Abu Dhabi will provide 100 investment opportunities with a combined market size of Dh123.3 billion ($33.5 billion) by 2027 to support the growth of the industrial sector in the emirate.
The new opportunities will be provided as part of the Abu Dhabi Channel Partners initiative launched by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) in May to attract more investment in the industrial sector.
On Monday, the department unveiled 33 new investment opportunities targeting chemical industries, with a market size of $6 billion, its chairman said.
“We believe the industrial sector plays a key role in driving our diversification strategy and achieving sustainable development goals,” Ahmed Al Zaabi said at the Adipec event on Monday.
“Our ambitious industrial strategy aims to double the size of the manufacturing sector, leading to a higher rate of job creation and a steep increase in non-oil exports.”
Abu Dhabi last year launched a new industrial strategy to boost the contribution of the sector to the overall economy.
As part of the strategy, the UAE capital is investing Dh10 billion in six industrial programmes to more than double the size of the emirate’s manufacturing sector to Dh172 billion by 2031, create more than 13,000 new jobs and increase the emirate’s non-oil exports to Dh178.8 billion.
“In just one year since its launch in June 2022, Abu Dhabi's industrial strategy has led the sector to achieve remarkable growth in different areas,” Mr Al Zaabi said.
“During these 12 months, the number of new industrial licences granted in Abu Dhabi increased by 16.6 per cent, while investments in factories moving into the production phase skyrocketed over 85 per cent. The number of active manufacturers in the emirate rose nearly 5 per cent to 960 factories."
In May, the department announced the first batch of incentives under the Abu Dhabi Channel Partners programme, which includes 20 investment opportunities in the food processing sector in Abu Dhabi with a combined market size of about Dh29.4 billion.
The manufacturing sector is playing a key role in Abu Dhabi's plan to diversify its economy away from oil.
Last year, the emirate's non-oil exports grew by 26 per cent and the average annual growth rate of non-oil exports between 2016 and 2022 was 6 per cent across all sectors.
“Supported by Abu Dhabi industrial strategy initiatives, we are targeting to increase non-oil exports to Dh178.8 billion by 2031,” Mr Al Zaabi added.
Abu Dhabi's non-oil gross domestic product grew by an annual 12.3 per cent to Dh154 billion in the second quarter of this year, the highest since 2014, as the emirate continues to diversify, official data released on Monday showed.
The emirate's total GDP for the three months to the end of June also grew by 3.5 per cent on an annual basis, underpinning the “competitiveness and resilience” of its economy, which has helped it to navigate global headwinds, the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi said.
In a separate panel at Adipec, Omar Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of UAE's Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, said the Make it in the Emirates initiative was having a positive impact on the industrial sector.
"We are starting to see results [due to the strategy]," he said.
"In 2022, we saw how the contribution of industrial or manufacturing value add reached Dh180 billion, while our industrial exports reached Dh174 billion. We are putting together opportunities for local and international investors with Make it in the Emirates."
Mashal Al Kindi, acting chief executive of Ta’ziz, said the contribution of the chemicals sector to the UAE's GDP is expected to grow in the coming years amid new opportunities.
"Ta'ziz is contributing to the Make It in the Emirates strategy. Today, domestically, 22 per cent of the industrial sector in the UAE is chemicals and this is going to grow. We are anticipating to see a 75 per cent increase by 2030 in the contribution of the chemical sector to the GDP."
He said the company was building a number of chemical projects in Ruwais Industrial City, including for the production of low-carbon ammonia and methanol. It is also building a new port for chemicals.