Industries grew under Maktoum's leadership

DUBAI — The UAE's industrial sector in general and Dubai in particular achieved remarkable growth under the leadership of Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

By Moushumi Daschaudhry

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Published: Thu 5 Jan 2006, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:45 PM

The country achieved marvellous growth during the last decade which is clear evidence of the regional and international status enjoyed by the UAE.

Investment in the UAE's industrial sector increased 44.3 per cent in 2004 to nearly Dh6.3 billion compared with Dh4.3 billion in 2003 and the number of industrial units increased to 3,036 in 2004 from 2,795 in 2003.

The industrial policy for the emirate is based on a long-term perspective of development and envisages a gradual shift from labour intensive/low-technology industries to capital intensive/advanced technology industries by 2010. By 2030, Dubai aims to further focus on encouraging the growth of knowledge-intensive/high technology industries.

This growth is in the first place attributed to the directives, support and continuous encouragement of Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Supreme Council members and rulers of the emirates.

Dubai can boast of many achievements in the field of industrial development. Industrial growth rates in the UAE exceeded all expectations and even the best hopes of the optimists.

Bankers and leading businessmen in the emirate attribute the impressive growth in investments in the industrial sector to the government's policy of encouraging small and medium entrepreneurs in various sectors. But while small and medium enterprises make up the numbers, Dubai has also been able to attract big-ticket investments. Dubai accounted for 47 per cent of the country's GDP in the wholesale and retail sector. Total capital investment in the manufacturing sector in Dubai touched Dh26.4 billion in 2005, with the total value of production touching Dh2.5 billion. The UAE's manufacturing sector grew by 9.7 per cent in 2005 on the back of robust demand from the domestic non-oil sectors as well as a growing export market, according to a report.

Base metals dominate non-oil manufactured exports, most of it being accounted for by aluminium smelting. Other significant contributors to non-oil exports from UAE are cement, corrugated cartons, metal scrap, snack foods, plastic products, paints, lubricants and chemicals.

Dubai's industrial manufacturing venture is Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) which has been going through an almost continuous expansion programme over the past few years. Dubal recently marked the completion of its $180 million expansion programme with the launch of phase 1 of potline 7 and raised Dubal's annual capacity to 761,000 tonnes.

The company's pure grade metal is sold to customers across the world, from Japan and the Pacific Rim, to the US, Europe and the Middle East.

Dubai also emerged as a major tourism destination and for the last five years, the city is positioning itself as a major tourist destination with the construction of Dubailand worth $5 billion.

The UAE has a growing pharmaceuticals industry that serves local, regional and international markets. The pharmaceutical industry is estimated at Dh2 billion and the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) launched by the Government of Dubai is set to expand manifold in the coming years, according to analysts. One of the major pharmaceutical company headquartered in the UAE is Ras Al Khaimah's Julphar, whose sales exceed Dh500 million in 40 countries.

The textile industry is valued at Dh 8.8 billion and plays a major role in Dubai's economy. Under the wise leadership of Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, the city has become a major hub of textile and garment industry in the region with annual exports to world markets at more than Dh650 million in 2005, according to recent statistics.

Dubai is also a major passageway for the garment trade as re-export figures reached as high as Dh2.3 billion in 2003. The main garment re-export destinations include Algeria, Oman, Libya, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The furniture, cement, steel and iron industries have also achieved huge growth in the recent years due to the massive construction projects in Dubai.

At present the furniture market is worth Dh 1 billion and furniture, both office and household, achieved 50 per cent increase in sales in 2005.

With the increase in the volume of the market and rise in production volume and quality for local industries, local production found its way quickly to the markets of other AGCC countries.

As a result, exports increased gradually and headed for other new markets and good demand for UAE products by foreign markets was a strong incentive for local industries.

Now it is the task of those in charge of the UAE’s industrial sector to double their efforts in terms of the steady expansion in production and increasing the concern over improving quality so that United Arab Emirate's products can win the competition with the products of other countries.

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