Abu Dhabi's new industrial licences rise 16.6% one year after launching growth strategy

Capital investments by new manufacturing facilities in the emirate increase to $4.18 billion

The Abu Dhabi skyline. The emirate's industrial strategy, announced in 2022, aims to double the size of industrial sector to Dh172 billion. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
Powered by automated translation

Abu Dhabi has issued 16.6 per cent more new industrial licences within a year of launching a strategy aimed at doubling the size of its manufacturing sector by 2031.

The number of industrial licences issued in the 12 months to June 2023 stood at 238, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said on Tuesday.

Total capital investments by manufacturers operating in the emirate grew by Dh12.42 billion ($3.38 billion) to Dh384.06 billion in the same period, up from Dh371.64 billion a year ago, it said.

Capital investments made by manufacturing facilities that moved to the in-production phase during the year rose to Dh15.36 billion ($4.18 billion), a growth of 85.7 per cent year-on-year.

“The robust performance of the manufacturing sector is testament to Abu Dhabi’s ongoing economic resilience," Ahmed Al Zaabi, chairman of the department of economic development, said.

"Our manufacturing sector ... is moving from strength to strength, powered by successful implementation of the industrial strategy’s transformational programmes to enhance the sector’s competitiveness by increasing access to financing, enhancing ease of doing business and attracting domestic and foreign direct investments.”

The emirate's industrial sector contributed 16.4 per cent to Abu Dhabi’s non-oil gross domestic product in 2022 and represents 49.9 per cent of the total industrial sector in the UAE, according to government data.

The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy, announced in 2022, aims to double the size of industrial sector to Dh172 billion, create 13,600 skilled jobs and increasing the emirate’s non-oil exports to Dh178.8 billion by 2031.

Under the strategy, the government is investing Dh10 billion across six industrial programmes to achieve these goals.

Preliminary estimates from the first half of this year indicate growth in Abu Dhabi's manufacturing sector, with an increase in the number of investors and new industrial projects.

Some 116 new industrial licences were issued during the first half of 2023, an increase of 63.3 per cent from the same period last year.

The number of operational manufacturers in the emirate now stands at 966, up from 922 manufacturers at the end of the first half of 2022, Added said in its one-year industry update.

The number of manufacturers that joined the Golden List initiative, which aims to increase the demand for locally manufactured goods through government procurement, increased to 164 establishments in the six-month period, up 29.1 per cent year-on-year.

UAE leaders announce plans to boost local manufacturing

UAE leaders announce plans to boost local manufacturing

The number of products registered in the Golden List increased to 742 products in the first half of the year, increasing 4.3 per cent from the prior-year period.

Added in May said it launched a Dh500 million fund to help small and medium industrial enterprises adopt smart manufacturing technology, as the emirate seeks to boost the industrial sector’s contribution to the national economy.

Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy grew by 6.1 per cent annually in the first quarter of the year, with the sector's GDP reaching the highest level in nine years, on the back of the emirate's strong diversification push.

Robust non-oil growth supported Abu Dhabi's overall economy to expand by 3.9 per cent annually in the first three months of 2023, the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi said in June.

Updated: August 15, 2023, 3:53 PM