Dubai's date trade amounts to $221.7m in 2016

Total date trade in Dubai amounted to $221.7 million in 2016, $85.1 million of which were exports, while $72.1 million were imports, and $64.5 million were re-exports. According to the latest figures from, Dubai accounted for 96 per cent of the UAE’s date exports, making the emirate the country’s top exporter of dates. The analysis, by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, showed 108,300 tonnes of dates exported from Dubai in 2016, slightly below peak levels seen in 2015. Trade values were also lower than those in 2015, with exports dropping 8.3 per cent from 2015 levels of $92.9 million. Meanwhile, import values fell 3.6 per cent in 2016, and re-export values declined nearly 14 per cent. Globally, the UAE is the world’s fourth largest exporter of dates, accounting for 8.5 per cent of global date exports. India accounted for the largest share of Dubai’s date re-exports in 2016 (63 per cent), followed by Bangladesh (13 per cent), and Pakistan (4 per cent), the Chamber said. Morocco was the largest importer of Dubai dates in 2016, with $11.7 million worth of dates and a 14 per cent market share, followed by Oman (13 per cent), India (12 per cent), Bangladesh (12 per cent), and Indonesia (10 per cent). While the top importers were primarily Muslim countries, European and North American countries were also among the large date importers. Within Europe, France was the largest importer of dates, followed by the UK, Germany, and Italy. In North America, the US was the largest importer, followed by Canada. The analysis by the Chamber found that Dubai has the potential to boost its date exports to European and North American countries further. The UAE, for example, offered dates to Europe at a price of $1,211 per tonne, whereas Tunisian dates exported to Europe were at a price of $2,270 per tonne, and Algerian dates were priced at $1,691 per tonne. The analysis also highlighted the need to diversify the UAE’s date exports beyond fresh and dried dates to other products such as date syrup, date vinegar, and date paste, as well as blending dates into chocolate and coffee.

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