The United Arab Emirates' non-oil foreign trade hit 445 billion dirhams (about 122 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, an increase of 22 percent year on year, the Federal Customs Authority said in a statement published Tuesday.
Imports grew by 20 percent from 236.5 billion dirhams in the first half of last year to 285 billion dirhams, while the exports witnessed a 44 percent growth rate from 36 billion dirhams to 54.7 billion dirhams. Re-exports experienced a growth rate of 17 percent to reach 105.3 billion dirhams, according to the statement.
Like other Gulf oil producers, the UAE has been striving to diversify its oil-dependent economy and boost sources of income from the non-oil sector, taking advantage of its energy resources, developed infrastructure and a strategic location in the heart of a massive consumer market.
India, China, the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, Italy, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland topped the list of countries exporting to the UAE in the first half of this year with a total of 175.5 billion dirhams, which constitutes 62 percent of the UAE's total imports, the statement said.
Statistics showed that gold ranked first among imports with a value of 45.6 billion dirhams followed by diamond, cars, ornaments, jewelry and telephone sets.
Gold also came first among exports in the first half of this year valued at 27.7 billion dirhams followed by fire-fighting, guiding and other ships.