Under the terms of the decree, GHC will launch the first initial public offering (IPO) in Emirates Foodstuff & Mineral Water Companyin September, making shares available to UAE nationals and local pre-selected companies.

‘The aim of selling these factories partially or fully and transferring their ownership to the private sector ultimately leads to the creation of a partnership between the public and private sectors,’ said Sheikh Hamed, who is also chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy, in a statement. ‘This will also activate the stock markets in the UAE as the companies get listed.’

The advisers on the privatisation programme are HSBC(financial), Abu Dhabi Investment Company(marketing), Simmons & Simmons(international legal adviser) and Hadef al-Dhahiri & Partners(local legal).