UAE's aluminium industry accounts for 1.4% of country's economy

Dh20 billion was generated by the sector in 2017 with 1 in 100 people employed by the industry in the UAE

Emirates Global Aluminium passed 30 million tonnes of production since commencing operations in 1979. In April, it paid the highest dividend in the history of the company, AED 2 billion to shareholders. Courtesy Mubadala Investment Company

Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, and the country's aluminium sector, account for 1.4 per cent of the UAE economic output.

The company and industry have employed 60,950 people in 2017 with one in every 100 people working in the UAE being employed in the aluminium sector, according to a new study by Oxford Economics and EGA. No comparative figures or projections were provided.

"Over the past four decades, EGA has taken the UAE from no aluminium production to the fifth-largest aluminium producing nation in the world," said Abdulla Kalban, managing director and chief executive of EGA, to The National, adding that its UAE customers buy 10 per cent of production, its largest single market, and supplies the metal to more than 60 countries worldwide that make products using its metal, from car parts to window frames.

Oxford Economics, an economics consultancy, calculated the economic impact of EGA by analysing three types of activity. ‘Direct impact’ is the value of EGA’s own activity and that of the UAE companies that make products using EGA’s metal. ‘Indirect impact’ is activity stimulated by the sector’s purchase of goods and services from UAE suppliers. ‘Induced impact’ is the spending of wages earned by workers in the sector in the UAE economy, such as on housing and leisure.


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Every Dh1 generated in the aluminium sector was found to create an additional Dh1.26 of activity elsewhere in the economy - a phenomenon economists refer to as the ‘multiplier effect’.

"The UAE today is considered one of the world’s largest exporters of this resource – one that is critical to a number of other sectors such as aviation, shipping and construction," said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy. “The Ministry has been working on developing the country’s competitiveness by focusing on economic strategies that diversify sources of income, and drive sustainable growth across a number of industries in order to create job opportunities, develop local capability, and encourage innovation."