Dubai plays to its strengths in trade and commerce

Constant investment in infrastructure and business-friendly regulations have been key enablers of this success.

Trade has kept the arteries of Dubai's economy well oiled for years and gave rise to this global metropolis. A noteworthy feature of this journey, however, has been the eventual rise in non-oil trade volumes over the years. Non-oil trade is up 22 per cent during the first nine months of the year, data from Dubai Statistics Centre show. For a region that has been defined by oil exploration and its production, the rising non-oil trade volume reflects the realisation of the vision of the government that wants to diversify its economy. The emirate's trade figures has now reached a milestone mark of Dh1 trillion during the first nine months of the year. This wouldn't have been possible had Dubai and the UAE relied on the region to grow. The maturing landscape of Dubai points at the eminence the emirate has gained globally. Dubai is the gateway to Middle East and North Africa, and a preferred point for re-export to cities around the world. It shows in the overall rise in external trade during the January to September period, which is up 6 per cent compared with the same period last year. All three key verticals - imports, exports, and re-export - have shown a considerable jump in activity, and support the rise of the UAE on the whole as a global hub for trade.

Constant investment in infrastructure and business-friendly regulations have been key enablers of this success. Since the establishment of the first free zone in Jebel Ali in 1985, Dubai today has more than 30, and foreign trade has been flourishing through these zones. During the first nine months, free zones have accounted for over Dh400 billion in trade. Relaxation of visa fees have also helped. Dubai means business and is on a constant spree to develop and progress. The recently introduced e-trader licence by the Department of Economic Development will further help small businesses and encourage more to expand their ventures through social media. Despite some doubts surrounding the real estate and construction sector, consumer confidence is up and points at the resilience of the economy that has been defying its oil roots since the seventies. The UAE is at the cusp of change and is marching towards becoming a $500 billion economy, and Dubai is contributing to this rise in a big way.

More news from OPINION