Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development, said on Tuesday that the total value of exports it facilitated in 2011 crossed Dh3 billion. With exporters in Dubai continuing to penetrate new markets and diversify their product range, the export sector could perform better, Dubai Exports said. Of the 42 export transactions facilitated by Dubai Exports during the year, 35 per cent were new deals while new exporters won 50 per cent of the deals. Companies based in Dubai were the beneficiaries of 93 per cent of the deals concluded last year, it said. Saed Al Awadi, chief executive officer of Dubai Exports, said the growth in exports was enabled through diversification of products and opening of business channels in new markets. “In 2012 we will continue to focus on increasing the exports of small and medium enterprises [SMEs], enhancing competitiveness of local companies, and raising the level of their products,” he said. According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the value of Dubai’s exports and re-exports reached Dh246 billion in 2011, higher than the previous peak of Dh213 billion in 2008. The total value of 2011 exports and re-exports was 14.5 per cent higher than the previous year. Dubai’s non-oil trade as a whole exceeded Dh814 billion at the end of the third quarter 2011, up 23 per cent over the same period in 2010, according to DP World vice-chairman Jamal Majid bin Thaniah. Businesses operating from free zones in Dubai drive a full 40 per cent of the emirate’s export market as the importance of the economic clusters continues to grow. In 2012, the UAE will see its exports surging to $276.1 billion, imports growing to $219 billion and external debts swelling to $170 billion this year, said Thaniah. The largest share of exports — 61 per cent — transacted through Dubai Exports went to the GCC countries while Africa accounted for 35 per cent, an increase from their share in 2010. The remaining four per cent was distributed among countries in Asia, Europe and rest of the world. Food products, electronics and petrochemicals were the leading export from Dubai, together constituting 95 per cent of the net exports. The GCC market took in 82 per cent of the food products exported, indicating strong and continued prospects for this sector in the region. Europe (eight per cent) and Africa (five per cent) were the next major export destinations with the remaining share going to Asia and other parts of the world. Africa accounted for the lion’s share of electronics exports from Dubai in 2011, receiving more than 87 per cent. Meanwhile, Europe remained the main export market for plastics from the emirate with a share of 89 per cent while 92 per cent of the construction exports went to GCC countries. Australia led in services export transactions through Dubai Exports with a 65 per cent share and Saudi Arabia absorbed the remainder. Al Awadi said Dubai Exports would participate in international exhibitions across the Gulf, Africa, Europe, and Central Asia in 2012 to promote bilateral trade and exports between countries in these regions and the UAE, particularly Dubai.