Dubai – 26 March 2019: Director of Dubai Customs, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih reaffirmed the important role the Dubai Customs Consultative Council plays in generating ideas that shoulder Dubai Customs in building its future strategies, maps and plans.
Musabih chaired the first quarterly Consultative Council meeting in 2019 which saw a very positive turnout from different business and group representatives in the emirate.
The meeting was attended by Abdullah Mohammed Al Khaja, Executive Director of Clients Management Division, Farid Hassan Al Marzouqi, Executive Director, Human Resources, Finance and Administration Division, and Edris Behzad, Director of Client Happiness Department and the Council's rapporteur.
Dubai Customs has recently hit a record by scoring 97.49% on Smart Dubai's Happiness Meter.
“This wouldn't have been possible without the fruitful cooperation between Dubai Customs and its clients and partners,” Musabih said. “I am optimistic we will have another productive and happy year in 2019. The UAE's GDP will expand 3.5 per cent this year compared to 2.8 per cent in 2018, thanks to a AED 50 billion stimulus package announced last year and host of measures taken for the ease of doing business in each emirate across the country.”
Musabih said Dubai non-oil trade maintained its levels against a backdrop of economic turmoil and global conflicts and the vague British position on Brexit.
Europe is one of Dubai's main partners. Their trade with Dubai makes 19% of the total trade, he said.
Commenting on the steps Dubai Customs takes to facilitate trade and to lift burdens off the companies and traders' shoulders Musabih said:
“We have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Free Zones Council to help with the implementation of the “Virtual Stock Guarantee” initiative. The new facility was developed by Dubai Customs to support re-export activity from free zones to external markets within Dubai Customs' efforts to help Dubai maintain a leading position and turn into a world economic capital. This initiative is the first of its kind in the world.”
More than 18,000 companies based on 24 free zones and 37 customs warehouses can benefit from the Virtual Stock Guarantee facility, in addition to customs warehouse companies willing to use it to re-export their goods solely through Dubai's air and sea ports, and the UAE land exits.
The consultative council members had a number of suggestions including one from the Dubai Computer Group (DCG) of establishing a mobile phone assembly factory in Dubai, and members also discussed means of strengthening the activity of re-exporting electronics.
Mrs. Nassim Saeed Al Mehairi, Senior Manager, Statistics & Studies Section briefed the members on Dubai latest trade figures of 2018. Dubai trade has grown 72% between 2009 and 2018, with 44% growth in trade volume.
China maintained its position as Dubai's biggest trading partner in 2018 with AED139 billion worth of trade. India came in second with AED116 billion worth of trade, followed by the USA in third place with AED81 billion. Saudi Arabia continued to be Dubai's largest Arab trade partner and its fourth largest global trade partner with AED55 billion, followed by Switzerland in fifth place with AED49 billion.
Edris Behzad, Director of Client Happiness Department talked about the Dubai Loyalty Program. The first of its kind in the world initiative was shortlisted by Dubai10X, to be implemented and generalized. The program will see Dubai government departments give points to clients for their transactions and payments.
These points go to a central “reward bank” and translated into incentives and discounts. The program is expected to see light at the 4th quarter of 2020.