Trade between UAE and Saudi Arabia crossed $17.8bn in first half of the year

Non-oil trade between the two countries surged 92.5 per cent in the past decade, official data show

Container ships at Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi. The aggregate value of non-oil exports from the UAE to Saudi Arabia over the past 10 years was about Dh205.5 billion. Photo: AD Ports Group
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Trade between the UAE and Saudi Arabia totalled AED65.7 billion ($17.88bn) in the first half of 2022, with the kingdom ranking as one of the top three trading partners of the Emirates, official figures showed.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s two biggest economies, have strong trade and economic ties.

Between 2012 and 2021, Saudi Arabia was the UAE’s fourth-largest trading partner, with a total trade value of Dh904.3bn, or 5.6 per cent of the UAE’s total international trade, state news agency Wam reported on Thursday, citing data from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC).

Non-oil foreign trade between the two countries grew by 92.5 per cent over the past decade to Dh124.69bn in 2021, compared with Dh64.79bn in 2012.

The value of non-oil exports from the UAE to Saudi Arabia over the past 10 years was about Dh205.5bn, while re-exports were valued at Dh471.7bn and imports at Dh227bn, FCSC said.

Saudi Arabia ranked first in the list of re-export destinations for the UAE over the past 10 years, with revenue valued at nearly Dh423bn. The kingdom also ranked second in the list of countries receiving Emirati non-oil exports, with revenue valued at Dh206bn, accounting for 9.5 per cent of the UAE’s total non-oil exports.

Bilateral trade has grown even as both economies grow at a rapid pace following the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

Saudi Arabia’s economy is set to grow at the quickest pace in a decade and will likely be one of the world’s fastest-growing economies this year, the International Monetary Fund said.

It is projected to expand 7.6 per cent this year after 3.2 per cent growth in 2021, the IMF reported.

The kingdom's economy grew by 12.2 per cent in the second quarter, exceeding initial estimates and registering the fastest expansion in more than a decade due to higher oil prices, data from Gastat showed earlier this month.

The UAE economy expanded by 8.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, exceeding the Central Bank of the UAE's initial estimate of 8.2 per cent, as higher oil prices and successful Covid-19 mitigation measures set it up for the fastest annual growth since 2011.

In 2021, petroleum and oil obtained from bituminous minerals topped the list of Emirati imports from Saudi Arabia, with a value of more than Dh5bn, followed by ethylene polymers in their primary forms valued at Dh3.35bn, and raw, semi-worked or powdered gold with a value of Dh.87bn.

Gold topped the list of key commodities exported to Saudi Arabia, with a value of Dh10.9bn, followed by wires valued at Dh3.11bn.

Telephone devices, including phones for cellular networks and other wireless networks, topped the list of goods that were re-exported to Saudi Arabia in 2021, with a value of Dh11.58bn, followed by machines for the self-processing of information and their units, magnetic or optical readers, and machines for transmitting information on stands in the form of codes worth Dh6.12bn.

In addition, cars worth Dh2.29bn, vehicle parts worth Dh2.08bn and Dh1.59bn worth of ready-made clothes contributed to the UAE's export basket to the kingdom.

Updated: September 22, 2022, 6:21 PM
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