to statistics by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.

From January to September 2020, imports amounted to Dhs572.888 billion, while the exports reached Dhs191.322 billion and re-exports increased to Dhs269.104 billion.

China was the UAE’s leading trading partner with a total trade of Dhs124.45 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia (Dhs90.8 billion). It was followed by India (Dhs70 billion), US (Dhs60 billion), and Switzerland (Dhs41 billion).

As for the goods traded, gold topped the list at around Dhs182 billion, followed by phone and other cellular devices at Dhs105 billion.

The UAE ranks third globally, and leads Arab region in terms of re-exports, placed among top 20 import and export countries worldwide in 2019, during which non-oil trade grew 5 per cent.

The non-oil trade figures cover the exchanges of non-oil commodities, including direct trade and that of free zones and warehousing arrangements.

The figures for non-oil trade between January-September 2020 represent 64.4 per cent of the UAE’s 2019 whole year non-oil trade which stood at Dhs1.603 trillion.


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