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Imports and Exports in Dubai, UAE

By Shivangi - 15 Nov 2021 Last Updated: 03 May 2022
Imports and Exports in Dubai, UAE

Table of Contents 

  1. 1. Dubai's Most Popular Imported and Exported goods
  2. 2. Dubai as a Middle Eastern Logistics Hub
  3. 3. Import and export activity must be registered with Dubai Customs.
  4. 4. Dubai's Import and Export Processes
  5. 5. Main Import from the United Arab Emirates
  6. 6. Conclusion

As one of the world's richest countries in terms of crude oil, petroleum, and petroleum-based items, trading is one of the most important sectors in the UAE. The UAE imports a wide range of goods, with Foodstuffs and machinery and equipment ranking first and second, respectively, among the most commonly imported goods.

According to recent studies, the United Arab Emirates is the world's 25th largest exporter. According to the Economic Complexity Index, the UAE has one of the world's most complex economies (ECI).

Dubai's Most Popular Imported and Exported goods

The products of imports and exports in Dubai comprises:

Figures for Dubai Imports and Exports

Petroleum, in various forms, is the greatest exported product in the United Arab Emirates, with crude and refined petroleum bringing in over $100 billion each year, according to current sources. Petroleum-based product exports make for more than 60% of the country's overall exports. However, gold, aluminium, and other metals are successfully exported from Dubai and the other Emirates. Gold, jewels, and automobiles are the most commonly imported products by Dubai enterprises.

Japan, India, Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea are the UAE's most important trading partners. When it comes to exports, Dubai's trading partners include the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. China is the UAE's most important trading partner, followed by India and Japan.

In Europe, Dubai's biggest commercial partners are France and Italy, in addition to Germany and the United Kingdom.

Dubai as a Middle Eastern Logistics Hub

The capacity to import and export products through contemporary facilities constructed in the Emirate is one of the key reasons for Dubai's trading industry's development. Imported goods enter the UAE through Dubai's marine ports and airports, which are equipped with large-scale product handling stations.

Because of its geographic location, the UAE can serve as a re-export centre for surrounding countries. Dubai has managed to become one of the most important trading hubs in the Middle East because to its modern infrastructure that aids in the transportation of commodities. The government has also made significant investments to aid the growth of this business.

Import and export activity must be registered with Dubai Customs.

To begin any import or export activity in Dubai, you must first register with Dubai Customs. Obtaining an importer or exported code from the authority is required for this step. The company must file its registration paperwork with the Dubai Customs Authority.

Obtaining an Import-Export Licence in Dubai is a simple process that can be completed online, which is why beginning a trading firm in this Emirate has gotten much easier in recent years. The requirements for enterprises in Freezones are the same.

Companies importing and exporting items into and out of Dubai must adhere to the following rules:

  • When shipping goods, the company must provide its importer/exporter code.
  • The commodities must match the ones listed in the import/export licence.
  • After being dispatched or received, the products must arrive at their destination within 72 hours.
  • The same rules apply to Dubai's free zone trading companies.

The fact that free zone trading enterprises in Dubai are not subject to customs duties is a significant advantage.

In Dubai, there are many import and export rules that make the process easier for businesses. Import and export regimes from local enterprises to the rest of the world, import and export regimes from local to free zones, and imports for re-export operations are only a few examples. The documentation required for any type of import or export operation are determined by the technique used. There are several situations that necessitate the preparation of supplementary documentation. These are referred to as "special goods" in most cases.

Read More: How to Apply for Custom Code for your Import Export License?

Dubai's Import and Export Processes

Foreign investors establishing trade enterprises in Dubai should familiarise themselves with the UAE's import and export procedures. A corporation must go through Dubai Customs and provide the following documentation when importing goods to Dubai:

The Dubai Customs Services will issue the DFSA declaration. When exporting items from Dubai, the same documentation are necessary.

Main Import from the United Arab Emirates


The United Arab Emirates is situated on a vast desert plain, with a climate that is mostly sunny, humid, and rainy during the "winter" season. The days are usually hot, while the nights can be rather chilly. As a result, maintaining the country's food output is a tremendous task. The United States, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Thailand, and Bulgaria are among the country's food import partners. Additional rice and noodle rations are provided by Pakistan and South Korea for the UAE market.

Food imports in the UAE are expected to climb from $100 billion in 2015 to $400 billion by 2025. Although 85 percent of the country's food is imported, the UAE is launching steps to restore some of the country's food sustainability. Farmers will be rewarded by being free from paying VAT on their products and participating in other projects including the care and protection of local animals.


The UAE imports chemicals from the United States, Australia, Germany, India, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and the United Kingdom for usage in medicine and other chemical supplies in industry. Chemicals are used as raw materials for a variety of purposes in the country because the country lacks chemical reserves.

They rely significantly on imports passing via the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important trading route. The UAE's petroleum industry (and other businesses) will be unable to function if there are problems along the route. As a result, the country is constantly on the lookout for routes that will allow it to transport andn chemicals without causing any interruption.

Transport Equipment

In total, transport equipment and machinery account for two-thirds of the region's imports. The UAE is the world's second-largest importer of US machinery and equipment, after only Saudi Arabia. Medical equipment, industrial machinery, automobiles, power generation machinery, and general industrial equipment are all imported into the country.

The Chinese also have a significant market share of equipment imports into the UAE, particularly when it comes to manufacturing equipment and machinery.


Because Dubai is one of the UAE's most important economic hubs, the government supports import and export activity through unique incentives, particularly in the free zones. Our company incorporation consultants in Dubai can provide you with customised services linked to launching a business.

Contact our experts at Dhanguard in Dubai if you require assistance with import and export procedures.

Dhanguard provides the business setup and company formation services in Dubai, UAE with the guidance of our professional team of consultants. Faster and hassle-free company setup in Mainland and Freezone in UAE.

Dhanguard provides the company formation services in Dubai, UAE with the guidance of our professional team of consultants. Faster and hassle-free offshore company formation services and company formation services in Mainland and Freezone in UAE.

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