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Dubai sets up new entity to promote industries, exports

muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 29, 2021

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Dubai Industries and Exports will develop the industrial sector and coordinate efforts to make Dubai a hub for industries of the future


Dubai on Saturday announced another landmark initiative to diversify its economy by setting up a new entity to accelerate industrialization in the emirate to increase its share in global exports market.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said Dubai Industries and Exports will develop the industrial sector and coordinate efforts to make Dubai a hub for industries of the future.

The entity, formerly known as Dubai Exports, will accelerate diversification and global integration of local industry and promote industrial activities by producing value-added products. The immediate focus of the new agency will be on meeting the post-pandemic needs of industries and launching the next phase of Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030.

Sheikh Hamdan said that the industrial sector in the emirate has become a driving force for economic diversification, productivity and sustainable growth as well as Dubai’s integration with global markets.

“The emirate’s efforts to create a world-leading infrastructure and investment-friendly environment have seen it emerging as a regional hub for diverse industries, especially light to medium industrial units involved in manufacturing and exporting mechanical equipment, chemicals, food and beverages, machinery and metals,” he said.

National industrial strategy

The Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to make Dubai a global base for knowledge-based, innovation-driven and sustainable industries. The strategy comprises 67 initiatives that are expected to lay the foundation for future industry in Dubai and add Dh160 billion to the emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) through to 2030.

Meanwhile, a 10-year, comprehensive national industrial strategy seeks to empower and expand the UAE’s industrial sector and increase its GDP contribution from the current Dh133 billion to Dh300 billion by 2031. Named ‘Operation 300bn’ the strategy envisions the industrial sector as the driving force of a sustainable national economy.

New mandate

Sheikh Hamdan said Dubai Industries & Exports, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop industrial and export activity in the emirate, will play a pivotal role in transforming Dubai into a hub for future industries and attracting domestic and foreign investment into the industrial sector, in line with the goals of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 and ‘Operation 300bn.’

Formerly known as ‘Dubai Exports,’ the agency has been supervising the implementation of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, which has been instrumental in raising the manufacturing and export capabilities of the emirate. The scope of the agency has now been expanded in view of the increasing emphasis on industrialisation in Dubai and the UAE and the need to co-ordinate with various authorities on policies, initiatives and services for industrial development and export promotion.

Sheikh Hamdan affirmed that the new mandate is also aligned with the emirate’s strategy to support national industries and promote non-oil trade by pursuing opportunities in overseas markets for diversifying exports. As demonstrated during the pandemic, Dubai, with the help of its competitive and connected environment, is committed to helping businesses successfully navigate challenges and crises. Dubai Industries & Exports will be instrumental in supporting investors and manufacturers globally to build on this opportunity in Dubai, His Highness said.

Ambitious industrialisation targets

“We express our gratitude to the leadership for its confidence in Dubai Economy and our efforts to develop the industrial sector in the emirate. Dubai Industries & Exports will continue to facilitate industrial activity and exports and work collaboratively with all stakeholders to create a future-oriented regulatory framework for promoting an innovative and capable industry,” Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of Dubai Economy, said.

Al Qamzi pointed out that the ambitious industrialisation targets set for Dubai and the UAE mean unprecedented opportunities for high-tech industries as well as small and medium enterprises to develop and enhance competencies in emerging disciplines, such as research and development, clean energy, healthcare, biotech, and space.

“The pandemic phase has convinced global industry about the competitive advantage Dubai holds in connecting trade and people, and in sustaining business activity.”

Dubai to become a manufacturing hub

Engineer Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Industries & Exports, said the efforts of Dubai Industries & Exports to accelerate industrialisation and exports focus on promoting sector growth, industrial interdependence, and integration with other sectors and strategic plans, besides providing a more attractive and competitive environment for industrial investments.

“Dubai has already evolved into a key hub for manufacturing companies and industries globally,”

The industrial sector in the emirate has shown remarkable stability in recent years and according to data from the Dubai Statistics Centre, the average GDP contribution of the sector in the 2015-19 period (at constant prices) was 9.3 per cent. Industrial exports from Dubai saw an average growth of seven per cent in this period. The total value of the emirate’s industrial exports in 2020 amounted to Dh167 billion, a growth of eight per cent from the previous year, according to Dubai Customs.

Dubai’s growing industrial capabilities are also underlined by its manufacturing sector, which was the fourth largest in terms of GDP contribution in 2019, after wholesale and retail trade, transport and storage, and financial & insurance services. The manufacturing sector was also the third largest sector in 2019 in terms of manpower employment in the emirate.

Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030

Dubai Industries & Exports will intensify co-ordination with partners and authorities locally and internationally to formulate services and initiatives that meet the needs of the industrial sector, especially in the post-Covid phase, in addition to launching the second phase of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 in line with the directives of the leadership and the focus of ‘Operation 300 bn’ on advanced technologies, sustainable economic development and 4IR, Al Awadi said.

The Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 has developed 67 initiatives for achieving its goals in addition to identifying six priority sub-sectors: Aerospace, Maritime, Aluminium and Fabricated Metals, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment, Food & Beverages, and Machinery & Equipment.

A report issued by the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) Sector in Dubai Economy stated that 6,728 companies have been operating in the industrial sector in the emirate in the period from 1963 to 2021. There was a 94.1 per cent increase in the number of industrial firms between 2006 and 2021. The number of investors in the industrial sector reached 33,548 in 2021.

Al Quoz Fourth Industrial Zone has the largest concentration of industrial units in Dubai, followed by Dubai Investments Park 1 and Jebel Ali 1. Among the main areas in Dubai, Bur Dubai accounts for the largest share of industrial units (72 per cent), followed by Deira (27.1 per cent), and Hatta (0.9 per cent)

The most prominent industrial activities in Dubai include manufacture of metal structures for buildings, blacksmith and welding workshops and furniture manufacturing.

Analysts, businesses hail new move

Atik Munshi, managing partner at Enterprise House, said manufacturing is one of the sectors which had needed some support from the government.

“This has now come about in the form of ‘Dubai Industries and Exports’, Operation 300bn’ and ‘Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030’ initiatives. The government of Dubai has taken this initiative considering that manufacturing is the backbone for any economy,” Munshi told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

He said SME’s may not be a major contributor to the UAE economy though they are a significantly high in number in total number of entities and they act as the highest employers.

“I feel that more banking support is also required to SMEs and manufacturing — in many countries a minimum percentage of lending is mandated by the central bank of the country to ensure that SME’s are granted a hand holding; similar mandate could also do wonders for UAE SME,” he said.

Good move to diversify economy

Haleema Al Owais, CEO, Sultan bin Ali Al Owais Real Estate, said this is a good move to diversify Dubai economy by promoting export-driven industries in the emirate.

“Before the dreaded pandemic, we as a nation had successfully achieved the development of a base, systems, and infrastructure, and the next and obvious step is to further build on that. ‘Vision 2030’ was a post-Expo Strategy in Development’ even before, and this is just Dubai maintaining course despite all external deterrents,” she said.

Referring to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAe and Ruler of Dubai, recent statement that while the people worldwide were facing layoffs, UAE has created 248,000 jobs during the same period, Haleema Al Owais said today’s announcement is a part of how the recently announced ‘Operation 300bn’ plan will be achieved.

“The country has a master plan, and these are parts that help us achieve it. Diversification into more sectors and adding more layers to an already buoyant business landscape and all steps towards further maturity and the formation of a robust and resilient economy” she said.

Foundation for Industrial base

Kamal Vachani, group director of Al Maya Group, said Dubai Exports has already established its network across key global industrial hubs over a period of time.

“Latest initiative to set up new entity with a strong global network will help local industries to exports their products to a wider market,” Vachani told Khaleej Times.

“I have witnessed first-hand dedication of Dubai authorities. I find it heartening that Dubai is leaving no stone unturned in order to boost industry and exports, both of which are key components in the emirate’s drive for a secure and economically-robust city,” he said.

Lal Bhatia, chairman, Hilshaw Group, said the mandate announced by Shaikh Hamdan to promote exports and opportunity for local industries and their produce is very much in line with the Emirates’ ‘Operation 300bn’ strategy which outlines Dubai’s Industrial Sector’s contribution to the GDP to increase from the current Dh133 billion to Dh300 billion by 2031.

“After all, growth of this magnitude requires Dubai to be recognised as an industrial and production hub — in addition to its existing appeal as a trading and service industry nucleus. The sector posted a 94.1 per cent growth in the last 15 years, and considering Dubai’s reputation of achieving every claim and pushing every vision to fruition, a higher performance in the next ten years is a very achievable feat,” he said.

“This acceleration to diversify while creating a leading contributor to the GDP will compliment all other sectors including trading, retail, and real estate and as a result post an overall exponential growth,” Bhatia added.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

author

Muzaffar Rizvi

Business Editor/News Editor of Khaleej Times is a well-connected journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the mainstream journalism since 1997, covering the UAE's economy and key sectors. He holds a post-graduate degree in Economics and has won many awards for authentic and insightful reports on global and regional businesses and economic trends.





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