Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of Emirates Development Bank at the launch of Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy. Image Credit: Supplied

A new programme to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s industrial sector was unveiled on Thursday, and will see the emirate invest Dh10 billion across six programmes.

The target: to more than double the emirate’s manufacturing sector to Dh172 billion by 2031.

The strategy 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 non-oil exports by 143 per cent to Dh178.8 billion by 2031.

The programmes

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.

Circular economy: The circular economy programme will drive industry-wide sustainability by enabling responsible industrial production and consumption. A circular economy regulatory framework for waste, recycling, and consumption will be developed and implemented, alongside policies that encourage green procurement, and incentives for improved environmental sustainability.

Industry 4.0: 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.

Talent development: 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 enablement: 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: This programme will build industrial sector resilience by increasing self-sufficiency and promoting domestic products. The Abu Dhabi Golden List, which encourages government procurement of high-demand, locally manufactured products, is being expanded, while access to foreign markets will be eased through a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), as well as a bilateral trade agreement programme.

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.

"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," said Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) "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."