Abu Dhabi opened a new commercial hub as it aims to boost digital trade and logistics services and diversify its economy away from oil.
The new digital district at Zayed Port was inaugurated by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, according to an Abu Dhabi Media Office statement on Thursday.
The digital district is the first building in the Digital Harbour project, which will host an array of companies specialised in digitalising trade and logistics services including Maqta Gateway and the Digital Innovation Lab, a research and development centre focused on digitalising trade.
The Digital Harbour project, covering an area of 370,000 square metres, has the capacity to host more than 20,000 innovators, researchers and digital experts, according to the statement.
"Abu Dhabi has established itself as a leading regional and global hub for trade, business and investment,” said Ahmed Al Zaabi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
“Our business-friendly ecosystem and trade facilitation solutions, including the Advanced Trade and Logistics Platform (ATLP), have simplified procedures, reduced time and costs, enabled seamless integration of government services and enhanced capabilities to meet the increase in trade volumes.”
ATLP, which opened in 2020. is a "Made in UAE" single-window digital platform that unifies access to all land, sea and air trade and logistics services in the emirate. Since launch, the platform has recorded more than 14,000 users.
Abu Dhabi has launched several initiatives in recent years as it focuses on diversifying its economy away from oil.
In June, it launched a new industrial strategy to boost the contribution of the sector to the overall economy. As part of the strategy, it is investing Dh10 billion ($2.72 billion) across six industrial programmes to more than double the size of the emirate’s manufacturing sector to Dh172 billion by 2031.
The emirate also announced measures such as rent rebates, discounts on utility bills and loan guarantee packages to support businesses and stimulate economic growth during the pandemic.
Abu Dhabi's economy grew by 10.5 per cent on an annual basis in the first nine months of 2022, the fastest expansion in the Mena region, driven by strong growth in the non-oil sector, according to government data.
The non-oil sector grew 10.3 per cent annually thanks to government efforts to diversify the economy, boost the private sector's contribution and invest in human capital, Abu Dhabi Media Office said last month, citing the latest data released by the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi.