(MENAFN) The trade of fresh produce across the Arab region is expected to continue its growth, particularly in Dubai, which has become the regional hub for fresh fruits and vegetable trading, Khaleej Times reported
This rapid growth of the industry can be attributed to different reasons including the high demand for fresh produce, as well as the expanding population of countries in the region
According to the latest figures, the value of fresh produce imported to the UAE has reached USD 816.53 million worth during the January-June period of this year, with at least 661 million kilograms of fruit and vegetables being imported into the UAE during that period.
The UAE imports mainly from the US and Australia, bringing in fruits like apples, pears and citrus fruits like lemons, oranges , while the country's fresh produce exporters are the US, India, China, South Africa, Chile, France, Egypt, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey and Australia.
Due to its strategic location, the UAE has become a major hub linking the Arabian Gulf with producer markets in the region as well as connecting global producers and consumer centers, with Dubai in particular emerging as a regional re-export hub for perishable goods, with the total imported value for edible fresh fruits and nuts has increased from USD95.48 billion in 2008 to more than USD114 billion in 2012 in the emirate.
Fresh produce imported in the Middle East has totaled 4.1 percent from total world imports in 2012, at an estimated value USD4.2 billion, with the GCC alone importing 54 percent of the total imports of the region at a worth of USD2.2 billion.