Abu Dhabi: Make it in the Emirates Forum returns with focus on bolstering local industries

Inaugural edition in 2022 led to 32 partnership agreements, announcements of more than 30 products that can be manufactured locally

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Thu 25 May 2023, 6:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 May 2023, 6:43 PM

The second edition of the Make it in the Emirates Forum returns with greater focus on empowering local industries, Emiratisation, exploring growth opportunities and announcements on billion-dollar investments and procurements.

The two-day forum, beginning on May 31, will be organised by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), in partnership with the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi and Adnoc under the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, Operation 300 billion.


It will see the presence of several ministers, decision makers, innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, companies, startups, who will engage in panel discussions, exhibitions, meetings resulting in forging of new partnerships. The inaugural edition of the forum in 2022 led to 32 partnership agreements, announcements of more than 30 products that can be manufactured locally and procurement opportunities worth Dh110 billion, adding Dh6 billion annually to the GDP.

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the COP28 President-Designate, will be making major announcements on the opening day of the forum, revealed Taif Al Amiri, Director, the Government Communication Department at MoIAT, during a media briefing.


“The expectations are high this year. There are more products. And you are going to expect a great announcement by Dr Sultan Jaber at the opening of the forum itself,” she said.

The forum aims to attract investors to explore avenues of investment in the local industrial sector, highlight opportunities for product localisation, and redirect the value of purchases into the national economy by giving priority in procurement to entities joining the national in-country value programme.

“In this edition, we will build on the success of last year’s forum and focus on four key pillars: promoting industrial growth and development, forging partnerships and opening new markets, recognising excellence, and creating a sustainable future. Under these pillars we will address future trends and explore how industry can contribute to decorbanisation and sustainability. These themes are especially significant as the forum coincides with the Year of Sustainability, as well as the country’s preparations to host COP28,” Al Amiri said.

“This forum is a huge opportunity for manufacturers and investors to scale their businesses locally, regionally and internationally.”

Ministers, industry leaders

On the opening day, there will be three main sessions, including a panel on enhancing industrial competitiveness through R&D and technology in the presence of Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Malek Al Malek, CEO of Dubai Holding Asset Management and Anna-Karin Rosén, Managing Director at Saab; another panel in the presence of Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADDED, and Omar Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of the MoIAT, will address strengthening value chains and product competitiveness.

Awards, startup competition

Also, the Make it in the Emirates Awards will recognise excellence and innovation in the industrial sector. The awards will celebrate the pioneers, visionaries, national talents, and sustainability champions of the industrial sector, helping drive the UAE’s transformation to becoming a global manufacturing hub. There will be a startup competition including international participation from Japan, Germany, South Korea, India, the UK, the US, Singapore and Turkey. The startups will showcase their technologies, connect with industry partners, investors and other stakeholders. The focus will be on sustainability across all sectors.

Other sessions across the two days include panels on topics like industrial sustainability and roadmap to COP28, growth through in-country value, the role of industrial zones, competitive financing as a key enabler, why make it in the Emirates – the investor perspective, and local talent in the private sector.

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