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Imports and Exports in Dubai

Imports and Exports in Dubai

Updated on Tuesday 23rd May 2017

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Until very recently, Dubai’s main trade commodities were crude oil and natural gas, but the Emirate has a remarkable capacity for development and growth and, in recent years, the main export commodities have begun to include non-oil products. Companies that perform activities in the trade sector and deal with imports and exports in Dubai will need to register with the relevant authorities, like the Dubai Customs. Our lawyers in Dubai can help you obtain all the necessary documentation and register your company if you are interested in doing business in this sector.
Dubai also has free zones and imports from these zones into the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are regulated by a series of licenses for companies. Our Dubai attorneys can offer you detailed information about this aspect and help you submit the documents necessary for clearing the import of goods into the free zones.

Exports in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates are a member of the World Trade Organization and the Emirates are an important trading partner for approximately 32 countries worldwide. The main export commodities include natural gas and crude oil, as well as foodstuffs and products which will be re-exported. Dubai also exports metals, like aluminum or copper, where the main export partners are Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India, and Iran.

Imports in Dubai

The main imported products in Dubai are machinery, food, chemicals and transport equipment. Dubai also imports textiles and metals from China and various primary products such as cotton, fabrics, machinery and instruments or plastic products from India. Among the main imported commodities, jewelry and gold are also significant. Other import partners are the United States, Japan, and Germany.
In order to encourage and sustain trade in Dubai and in the other Emirates, the representatives of UAE have signed a number of free trade agreements which limited the tariffs enforceable on goods trade between countries. Dubai is constantly trying to make import and export activities as straightforward as possible and double tax treaties are also in force in the city.

Customs procedures for trading companies in Dubai

There are numerous entrepreneurs who begin their trading activities and benefit from the tax exemptions and other advantages in free trade zones. To legally commercialize goods in the UAE or outside the country as an import-export company, it is recommended to know the legislation in this matter and to provide the customs the necessary papers, such as:
•    the trade license of the company;
•    the provenience of the goods and their destination;
•    the delivery order and the invoices;
•    the declaration document with details about the import or export of goods.

The UAE import and export statistics

More than 45% country's total of exports represents the oil exports in the UAE, according to the statistics for 2016, a significant growth which was predictable after the economic crisis that shut down or put in standby the trading activities in this area. The main customers still remain Saudi Arabia, India, and Iran. As for the imports, the UAE is known for its fruitful collaborations with China, USA, and Japan regarding the import of consumables, food products, cement, gold, and jewelry. The imports are absorbed by Dubai, the main engine in the UAE, which continues to develop, especially in the real estate sector.
Opening a trading company in Dubai can be an excellent option for entrepreneurs who want to start a business that generates money in a short period of time. We remind that our attorneys in Dubai are able to offer comprehensive information about the taxation system in Dubai regarding the trading activities.
If you are interested in detailed information about the laws governing international trade, our law firm in Dubai can help you with a series of legal services, so please feel free to contact us.


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