UAE foreign trade in past 50 years rises 473 times to $9.3 trillion

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The number of Bahraini real estate owners in the UAE in 2020 was 237.
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  • The country’s trade balance from 1971 to 2020 recorded a surplus of nearly $1.3 trillion (AED4.76 trillion).
  • UAE's exports increased 380 times, rising from $842 million (AED3.1 billion) in 1971 to $319.3 billion (AED1.17 trillion) by the end 2020.

The total value of the UAE’s foreign trade in the past five decades amounted to some AED34.23 trillion ($9.32 trillion), according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Additionally, the country’s trade balance from 1971 to 2020 recorded a surplus of nearly $1.3 trillion (AED4.76 trillion).

The UNCTAD’s figures also reported that the value of UAE’s foreign trade increased 473 times from $1.15 billion (AED4.2 billion) in 1971 to $542.02 billion (AED2 trillion) by the end of 2020, according to local media reports.

The cumulative balance of foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country rose from $7.8 million (AED28 million) in 1971 to some $20 billion (AED73.46 billion) by the end of 2020.

The UAE’s foreign trade over the five decades varied between exports by 57 percent worth $5.3 trillion (AED19.5 trillion) and imports by 43 percent, worth $4.01 trillion (AED14.7 trillion).

UAE’s exports increased 380 times, rising from $842 million (AED3.1 billion) in 1971 to $319.3 billion (AED1.17 trillion) by the end 2020, while imports rose 730 times from $309 million (AED1.13 billion) to $225.7 billion (AED828 billion) at the end of 2020.

UNCTAD data said the value of foreign trade increased 28 times by the end of the first decade, after the formation of the UAE, to $32 billion (AED117.5 billion), and nearly 33 times by the end of 1991 to $38.2 billion (AED140 billion), and nearly 74 times by the start of the 2000s to $85.7 billion (AED315 billion), and 462 times by the end of the fourth decade to $532 billion (AED1.9 trillion).

The year 2019 was the best, in terms of the value of foreign trade, totaling $657.3 billion (AED2.4 trillion), followed by 2018 with $649.4 billion (AED2.38 trillion), and 2013 with $644.8 billion (AED2.3 trillion).

In 2014, the country’s trade was worth $619 billion (AED2.27 trillion), and in 2012 it reached $616 billion (AED2.26 trillion).

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