Dubai Chamber sees new laws, 5% GDP growth in 2014

Last year, Dubai Chamber attracted more than 13,000 new members — the highest number of new start-ups in five years — taking its total membership to 153,000 companies, according to latest figures.

By Abdul Basit (

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Published: Wed 22 Jan 2014, 12:48 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:18 PM

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday announced that 2013 was a record year in many ways for Dubai, the chamber, and its members and expects 2014 will be another successful year.

“Dubai had a year to remember with the Expo win and the continued growth of the economy. Dubai Chamber anticipates GDP growth of 5 per cent in 2013 and same growth in 2014,” Dubai Chamber president and chief executive officer Hamad Buamim told reporters at a news conference.

Buamim expects that much awaited new Companies Law, Arbitration Law and Bankruptcy Law will be introduced this year. Some other laws including Labour Law is also under discussion, he added.

Responding a question about Dubai Chamber’s overseas expansion in politically unstable markets, he admitted that the Middle East and Africa region is challenging but said many markets around the region have a lot of potential for growth. At one point he remarked: “We are merchant of piece.”

Last year, Dubai Chamber attracted more than 13,000 new members — the highest number of new start-ups in five years — taking its total membership to 153,000 companies, according to latest figures.

As Dubai’s business community continues to grow, Dubai Chamber also saw its members’ exports and re-exports increased last year to reach Dh290 billion, an 8 per cent increase on 2012 when exports and re-exports valued Dh268 billion.

“Around 13,000 new companies joined us last year, which is the highest number of new start-ups in five years. This is a great sign of the strength of the economy and the ease of starting and operating a business in Dubai. Dubai Chamber is now one of the largest chambers of commerce in the Middle East and this was also reflects the global reputation of Dubai as a business hub,” Buamim said.

The annual figures showed the number of Certificates of Origin (COs) issued for the year totalled 824,000, which is a 10 per cent increase compared to the 748,000 COs issued in 2012.

Meanwhile, Dubai Chamber issued and received a total of 2,242 ATA Carnets worth Dh1.9 billion in 2013. Dubai Chamber issued 104 ATA Carnets worth Dh150 million, which is a 57 per cent increase on 2012, whereas the UAE received 2,139 ATA Carnets, worth Dh1.75 billion.

Buamim said: “At the same time, Dubai Chamber made progress in reaching new global markets, with the opening of our second international representative office in Addis Ababa. This office is making a real difference to increase two-way trade and investment between Dubai and Eastern and Southern Africa.”

The Dubai Chamber sets three priority areas for 2014 and believes that significant growth will be seen in those areas.

“For 2014 and the years ahead, three strategic platforms will guide our operations. Africa is one conversation that Dubai Chamber has been promoting for some years now. In 2013 we organised the Africa Global Business Forum, which helped to position Dubai’s as the gateway into and out of the continent. We are delighted to be organising AGBF 2014 later this year,” he said.

“The Islamic economy is also another important strategic platform for business growth which we worked on in 2013 with the organisation of the Global Islamic Economy Summit. This is a major new economic area and has significant untapped opportunities in Islamic finance, halal tourism, food and lifestyle as well as halal certification and standardisation. Dubai is the ideal city to lead innovation in the Islamic economy and Dubai Chamber is honoured to be organising the 10th session of the World Islamic Economic Forum in Dubai in November,” he said.

Buamim said: “Thirdly, Expo 2020 is anticipated to generate around 275,000 jobs, attract 25 million visitors and add $23 billion to the economy. There are going to be major new opportunities for businesses to grow and, as always, Dubai Chamber will be working behind the scenes to support them.”

Talking direct beneficiaries of the World Expo2020, he said leisure, tourism, hospitality, trade, real estate, construction sectors will feel the immediate impact.

Dubai Chamber continued with its international expansion during 2013 with the official opening of a new office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May. This office has since hosted two business roundtable events — Enhancing Bilateral Trade and Investment, and Strengthening Business Potential between Dubai and Eastern/Southern African Countries.

Over the next two years, Dubai Chamber is exploring opportunities for new offices in Luanda (Angola), Accra (Ghana), Abuja (Nigeria), Kampala (Uganda), São Paulo (Brazil).

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