Dubai is the primary financial hub of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region with a strong infrastructure and regulatory environment that allows businesses to start and grow at a rapid pace.
Dubai as a crucial financial hub
Ranked among the top ten global financial centres, according to the Global Financial Centers Index, Dubai has earned this place alongside other major financial powerhouses. This, not only as one of the leading global financial hubs, but as the financial center of the MEASA region.
Dubai, strategically located between East and West, has continuously developed its offering to ensure it is competitive with other major financial centres.
Furthermore, it also caters to the thriving economies of the MEASA region. There, 3 billion residents can take advantage of the wide range of financial services and Islamic financing options available. All in a highly regulated environment.
It is this progressive attitude, always looking for people-oriented solutions, which has contributed to its strong growth as a global financial center.
A strategic position between the East and the West
The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) 2.0, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to triple the scale of current financial operations. And, above all, to create the right environment where companies and people can innovate and develop.
This strategy will not only support the Emirate’s strong desire to improve the development of its human capital. But it will also support the 25,600 professionals present and the 2,900 companies registered and currently operating in the country.
Dubai as a central commercial hub
The hyperconnected emirate serves as a nerve center for trillions of dollars in business and investment to the Middle East, Europe, Africa, India, Asia and beyond.
Moreover, its strategic location in the Gulf region, coupled with business-friendly policies and state-of-the-art infrastructure, have helped make Dubai a major commercial, financial and e-commerce powerhouse:
1. A global trade center
The volume of non-oil foreign trade of Dubai, a major trading hub and re-export capital, increased by 10% year-on-year (YoY) in the first half of 2021. Thus, reaching 48 million tonnes.
China was Dubai’s top trading partner with trade worth $23.6 billion. Followed by India with $18.27 billion and the United States with $8.7 billion
2. Dubai’s main business partners
China is Dubai’s largest trading partner. It contributed US$29 billion worth to the economy in 2019, an increase of 6% from the previous year.
The second largest trading partner is India, which contributed with over US$27 billion, an increase of 16%. Follow the US with US$15.5 billion and Switzerland with US$12.7 billion.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains Dubai’s largest Arab trading partner. I fact, the country was Dubai’s fifth largest partner globally, with trade worth more than US$11 billion in 2019.
3. A logistics center and the premier aviation hub
Currently, the logistics sector accounts for more than 14% of Dubai’s GDP. And this sector is expected to grow by 4% by 2023.
Through major investments in transport infrastructure and logistics capabilities, the city has become a main gateway into the region and a re-export zone for consumer goods along the trade route between Europe and the Far East.
Dubai has been ranked among the top 5 shipping hubs in the world, according to the latest edition of the International Shipping Center Development Index.
Underpinned by legal and legislative excellence, Dubai is known for its advanced infrastructure, world-class maritime and logistics capabilities. And, for a competitive environment conducive to trade, business and investment.
Furthermore, the city is also a premier aviation hub, serving as a hyper-mobilizer for trade and logistics. Dubai International Airport was the busiest airport in the world in 2019, for the sixth consecutive year.
4. The boom in exports to Africa
At the 5th Global Business Forum Africa held in late 2019, emerged that the UAE has immense potential to double its exports to Africa with products such as rubber and sugar.
Dubai’s trade in non-oil products with the African continent excedeed $272 billion over the period 2011-2019. Over 21,000 African companies are currently registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.