Fruit and vegetable trade reaches AED 6.4bn in H1

Dubai's trade in fruit and vegetables has reached around AED 6.4 billion (£1 billion) for the first half of the year.

Figures from Dubai Customs show this was higher than 2012's first half total of AED 5.4 billion, which represents a like-for-like growth of 19 per cent.

The body states the biggest portion of this business goes to local markets. Imports reached approximately AED 4.6 billion in this half, compared to AED 3.9 billion in H1 2012, while exports went up to AED 1.8 billion compared to AED 1.5 billion a year ago.

These statistics highlight a lesser known portion of Dubai's business and the growing figures show this area is expanding and succeeding, suggesting plenty of future potential.

A spokesperson for Dubai Customs said: 'The growth of the fruit and vegetable trade reflects the boom in local markets and continuous expansion of demand, thanks to population growth, the emerging economy, and Dubai's upholding of its leading position in the regional and international fruit and vegetable markets through exports and re-exports to these markets.'

The need for large volumes of food, such as fruit and vegetables, can be seen in a variety of areas, such as the luxury lifestyle of its wealthy residents and a need to stock its growing hotel, restaurant and hospitality sector.

It also has its own cuisine and food, of which it has put a greater emphasis on of late. On November 15th, for instance, it played host to the first Dubai World Hospitality Championship, which aims to become an annual occurrence. This event promoted both local emirati and international cooking, with contests for both, alongside traditional culture and crafts.

As part of these celebrations, three new Guinness World Records were achieved by various groups, winning the titles for both the largest mosaic made from chocolate truffle and the biggest emirati plate of chicken aseeda, while also beating the current record for the largest achaar pickle.

Dubai Customs notes its recent growth is coincides with the International Perishables Expo Middle East, which is currently being hosted in the emirate.

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