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Imports and Exports in Dubai

Imports and Exports in Dubai

Updated on Friday 31st January 2020

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Until very recently, Dubai’s main trade commodities were crude oil and natural gas, but the Emirate has a remarkable capacity for development and growth. In the past decades, the main export commodities have begun to include non-oil products. Companies that perform activities in the trading sector and deal with imports and exports in Dubai will have to register with the relevant authorities, like the Dubai Customs. Our lawyers in Dubai can help you obtain all the necessary documentation and register your company if you are interested in doing business in this sector.
 
Dubai also has free zones and imports from these zones into the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are regulated by a series of licenses for companies. Our Dubai attorneys can offer you detailed information about this aspect and can help you submit the needed documents for clearing the import of goods into the free zones.
 

Exports in Dubai

 
The United Arab Emirates is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Emirates are an important trading partner for approximately 32 countries worldwide. The main export commodities include natural gas and crude oil, as well as foodstuffs and products which will be re-exported. Dubai also exports metals, like aluminum or copper, where the main export partners are Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India, and Iran.
 

Imports in Dubai

 
The main imported products in Dubai are machinery, food, chemicals, and transport equipment. Dubai also imports textiles and metals from China and various primary products such as cotton, fabrics, machinery, and instruments or plastic products from India. Among the main imported commodities, jewelry and gold are also significant. Other import partners are the United States, Japan, and Germany. Electronic equipment, precious metals, furniture and fixtures, inorganic chemicals, footwear, minerals, clothing, leather, engines, ceramic products, alcoholic beverages, and dairy products are also part of the imported goods in the UAE.
 
 
In order to encourage and sustain trade in Dubai and in the other Emirates, the representatives of UAE have signed a number of free trade agreements which limited the tariffs enforceable on goods trade between countries. Dubai is constantly trying to make import and export activities as straightforward as possible and double tax treaties are also in force in the city.
 

Customs procedures for trading companies in Dubai

 
There are numerous entrepreneurs who begin their trading activities and benefit from the tax exemptions and other advantages in free trade zones. To legally commercialize goods in the UAE or outside the country as an import-export company, it is recommended to know the legislation in this matter and to provide the customs the necessary papers, such as:
 
  • •    the trade license of the company issued by the authorities in the UAE;
  • •    the provenience of the goods and their destination with the requested documents in this sense;
  • •    the delivery order and the invoices which accompany the goods;
  • •    the declaration document with details about the import or export of goods.

 

Companies interested in trading activities within the EU territory must obtain the EORI number, a matter where our advisors can help.
 

Major shipping ports and airports in the UAE

 
The strategic geographic position of the United Arab Emirates allows foreign entrepreneurs to properly develop their trading activities whether in the import or export field by accessing the main shipping ports. Fujairah, Ajman, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Rhais Al Khaimah or Jebel Ali are the main gates for imported and exported goods in the UAE. As for the air transportation that sustains the development of the trading activities in the UAE, we mention the most important ones, Dubai World Central International Airport, and Dubai International Airport.
 

The logistics in Dubai

 
It is a well-known fact that Dubai has an excellent road, air, and maritime transportation and it represents one of the biggest logistics centers on an international scale. Both local and foreign businessmen dealing with trading activities can benefit from a modern and highly developed transportation structure that eases international partnerships. We remind that Dubai’s GDP is highly sustained by the import and export sector in about 30% rate.
 

UAE’s main export partners

 
India, Japan, Switzerland, Oman, China, South Korea, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey, Qatar, Malaysia, Singapore, Iran, UK, USA, Germany, Australia, France, Italy, Pakistan, and Indonesia are top export partners of UAE and representative business destinations for the past decades. Precious metals, automotive, crude oil, and related products are the most exported goods that take the international road from the UAE.  
 

Why start a business in the trading sector in Dubai?

 
Foreign investors looking to generate profits in the UAE and particularly in Dubai can decide on the import and export sector which is one of the prolific fields. Having an easy access to markets worldwide and taking advantage of the tax regime in the trading sector attract the businessmen who want to thrive in a profitable sector.
 
 

The UAE import and export statistics

 
More than 60% country's total of exports represents the oil exports in the UAE, according to the statistics revealed for 2017, a significant growth which was predictable after the economic crisis that put in standby the trading activities in this area. The main customers remain Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, India, and Iran. As for the imports, the UAE is known for its fruitful collaborations with China, USA, and Japan regarding the import of consumables, food products, cement, gold, and jewelry. The imports are absorbed by Dubai, the main engine in the UAE, which continues to develop, especially in the real estate sector.
 
Opening a trading company in Dubai can be an excellent option for entrepreneurs who want to start a business that generates money in a short period of time. We remind that our attorneys in Dubai are able to offer comprehensive information about the taxation system in Dubai regarding the trading activities.
 
If you are interested in detailed information about the laws governing international trade, our law firm in Dubai can help you with a series of legal services, so please feel free to contact us.