Dubai's external foodstuff trade reached AED 52 billion in 2020, according to Dubai Customs.
The figures indicate the UAE's efforts in securing food during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Imports accounted for the bulk at AED 34.7 billion, followed by exports (AED 10 bn) and re-exports (AED 7.3 bn).
In terms of volume, Dubai facilitated the trade of 17 million tonnes of food items in 2020 (imports 12.5 million tonnes, exports 3.1 m tonnes, and re-exports 1.3 m tonnes).
"Food security is gaining more importance under the current circumstances, and the challenges posed by the pandemic which swept across the world," said Nassim Al Mehairi, Manager of Statistics Section at Dubai Customs.
"The UAE showed an outstanding performance in securing food during the pandemic following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai," Al Mehairi added.
He pointed out that the holy month of Ramadan witnesses an increase in consumption of different food items.
"For this, Dubai Customs works hard to ensure a streamlined food trade, and that everyone has access to high quality foodstuff. Different centres at Dubai Customs accelerate clearance of food shipments to ensure they are delivered to the market without any delay," explained Al Mehairi.
Zadi (or my food) platform reflects the close cooperation between Dubai Customs, DP World and Dubai Municipality to facilitate food trade.
It is a unified food import platform aimed at facilitating the import and re-export of food shipments throughout Dubai ports.
The first-of-its-kind platform in the Middle East is aligned with the UAE's plans for the post-COVID-19 era.