China is now Dubai’s biggest non-oil trade partner, government figures show.
Trade with China totalled Dh175 billion in 2014, up from Dh135.7bn the previous year.
That represents an increase of 29 per cent – enough to push India off the top spot as Dubai’s major non-oil trade partner.
Non-oil trade between Dubai and India totalled Dh109bn last year. The United States accounted for Dh83bn of trade, while Saudi Arabia was the UAE’s largest Gulf trade partner, with a total trade value of Dh52bn.
Overall non-oil trade totalled Dh1.33 trillion in 2014 – an increase of 0.15 per cent against 2013’s figure of Dh1.32 trillion.
Non-oil exports and re-exports accounted for Dh486bn, while Dubai imported Dh845bn of goods and services.
Dubai’s appetite for smartphones accounted for the biggest chunk, with trade in the devices totalling Dh178bn in 2014, an increase of 9 per cent against the previous year.
Direct trade accounted for Dh818.8bn of Dubai’s total non-oil trade, while free zones accounted for Dh488.7bn.
Jebel Ali Free Zone, which reported its full-year results this month, added 650 new businesses last year, leading profits to grow by 50 per cent across 2014.
Demand for warehouse space near Dubai World Central, and around the area of Dubai’s mooted logistics corridor, is strong, real estate analysts said.
Dubai aims to become one of the world’s leading logistics hubs.
“Historically, trade has always been a prime economic activity commonly practiced by the people of the UAE, and today the trade sector plays a significant role in our overall economic development,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.
“Within the framework of our comprehensive developmental strategy, trade has integrated with other sectors to secure diversification of our national income confirming our ability to sustain solid growth,” he said.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter