More industrial cities to come up in UAE

ABU DHABI - The UAE government has drawn up a strategy to ensure that the country’s industrial development matches its achievements in other fields.

By Ibrahim Taha

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Published: Sat 11 Dec 2004, 11:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:47 AM

The new strategy includes building a number of industrial cities to provide necessary infrastructure to face the challenges of globalisation. The Abu Dhabi Industrial City (ADIC) is one such facility.

Covering an area of about 14 square kilometres, ADIC is about 30 kilometres outside Abu Dhabi city. It has been designed to feature different kinds of industrial activities, including food proecessing, textiles, wood furniture, engineering, plastics, chemicals and building materials.

To ensure the success of its industrial development programme, the UAE has signed a number of agreements for the development of industrial cities. It has also initiated several awards, including the Shaikh Khalifa Industrial Award, which aims at developing production and improving the quality of national products. These efforts have reflected positively on the performance of the country’s industrial sector.

The number of industries set up by the end of last year stood at 255, representing 9.1 per cent of the total industrial units and an increase of 31 compared to the 2002 figure. Total investment in this sector stood at Dh8.9 million, representing 20.5 per cent of total investments. The figure also represents an average of Dh35 million and an increase of Dh5.1 million compared to the total investments made in 2002.

In the oil refining, the number of units stood at 34 by the end of 2003, representing 1.2 per cent of the total. The figure represents an increase of about 17.3 per cent. Total investment in this sector was Dh777.9 million, which represents 17.8 per cent of the total investment. It also represents an increase of Dh728.2 million over that of 2002.

In the case of the basic minerals, there were 59 units by the end of last year. This figure represents 3.5 per cent of the total industrial establishments in the country. A total investment of Dh693.9 million was pumped into these industries, representing 15.9 per cent of the total investments made in the country and an average of Dh117.6 million.This represents an increase of Dh59 million compared to total investments in 2002. The increase is 0.9 per cent.

The furniture industry had about 302 industrial units by the end of 2003, representing 10.8 per cent of the total. It also represents an increase of 38 units over the 2002 figure, while the total investments made in the sector during the same period stood at Dh473 million. By the end of last year, there were 151 ready-made dress and garment units, representing 5.4 per cent of the total units. An investment of Dh260 million was made in this sector, representing 0.6 percent of the total investments made in all the industrial sectors and an average of Dh 1.7 million. The figure represents a decline of about Dh14 million compared to that of 2002.

In mineral products, there were about 460 units by the end of last year. The figure represents 16.5 per cent of the total installations, an increase of 47 installations over the 2002 figure. Dh224.5 million was invested in the sector. The figure represents 5.1 per cent of the total investments made.

In the raw materials and non-metallic sector, there were 382 units by the end of last year. This represents 13.7 per cent of the total, an increase of 35 compared to last year’s figure. Dh679 million was invested in the sector, representing 15.6 per cent of the total investments.

The petrochemicals industry had a total of 299 installations by end of last year with a total investment of about Dh514.7 million. The rubber and plastic industry also had 244 units by the end of last year. The figure represents 7.8 per cent of the total installations and an increase of 28 over last year’s figure. Dh154.7 million was invested in the sector, representing 3.5 per cent of the total investment made in the country.

Marketing problem

Meanwhile, the problem of marketing has become the subject of discussions in business and industrial circles. What exactly are the marketing problems of the industrial sector? Is there any need for legislation to support and boost national industries by making it compulsory to purchase national products? What is the future of national industries in the light of the World Trade Organisation? Why are the local companies not purchasing “Made in UAE” products despite the quality certificates issued to those products? Industrialists and traders are looking for tangible answers to these questions.

A well-known businessmen in Abu Dhabi told Khaleej Times that the UAE government and businessmen need to discuss seriously the problems and obstacles hindering the smooth development of the national industrial sector before discussing increasing investment in industries.

He said the UAE had for some years now entered a new phase of diversifying its economy, sources of revenue and opening up to the global economy. He cited what is going on now in Abu Dhabi. “After announcing the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Industrial City in Mussafah, enhancing economic partnership between the government and the local private sector, as well as with a number of foreign countries, the government went on to announce the establishment of the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones (HCSEZ) in Abu Dhabi emirate. This reflects the government’s determination to provide all the needed support to increase the pace of economic growth, he said.

According to him, the move was in line with Abu Dhabi’s policy and the policy of the UAE in general o diversify sources of revenue and to make maximum use of oil and oil products in achieving this goal so that the country may easily and successfully adjust to the global economy as an active partner. This, he added, can be done only by encouraging and developing local industries, broadening the industrial base, diversifying the sources of revenue, developing small and medium scale industries and by encouraging innovation in specialty areas.

The businessman wondered why some government departments are not serious about implementing a legislation that had been passed earlier which demanded that 10 per cent of government departments’ and institutions’ purchases must be “Made in UAE” goods. “Everybody has to team up to help national industries to grow,” he said.

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