Dubai’s food and beverage trade with Africa see’s 18% growth


The Dubai-Africa trade is slowly gaining momentum at awakening speeding with Africa presently emerging as one of the most important markets for the United Arab Emirates.

In the latest analysis by the new Dubai Chamber, the Dubai-Africa trade has shown significant growth in Dubai’s food and beverage trade, excluding tobacco, that has reached $13.9 billion during the period of 2015-2020.

This sector has been identified as a key factor expected to drive bilateral trade in the short-term.

According to the new Dubai chamber report, In 2020 the value of food and beverage trade (excluding tobacco) between Dubai and Africa amounted to $2.4 billion in food and beverage trade, marking a growth rate of 18 percent compared to the previous year and the highest level since 2017.

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Dubai’s food and beverage trade with Africa accounted for around 13% of the emirate’s total trade volume with the continent, over the same period, excluding trade in gold, jewelry and precious stones.

Dubai’s exports in this category amounted to 31 percent of the trade volume, and re-exports represented 23 percent.

Dubai Chamber has published this analysis ahead of the 6th Global Business Forum Africa 2021, set to be held on 13-14 October 2021 by the Chamber in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai.

Global Business Forum Africa logo; photo/courtesy

The study highlighted Dubai-Africa F&B bilateral trade trends by region, as well as the potential avenues for future cooperation.

North Africa was Dubai’s largest food and beverage trade partner in Africa last year, with a total value of $971.2 million, followed by East Africa with $828.3 million and Southern Africa ranking third among Dubai’s largest food and beverage trading partners with $362.9 million.

As the world moves closer to achieving a global economy, Africa’s status as the most promising market of the new millennium can never be underestimated.

The United Arab Emirates has been quick to recognize the immense potential in the emerging markets of Africa and is working diligently to penetrate newer markets within the African continent.

Trade between the UAE and countries that form the COMESA economic bloc has been on the increase in recent times.

COMESA is the largest economic bloc of African countries with 19 member states that includes Burundi, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The COMESA market is expected to grow into one of the most lucrative markets in Africa with an estimated 500 million consumers by 2015.

According UNCTAD data, Africa registered a negative trade balance of $20.1 billion in F&B products with the world, and this trend was most prevalent in North, Middle, and Western Africa, indicating sizeable business opportunities in those regions.


The study concluded with a positive outlook for Dubai-Africa F&B bilateral trade, given Africa’s expanding urban F&B market, which offers vast opportunities for Dubai investors in warehousing and cold storage for agricultural outputs, farm equipment, transport, and repair services, among others.

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GBF Africa 2021 will be organized at Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 Dubai under the theme Transformation Through Trade, with the forum bringing government and business leaders from the UAE, Africa and other markets together to explore new prospects for economic cooperation and investment opportunities in promising African markets.

As the Official Business Integration Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai Chamber is organizing several high-level business forums at the mega event, with the 6th GBF Africa taking place October 13-14th, 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai, followed by the inaugural GBF ASEAN and the 4th GBF Latin America.

About Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Established in 1965, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a non-profit public entity, whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai by creating a favorable business environment, supporting the development of business, and by promoting Dubai as an international business hub.

I am a Multimedia Journalist with six years of experience from Digital to Broadcast Media{Radio and Television}. Interested in reporting Current affairs happenings within and across the borders. I have an excellent attitude towards working with others and communication skills extremely patient and persistent with the ability to formulate unique ideas and hand-eye coordination. Ability to work under minimal supervision, curious, hardworking, and polite. In another life, I am a News Anchor and Reporter

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