His Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, today launched the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy to strengthen the emirate’s position as the region’s most competitive industrial hub. Abu Dhabi Government will invest AED10 billion across six transformational programmes to more than double the size of Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing sector to AED172 billion by 2031 by increasing access to financing, enhancing ease of doing business, and attracting foreign direct investment.
The strategy, via the six programmes, will also create 13,600 skilled jobs, with a focus on Emirati talent, and boost Abu Dhabi’s trade with international markets, with a goal to increase Abu Dhabi’s non-oil exports by 143 per cent to AED178.8 billion by 2031.
Multiple initiatives, including a new circular economy regulatory framework, as well as new green policies and incentives, will help continue Abu Dhabi’s transition towards a smart, circular economy, powered by an industrial sector that champions respsonsible production and consumption across waste management, parts supply, and manufacturing.
Commenting on the milestone launch, which took place at Khalifa Industrial Free Zone (KIZAD), His Excellency Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said: “Abu Dhabi’s blueprint for a comprehensive industrial strategy is an ambitious vision that will guide the future of the emirate’s manufacturing sector, and shape a resilient and diversified economy for decades to come. In line with the UAE’s industrial strategy, Operation 300bn, our roadmap will create the ideal environment for businesses to emerge and grow. It addresses our ever-growing productivity goals, helps secure future investor opportunities, safeguards our human capital and boosts job creation, and enables us to pre-empt evolving market conditions and shifting trends.
The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy, which includes plans for a smart circular economy, catalyses value creation and ensures cost competitiveness. And with the combination of Abu Dhabi’s enabling public-private partner business ecosystem and investor-friendly regulations, we are ushering in a new era of economic growth.”
His Excellency Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said: “Building upon the UAE’s ambitions to develop and enact effective economic strategies that directly impact the growth of the local economy and advance its status as a leading player in international trade and industry, Abu Dhabi’s industrialisation strategy is a tremendous initiative that reflects our wise leadership’s promise towards achieving the sustainable transformation of our economy over the next decade.
Leveraging the full potential of innovative technologies across the UAE’s industrial landscape, while also driving the development of a robust and diverse manufacturing sector, we will be able to realise the next stage of advancement for our national economy and elevate its position as a leading global industrial power. And while the global economy remains complex and disruptive, thanks to the strategic guidance of the UAE’s leadership, Abu Dhabi’s drive for industrialisation is aligning the emirate on an upward path that is bolstering non-oil GDP growth and at the same time facilitating a fast-growing, dynamic, and job-rich logistics and manufacturing ecosystem.”
While enhancing sustainability across the ecosystem in line with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 and the National Climate Change Strategy, the manufacturing industry’s ongoing evolution will be accelerated by the integration of advanced Industry 4.0 technologies to spur growth, competitiveness and innovation.
The strategy’s iniatives will also advance the emirate’s development into a global hub for future industries, with a focus on seven targeted manufacturing sectors: chemicals, machinery, electrical power, electrical equipment, transportation, agri-foods, and pharmaceuticals.
Six transformational programmes will drive growth and innovation, boost skills, strengthen the ecosystem for local manufacturers, ease access to global markets, and advance the transition to a circular economy.
The circular economy programme will drive industry-wide sustainability by enabling responsible industrial production and consumption. A robust circular economy regulatory framework for waste, recycling, and consumption will be developed and implemented, alongside policies that encourage ESG (environmental, social and governance), green procurement, and incentives for improved environmental sustainability.
The Industry 4.0 programme will accelerate business growth through the widespread adoption of new technologies and processes. Their integration will spur competitiveness and innovation, backed by initiatives including a smart manufacturing funding programme, a smart assessment index, and competency centres that provide training and knowledge sharing.
As well as creating 13,000 skilled jobs by 2031, with a focus on Emirati talent, the talent development programme will assess industry-wide competencies, and offer upskilling programmes to fill skills gaps and meet future needs. Job placement programmes will offer rewarding career pathways in high-demand areas.
Ecosystem enablers include a digital geographic information system (GIS) mapping for industrial land search and a unified inspection programme for quality control. Further enhancements to ease of doing business is also a key focus, through reimbursement incentive programmes for government fees, land rebates, R&D, and tax, as well as streamlining customs processes and costs, and introducing regulatory reform around industrial and housing laws.
Homegrown supply chain
The homegrown supply chain programme will build industrial sector resilience by increasing self-sufficiency and promoting domestic products. The already extensive Abu Dhabi Golden List, which encourages government procurement of high-demand, locally manufactured products, is being expanded; whilst access to foreign markets will be eased through a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), as well as a bilateral trade agreement programme. Locally manufactured products will also be purchased and provided as part of foreign aid.
Value chain development
To drive local infrastructure development for end-to-end integration, a supply chain equity investments fund will be established. In addition, offsets will be offered to support industrial funding, and the Abu Dhabi Channel Partners initiative will incentivise foreign direct investment (FDI). Infrastructure enhancement progammes in Al Ain and Al Dhafrah will further strengthen the ecosystem.
Alongside the launch of the strategy, several new industry partnerships were signed, including:
- Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and MADE Competence Centre I4.0 (Italy)
ADDED will work with MADE to strengthen the capabilities of the industrial workforce through the Industry 4.0 Skills Development Program to be ready to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies, and to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship eco-system.
- ADDED and TÜV SÜD (Germany)
ADDED will work with TÜV SÜD to help develop and deliver an I4.0 Industry Readiness Assessment (I4.0 IR) which will act as a framework and management tool to educate manufacturers and measure current maturity.
The I4.0 IR tool will be used to carry out assessments, and the insights gained will be used to facilitate collaboration between industrial stakeholders and government bodies to develop policies to support smart manufacturing.
- ADNOC and National Oilwell Varco (NOV)
National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has partnered with ADNOC to expand NOV’s manufacturing footprint in the UAE. As part of the agreement, NOV will manufacture essential components used for drilling across facilities in Abu Dhabi, thereby strengthening the local supply chain.
- ADNOC and Ingenia Polymers
Ingenia Polymers will produce essential Superblends™, Masterbatches and Polymer Additives used by companies such as Borouge to produce innovative polyolefin-based solutions. Ingenia has recently moved part of its manufacturing capacity to the UAE, establishing its very first manufacturing facility in ICAD 1.
Click here to find out more about the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy.