UAE foreign trade expected to reach Dh2.2 trillion in 2022


The UAE’s foreign trade is expected to reach Dh2.2 trillion by the end of this year as compared to Dh1.9 trillion last year, an increase of nearly 16 per cent.

While taking to Twitter, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the UAE has been an exception at a time when the global trade is slowing

He said the UAE trade grew 19 per cent in the first nine months of 2022. “Our expectations are that the total foreign trade will reach Dh2.2 trillion by the end of 2022, compared to Dh1.9 trillion last year,” the Vice-president said.

The UAE bucks the trend as global growth is likely to lose its momentum in the last quarter of 2022 and early next year. According to World Trade Organisation’s latest forecast, trade growth is likely to slow in the closing months of 2022 and into 2023.

“We are optimistic that the UAE economy will grow stronger and faster, God willing. May God protect the UAE and its people,” the UAE Vice-President.


The UAE economy has strongly bounced back after the pandemic with all the key indicators looking upward.

The UAE’s non-oil trade surpassed the Dh1 trillion mark in the first half of 2022, registering an increase of 17 per cent over the last half of 2021.

This was the first time in the country’s history that the trade crossed a trillion mark in the first half of a year, thanks to a host of initiatives taken by the government to support non-oil sectors after the pandemic.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, on Tuesday said he expects strong growth of over 6.5 per cent in 2022 and 2023 after 8.5 per cent growth in the first half of this year.

“We expect GDP growth of 6.5 per cent this year. I hope it’ll be more this and the next. To double the economy to Dh3 trillion by 2031, we need to grow seven per cent every year,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade continued to set new records, reaching Dh1.637 trillion in the first nine months of 2022, a growth of 18.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2021. When compared to the first nine months of 2020, the trade is up by 50.1 per cent.

The UAE’s exports, meanwhile, reached Dh275 billion and now account for over 17 per cent of total trade, up from 11 per cent five years ago. ​


Al Zeyoudi said this underlines “the strength of our recovery from the global pandemic.”

“These figures reflect the foresight of the UAE’s leadership in expanding our foreign trade agenda – and also underline why raising foreign trade to Dh4 trillion and increasing non-oil exports to Dh800 billion are central goals of the ‘We Are the Emirates 2031’ initiative,” the minister said.

The UAE’s main trading partners during January-September 2022 were China (Dh191.1 billion), India (Dh141.8 billion), Saudi Arabia (Dh99.4 billion) and the USA (Dh81 billion).

The UAE’s foreign trade minister credited the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs) with India and other countries for the jump in the trading value.

The UAE has signed three CEPAs with India, Indonesia and Israel and aims to sign 26 more over the next 7-8 years.

However, negotiations between the UAE and Pakistan, Turkiye, Georgia, and Cambodia are either underway or in the planning phase s part of the UAE’s strategy to double the size of its economy from Dh1.4 trillion to Dh3 trillion by 2030.

“The UAE is continuing to pursue Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements with select international markets to further boost foreign trade. Our CEPA with India, the world’s fifth-largest economy, has helped increase bilateral trade by 23 per cent since its implementation in May,” said Al Zeyoudi.

He added that in the coming weeks, CEPAs with Indonesia and Israel will come into force and negotiations with other major economies will conclude, resulting in a further increase in foreign trade.

“Our trade agenda is delivering real, tangible benefits – and confirming our status as an international hub for commerce,” he added.