Dubai gears up for manufacturing boom

Dubai gears up for manufacturing boom

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 10 Sep 2019, 6:32 PM

Last updated: Tue 10 Sep 2019, 8:34 PM

Dubai's industrial sector's outlook is quite promising, as the emirate is working on a well-diversified strategy to promote the sector with a key focus on knowledge-based, sustainable and innovative industries.
The latest official data from Dubai Exports revealed that the emirate's industrial exports jumped 31 per cent in the first-quarter of 2019 to Dh42 billion, as compared to Dh32 billion for the same period last year. India was the top export destination for industrial goods from the emirate, accounting for 11 per cent followed by eight per cent each to Turkey and Oman, five per cent to China, and four per cent to Japan in Q1 this year.
Mohammed Ali Al Kamali, deputy CEO of Dubai Exports, said that the emirate is targeting six industrial sub-sectors of aerospace; maritime; pharmaceutical and medical equipment; aluminium and fabricated metals; fast moving consumable goods; and machinery and equipment to expand the sector's contribution to the GDP in line with the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030.
The top industrial products exports in the first-quarter were pearls, precious stones, and metals, accounting for 34.1 per cent of the total followed by mineral fuels and mineral oils at 17.2 per cent, aluminum at 12.7 per cent and plastics at three per cent and electrical machinery and equipment at 2.7 per cent.
Data revealed that content of high and medium-high technology products in exports from Dubai has been consistently on the rise, growing from 7.2 per cent in 2017 to 11.3 per cent in 2018 and 12 per cent in Q1 2019.
The industrial sector is the fourth largest in Dubai's economy with 9.2 per cent contribution to its GDP at a value of Dh36.8 billion in 2018. Metals was the highest contributor with 26 per cent followed by 15 per cent machinery and transport, 13 per cent F&B, 11 per cent each for rubber and mineral products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals and wood and paper products.
"As part of Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, the vision is to become a global platform for knowledge-based sustainable and innovative industries. We are also promoting environmentally-friendly and energy efficient manufacturing," Al Kamali said while addressing the Future Manufacturing and Trade Summit 2019 on Tuesday.
Saeed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports, said that Dubai and the UAE seek to help the sector grow further through advanced skills, sustainable manufacturing and export developments.
"Globally, manufacturing has shown an appetite for adoption of digitisation with the explosion of technology-based innovation. In this content and the objectives of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, Dubai has been working tirelessly with its partners on various initiatives to ensure that the emirate becomes a global platform for knowledge-based sustainable and innovative industries," Al Awadi said while opening address at the two-day summit.
Osama Amir Fadhel, acting assistant undersecretary of industrial affairs at the UAE's Ministry of Energy and Industry, said the industrial sector contributes around 9.5 per cent to the country's GDP, which is equivalent to 11 per cent of the non-oil GDP, with a growth rate of 4.5 per cent in the last five years. It also provides more than 460,000 job opportunities across the country.
"Almost half of the sector's contribution to GDP comes from industrial capacities that employ high or medium-level technologies and skills. All these indicators reflect the strength and flexibility of this sector," FAdhel said at the summit on Tuesday. "The Ministry of Energy and Industry is working with its partners in the UAE Industrial Coordination Council to develop an integrated and unified strategy for the country's industrial sector."

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