Dubai International Chamber has taken a significant step in strengthening trade and investment ties with Africa by inaugurating its latest international office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The move reflects Dubai’s commitment to positioning itself favorably in Africa and unlocking two-way investments, while also bolstering the growing trade links between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the continent.
Also read: AfDB, EIB, IDB and WHO launch investment platform to strengthen primary health care services
With the opening of its Johannesburg office, Dubai International Chamber now operates a total of 21 representative offices worldwide, five of which are strategically located in Africa. This expansion further solidifies Dubai’s presence on the continent, following the establishment of representative offices in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Ghana. These offices play a crucial role in facilitating trade and investment flows between Africa and Dubai, while also creating opportunities for Dubai companies to explore African markets.
The Johannesburg office will primarily focus on providing comprehensive support to the South African business community and building strong relationships with key public and private sector stakeholders. This on-the-ground assistance aims to aid South African companies in entering the Dubai market and expanding their international presence through the emirate.
Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, emphasized the significance of the new office, stating, “The new office in Johannesburg is yet another example of our commitment to positioning Dubai favorably in Africa, strengthening trade links with this vital continent and unlocking two-way investments.”
Trade between South Africa and Dubai has witnessed impressive growth, with non-oil trade achieving a year-on-year increase of 11.5% in 2022, reaching a total value of AED22.3 billion, according to Dubai Customs statistics. This upward trend highlights the immense potential for further expansion and collaboration between the two regions. By establishing a presence in Johannesburg, Dubai International Chamber aims to drive the growth of Dubai’s non-oil trade with South Africa and other key African markets, while also attracting increased strategic investments from businesses on both sides.
Dubai’s strategic location and world-class logistics facilities position it as an ideal trade hub for South African companies with global ambitions. The emirate offers easy access to a vast consumer base of 2.2 billion people, providing a gateway for South African businesses to expand their footprints worldwide.
The inauguration of the Johannesburg office aligns with the ‘Dubai Global’ initiative launched in 2022 by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council. The initiative aims to establish 50 representative offices for Dubai across five continents by the end of the decade, supporting Dubai Chambers’ strategic goals of attracting international business and investment while driving global expansion for its members.
As of the end of 2022, a total of 777 South African companies were registered with Dubai Chamber of Commerce, representing a remarkable growth of 77% since 2016. The new office in Johannesburg is expected to strengthen the already robust commercial relationship between the UAE and South Africa by identifying and capitalizing on new trade and investment opportunities across various sectors, including precious stones and metals, agriculture, logistics, and mining.
The inauguration of Dubai International Chamber’s Johannesburg office marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s efforts to strengthen trade and investment ties with Africa. Dubai’s expanding presence on the continent and its commitment to facilitating mutually beneficial trade relationships demonstrate its determination to be a key player in the global economy. By leveraging its strategic advantages, Dubai aims to provide South African companies with a gateway to international expansion, while also fostering economic growth for both regions.