Abu Dhabi's trade in pearl, gemstones and precious metals surged 66 per cent to Dh15.4 billion ($4.19billion) in 2016, compared to Dh9.25 billion in 2015, a report said, citing the Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi (SCAD).
The growth in the non-oil trade movement across the emirate's onshore, offshore and air entry points has been attributed by SCAD to a growing increase in local and foreign demand that led to a considerable rise in non-oil exports and re-exports, including pearls and gemstones, reported Wam, the Emirates official news agency.
Dh6.565 billion worth of gemstones, pearl and precious metals re-exports were recorded in 2016 against Dh2.94 billion in 2015.
Analysts expect continued growth in this type of trade, affirming that the UAE has turned to be a major hub for pearl, gemstones and precious metals trade over the past five years.
According to SCAD statistics, pearl, gemstones and precious metals exports hit Dh3.4 billion in 2016, a 1.5 per cent increase from Dh3.35 billion in 2015, with the imports valued at Dh5.42 billion in 2016, an 83 per cent up from Dh2.95 billion in 2015.
The pearl, gemstones and precious metals trade claims 5 per cent of the emirate's non-oil trade volume, which totalled around Dh309 billion in 2016.