Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi Image Credit: WAM/Gulf News archives

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi government on Tuesday announced a series of initiatives to boost growth and diversify the economy away from oil.

Among the new measures, include funding support for small and medium enterprises, creation of a Dh4billion fund to boost research and development (R&D) and incentives on electricity tariffs for industries.

“We in Abu Dhabi, have a clear vision to diversify the economy away from oil and as a result we put clear milestones and very clear steps to continue developing the sector and to have an economy shifting from oil to non-oil,” said Rashed Abdul Karim Al Beloushi, undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

“We have a huge potential do to so and we are coming with eight new initiatives in close cooperation with the private sector. We want to encourage and attract ideas and smart people.”

Among the steps, the government would be taking to boost economy include incentives on electricity tariffs for industries, funding for small and medium enterprises, open data programme for investors and traders, improvement in ease of doing business with Tamm programme, development of tourism sector in the Western region of Abu Dhabi and funds to encourage research and development.

The government will also start instant licenses as well as issuing licenses in the technology sphere as new developments take place in the sector like autonomous driving, among others.

On open data programme, Al Beloushi said the government is working with the Abu Dhabi Data Authority to make data available for stakeholders in an efficient way be it data on inflation or rentals or any other thing.

“Open data programme is one of the most important factors for decision makers, be it a trader, or a politician or investor and would help in boosting investment. We want to adopt open data culture.”

New incentives on electricity tariffs were also announced by the government to reduce the operational cost of industries and increase their revenue.

The new measures form part of Dh50 billion ‪Ghadan 21‬ programme that was announced byHis Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces last year to accelerate the development of emirate’s economy.

Abu Dhabi’s overall GDP (gross domestic product) in 2019 is expected to grow by 3 per cent at constant prices with non-oil growth projected at 3.9 per cent. For 2020, non-oil growth is forecast at 4.1 per cent, Al Balooshi recently told Gulf News.