June 18 - 24, 20

The UAE enjoys a surplus in its trade balance and as such in its current account by virtue of being a key exporter of oil into international markets. Stable oil prices for several years in a row have been helping the country register comfortable surpluses in its external accounts. In fact, the UAE stands out for being exceptionally attentive to non-oil imports. Statistics released by the Federal Customs Authority, an official entity, showed that the country's non-oil trade rose by 23 per cent last year, undoubtedly a significant gain in a span of one year. In other words, non-oil trade rose by a hefty $47 billion (Dh172.61 billion) to notch a record $253 billion.

At $164 billion, imports form a big chunk of the total trade, with the balance of $89 billion representing exports and re-exports. The fact that imports grew by a hefty 24 per cent is pinpointing UAE's success with the emirate of Dubai staying true to its rule as a primary regional hub for trade. A sizeable volume of the imports eventually makes it into export orders to countries in the region and beyond. Interestingly, India has emerged as the largest source and recipient of non-oil trade and for a good reason. The reason is none other than gold, as Dubai in particular continues to solidify its position as a premier centre for jewellery trading activities. Switzerland and Saudi Arabia followed India as primary destinations for exports last year, again demonstrating the UAE's broad international outlook.

Regional troubles associated with the Arab Spring have to an extent solidified Dubai's position as a primary hub for regional trade. In reality, this notion only strengthens the significance of the UAE's economy on the international scene. It goes to the UAE's credit that it has demonstrated leadership in shouldering the responsibility of serving as a primary trading centre. This is evident in the fact that it boasts four different carriers, namely Emirates, Etihad, Air Arabia and flydubai, which together provide connections to cities across the world. The country sustained a rise of at least 20 per cent in each month last year, suggesting that the growth level was not a one-time phenomenon. Among other things, the trade growth serves as proof of the UAE's capability to sustain solid improvement in its economic fundamentals despite all global economic challenges notably the Euro's debacle.

The UAE stands out as a model country being open to international business. It has managed to stand out once again in the world economy right after it was thought to have been fallen. Investments have started flowing in and things are going better than ever. Dubai, which accounts for nearly a third of the UAE's GDP, aims for economic growth of 4.5pc this year, up from an estimated expansion of more than 3pc in 2011. Thereby, setting the benchmark for the rest of the world.