Non-oil trade at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone hits $80.2 billion in 2016

China kept its position as the free zone’s major player with $11.3 billion worth of non-oil goods, equipment and commodities being shipped in via the Jebel Ali port. (AP)
Updated 13 August 2017
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Non-oil trade at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone hits $80.2 billion in 2016

DUBAI: Non-oil trade at Jebel Ali Free Zone rose 17 percent to $80.2 billion (SR300.75 billion) or an equivalent 27.9 million tons in 2016, from 23.9 million tons a year earlier.
China kept its position as the free zone’s major player with $11.3 billion worth of non-oil goods, equipment and commodities being shipped in via the Jebel Ali port; followed by Saudi Arabia with $7 billion; Vietnam with $4.3 billion and the US with $3.7 billion.
Machinery, electronics and electrical goods accounted for almost half of the total trade at Dubai’s main trade and logistics hub, while petrochemicals and the oil and gas sector had 16 percent; followed by food and fast-moving consumer goods at 8 percent; textiles and garments at 7 percent and automotive and spare parts at 6 percent.
“The value and volume of trade through Jafza underlines the strength of the national economy and its ability to adapt to global trading conditions, create investment opportunities and open up new markets to exports from the UAE,” Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the group chairman and chief executive of DP World, said in a statement.
Trade with the Asia Pacific region in 2016 reached $32.4 billion; with the Middle East at $27.2 billion; the European continent at $9.9 billion; the Americas at $5.5 billion and Africa at $5 billion.
“Jebel Ali Port plays a pivotal role in enabling international trade so companies operating in Jafza can import and re-export their goods and products to the various countries of the region,” bin Sulayem said, noting Dubai’s logistics corridor, which connects the port with Al Maktoum International Airport in a single customs zone, helps reduce the sea-to-air time constraint in the movement of goods.
“Reducing the time taken for the movement of goods between sea and air transport modes and making the area the main transit gateway in the Middle East,” he said.


Hajj season boosts Middle East hotel demand in August

Updated 24 September 2018
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Hajj season boosts Middle East hotel demand in August

  • Occupancy rates — a measure of the proportion of available rooms sold — in the region jumped to 63.4 percent from 62.1 percent
  • The average daily room rate — another key industry metric — increased 12.2 percent to reach close to $170 per night

LONDON: Demand for hotel rooms across the Middle East leapt last month providing welcome relief for an industry that has been grappling with an oversupply of hotel accommodation, new data showed.
Occupancy rates — a measure of the proportion of available rooms sold — in the region jumped to 63.4 percent from 62.1 percent, according to data provider STR’s research published on Sept. 24.
The average daily room rate — another key industry metric — increased 12.2 percent to reach close to $170 per night, while revenue per available room (RevPar) increased by 14.5 percent to reach $107.50.
The region’s hotel sector has been under pressure due partly to the impact of low oil prices and geopolitical risks, resulting in a slump in room revenue and occupancy as supply exceeded demand.
“It is true in the broader sense that we have been seeing a softening of market-wide RevPar levels in the hospitality sector across most major cities within the GCC countries,” said Ali Manzoor, partner, hospitality and leisure at property consultancy firm Knight Frank.
Analysts have blamed the year-on-year uptick in August on the earlier Hajj season and Eid Al-Adha holiday, rather than indicative of a change in outlook for the sector.
“The spike in occupancy levels in August was largely attributable to differences between the Gregorian and Hijri calendars,” Manzoor said.
This year, the pilgrimage period took place in August, helping to boost the industry’s performance that month. “It is therefore reasonable to expect hotels to underperform in the month of September in relation to last year,” he said.
Looking at data for the year-to-date, the UAE retains the highest occupancy rate in the Gulf region at 72.2 percent, though this represents a slight decline of 0.8 percent compared to the same time period last year, according to STR data.
Saudi Arabia’s occupancy levels stood at 58.1 percent year-to-date, marginally up by 0.2 percent on last year.