Article: Reflections on the UAE's Industrial Revolution
Reflections on the UAE's Industrial Revolution
As the sun sets over Abu Dhabi, a new dawn in industrial strategy is unfolding. Recently, I had the privilege to witness this change firsthand at the second edition of the MoIAT’s "Make it in the Emirates" Forum. Here, ambitious growth forecasts and innovative programs demonstrated the United Arab Emirates' continued commitment to becoming a global industrial powerhouse.
Operation 300bn is off to a strong start
In 2021, the UAE unveiled a bold national strategy for industry, dubbed Operation 300bn. The objective is to raise the industrial sector’s share of the GDP from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by 2031. A year later, the results have been remarkable. Industrial exports grew by an impressive 48% in just one year, reaching 175 billion dirhams in 2022, up from 117 billion dirhams in 2020. Additionally, the industrial sector's contribution to GDP has grown by 38%. These developments underscore the UAE's strategic vision to leverage technology to bolster its burgeoning industrial sector.
The 2nd edition of the #MakeItInTheEmirates forum kicks off today, organized by #MoIAT @AbuDhabiDED and @ADNOCGroup , with participation from regional and global experts, investors and decision makers across the industrial sector pic.twitter.com/XTEZzl26Is— وزارة الصناعة والتكنولوجيا المتقدمة (@MoIATUAE) May 31, 2023
Revving Up the Job-Creation Engine
The forum revealed how the UAE's industrial vision is already having profound implications for its dynamic workforce. ADNOC announced a partnership with the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (ETCC) to create 5,000 new private sector jobs for UAE nationals by 2027. This is in addition to the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy, which aims to double its industrial sectors and create 13,600 new jobs by 2031. The UAE’s economy will require a steady stream of technologically adept workers capable of navigating an increasingly digitized industrial landscape. We’re already starting to see an upswing in the demand for skills such as advanced robotics, AI, and data analytics over the next decade.
Towards Net Zero by 2050
As the host country of the upcoming COP28, the UAE has taken a leadership role in making sustainability a key part of its efforts to transform its industrial landscape. To achieve its Net Zero target by 2050, the UAE aims to become a market leader by capturing 25% of the hydrogen market. The first hydrogen electrolyzer plant in the UAE is among 30 industrial projects to secure AED 6bn worth of investments.
Unlocking new financing for the industrial sector
Financing is a vital part of any industrial transformation strategy, and this was not ignored at the Forum. The Emirates Development Bank has led the charge with a mandate to allocate AED 30bn in financing to companies in priority sectors (renewables, manufacturing, technology, health care, and food security) by 2026. Additional commitments to finance the industrial sector were made by the First Abu Dhabi Bank (AED 5bn) and Mashreq Bank (AED 1bn).
With the UAE’s industrial revolution well on its way, the message to companies is clear- this is the time to invest in technology, foster innovation, and prepare for a future that’s truly made in the Emirates.