Dubai’s exports and re-exports increased 7.8 percent to AED63.5bn (US$16bn) in the first quarter of 2012, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
The increase “confirms the status of the trade sector including exports and re-exports as one of the frontrunners of Dubai's economic growth,” the authority said in a statement.
Dubai Chamber issued 177,502 Certificates of Origin during the first three months of the year, an increase of 5.3 percent compared to the same period the previous year.
The rise in exports is the latest sign of increased economy activity in the Gulf, with the International Monetary Fund yesterday forecasting that economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa will accelerate to 4.2 percent this year from 3.5 percent in 2011.
The economies of oil importers will expand by 2.2 percent and crude exporters by 4.8 percent, the Washington-based IMF said in its World Economic Outlook report.
Egypt’s growth will slow to 1.5 percent, it said, predicting growth rates of 11 percent for Iraq, 6.6 percent for Kuwait, six percent for Saudi Arabia and Qatar and 2.3 percent for the UAE.
Saudi Arabia, the biggest economy in the Middle East, increased government spending by 23 percent as the kingdom’s rulers sought to create jobs and build houses in order to avert the kind of popular uprising that swept other Arab countries.
“The primary challenge is to secure economic and social stability, but there is also a short-term need to place public finances on a sustainable footing,” the IMF said.
“For oil exporters, governments need to seize the opportunity presented by high oil prices to move toward sustainable and diversified economies.”