Abu Dhabi plans to invest AED10bn ($2.7bn) across six industrial initiatives to more than double the size of its manufacturing sector to AED172bn by 2031.
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, launched the strategy on 30 June.
The investment aims to increase access to financing, enhancing the ease of doing business, and attracting foreign direct investment, the Abu Dhabi Media Office said.
The strategy, through the six programmes, is expected to create 13,600 skilled jobs, with a focus on Emirati talent.
It will also boost Abu Dhabi’s trade with international markets, with a goal to increase Abu Dhabi’s non-oil exports by 143 per cent to AED178.8bn by 2031.
The six initiatives focus on the circular economy, industry 4.0, talent development, and enabling an ecosystem and homegrown supply chain and value chain development.
Several new industry partnerships were signed in line with the new industrial strategy.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) and Italy’s Made Competence Centre I4.0 have agreed to work on an industry 4.0-orientated skills development programme, and to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the emirate.
Added and Germany’s Tuv Sud have agreed to 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.
US-headquartered National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has partnered with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to expand NOV’s manufacturing footprint in the UAE. The US firm will manufacture essential components used for drilling across facilities in Abu Dhabi.
Finally, UAE-headquartered Ingenia Polymers has agreed to produce essential products such as superblends, masterbatches and polymer additives used by companies such as Borouge to produce polyolefin-based solutions.
Below is a brief summary of each of the six initiatives comprising Abu Dhabi's industrial strategy announced on 30 June.
It aims to enable 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 environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, green procurement, and incentives for improved environmental sustainability.
The 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 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, research and development, and tax, as well as streamlining customs processes and costs, and introducing regulatory reform around industrial and housing laws.
Homegrown supply chain
The Abu Dhabi government plans to build industrial sector resilience by increasing self-sufficiency and promoting domestic products. The extensive Abu Dhabi Golden List, which encourages government procurement of high-demand, locally manufactured products, is being expanded. 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 investment 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. Infrastructure enhancement programmes in Al-Ain and Al-Dhafrah will further strengthen the ecosystem.
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