A total of 16,300 companies joined the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry as members in 2017, bringing total membership to 217,000 and cementing the non-profit public organisation’s position as one of the world’s largest membership-based chambers of commerce.
The Chamber’s membership figure for 2017 marked an 8% increase compared to the previous year. Exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members grew 2% year-over-year to reach AED 277 billion in 2017. Saudi Arabia remained the top export and re-export market for Chamber members with a value of AED 103 billion. This figure reflects a growth rate of 17% compared to the value of goods and products exported and re-exported by Chamber members to the kingdom in 2016.
The number of certificates of origin (COs) issued by the Chamber reached 880,000 in 2017. The Chamber issued and received 6,000 ATA Carnets for goods worth AED 5.6 billion during the same period, with the total value increasing 80% compared to 2016. The uptick highlighted growing demand for the service which is designed to facilitate international trade and improve ease of doing business in Dubai.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, explained that the Chamber‘s international expansion strategy was instrumental in attracting foreign companies to Dubai, and noted that the Chamber‘s representative offices around the world continue to play an active role in promoting Dubai as an attractive business hub.
He explained that the 2017 figures released by the Chamber reflected the robust growth of Dubai’s economy, as well as the emirate’s resilience to global challenges. Trade, tourism and logistics remain key contributors to Dubai’s growth last year, he said, adding that growing global confidence in the emirate is strengthening its position as a global hub for future industries.
“2017 was a transformational year for Dubai marked by remarkable economic and social progress, as well as the adoption of forward-thinking strategies and emerging technologies that will shape the future of the emirate and support its mission to become one of the most innovative cities in the world in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” said H.E. Buamim.
The Chamber received 1,013 visiting delegations from 58 countries, which were joined by 2,056 government and business leaders, including heads of state from France, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Rwanda, Latvia, Uganda and Lithuania. The Chamber’s international offices held 809 meetings with potential investors interested in establishing businesses in the emirate.
In 2017, Dubai Chamber led delegations to 49 countries and 61 cities around the world and participated in 87 international events. The Chamber expanded its global footprint last year, by opening a representative office in Brazil, its first in Latin America, while it leveraged the Global Business Forum platform to promote economic cooperation between Dubai and promising Latin American markets.
In addition, the Chamber revealed plans to open three new representative offices in India, Argentina and Panama in 2018, bringing the total number of international offices to 11.