UAE Imports and Exports: Trade & Logistics Report

UAE Imports and Exports Report

In this blog post, we focus on UAE imports and exports statistics in the previous year (2021), but before we go into the details, let’s find out more about this country.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE/Emirates) consists of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah.

The country is known for its sand plains and dune deserts, with most major cities and urban areas located along its coastlines.

Oman and Saudi Arabia are bordering countries, and the UAE shares maritime borders with Qatar and Iran. It is unclear whether the UAE and Qatar have a land boundary.

The country is almost the size of Austria, with an area of 83,600 km2. The population of the UAE is around 9.9 million people, including immigrants (in 2020).

Abu Dhabi is the country’s capital, while Dubai is its largest city, an ideal metropolis, and a playground for foreign architects. The city is in a desert, with extensive retail malls and lavish entertainment attractions such as the world’s tallest skyscraper (the Burj Khalifa) and palm-shaped small islands. Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, and Urdu are the languages spoken in this country. In recent years, the UAE has tried to establish relationships with many countries to increase the UAE imports and exports rates and statistics.

ECI Report on Top UAE Imports and Exports

According to the Economic Complexity Index, the United Arab Emirates was the world’s number 33 economy in terms of GDP (current US$), number 24 in exports, number 22 in imports, number 28 in GDP per capita, and the number 51 most complicated economy in 2020. Below, you can find the most UAE imports and exports commodities.

Top UAE Exports

Crude petroleum ($42 billion), gold ($28.8 billion), refined petroleum ($21.5 billion), broadcasting equipment ($14 billion), and diamonds ($7.69 billion) are the UAE’s top exports, with most of it going to India ($22.1 billion), China ($19.2 billion), Saudi Arabia ($18 billion), Japan ($15.2 billion), and Iraq ($13.1 billion).

The UAE was the world’s largest exporter of sulfur ($407 million), limestone ($333 million), and scrap nickel ($264 million) in 2020.

Top UAE Imports

Gold ($38.4 billion), radio and television equipment ($20.4 billion), refined petroleum ($9.15 billion), diamonds ($8.11 billion), and cars ($6.63 billion) are the UAE’s top imports, with China ($41 billion), India ($18.1 billion), the United States ($14 billion), Saudi Arabia ($9.21 billion), and Germany ($7.81 billion) accounting for the majority.

The UAE was the world’s largest importer of boats ($1.05 billion) and tobacco manufacturing machines ($119 million) in 2020.

UAE Trade Relationship With Different Countries

The UAE joined the US-GCC Framework Agreement for Business, Economic, Trade, and Technical Cooperation in 2012 as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The UAE approved the agreement in 2014. The United States and the United Arab Emirates have hosted numerous rounds of the USUAE Economic Discussions since 2012, which provides a space for the two countries to engage on economic matters and resolve issues in their bilateral trade relationship.

The UAE is a party to several global and bilateral trade agreements, notably with GCC partners, which have helped the UAE imports and exports rate rise. The UAE has significant economic relations with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman as part of the GCC, meaning the UAE has a single market and a customs union. The UAE enjoys free trade access to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, Palestine, and Syria via the Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement (GAFTA).

The UAE has also signed agreements with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Azerbaijan, India, Algeria, the Republic of Kazakhstan, Argentina, Armenia, Maldives, South Korea, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, according to the UAE Federal Customs Authority (FCA), to increase the UAE imports and exports rate. The GCC and the European Free Trade Area (ETFA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) signed an FTA in June 2009.

To increase the UAE imports and exports rate, the UAE has held discussions with the European Union, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, China, Brazil, Argentina, Malaysia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Pakistan, and Turkey about establishing similar arrangements, whether by itself or as a member of the GCC. In September 2021, the UAE declared its desire to seek bilateral commercial agreements with eight countries, including India, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Turkey, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Israel, to sign numerous agreements within the year.

The Economy of the UAE

The emirate’s economy is driven by petroleum, primarily produced in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest emirate, with one of the world’s most significant concentrations of known oil reserves and a considerable contribution to the government budget. Dubai, whose economy is based on commerce rather than oil and acts as a regional commercial and financial hub, leads the country in economic diversification.

The Final Word

Dubai has long tried establishing relationships worldwide to increase its imports and exports. Not just in business and finance but also in international commerce, Dubai has established itself as a regional and worldwide hub. The rise of re-export commerce has been supported by the expansion of free trade zones (FTZs) and significant progress in logistical operations, notably in handling and transport storage. Dubai will continue to be the economic center between the Middle East and Asia.


What are the main products that the UAE imports and exports?

The UAE’s main imports are crude oil, refined petroleum products, machinery, vehicles, and food. The UAE’s main exports are crude oil, natural gas, re-exports, and aluminum.

What are the main obstacles to UAE imports and exports?

The main obstacles to UAE imports and exports are the high shipping cost and the UAE’s small domestic market.

What are the main benefits of importing and exporting to the UAE?

The main benefits of importing and exporting to the UAE are the UAE’s stable political environment, the UAE’s strategic location, and the UAE’s free trade zones.

What are the main types of UAE imports and exports businesses?

The leading UAE imports and exports businesses are trading companies, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More