How the circular economy is driving Abu Dhabi's sustainable industrial development

Becoming a global industrial pioneer is key to the emirate’s future

Sheikh Khaled Bin Mohamed, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, launches the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy. Abu Dhabi Media Office
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Adopting circular economy principles – something that will hopefully become a “new normal” guiding global economies – could deliver $26 trillion in economic benefits by 2030, according to the Global Commission on Economy and Climate. Here in Abu Dhabi, we are building a circular economy ourselves – one that, as part of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy’s vision for 2031, will enable us to become the most competitive industrial hub in the region.

A circular economy facilitates getting the most out of raw materials, and keeping products and resources in use by designing them to be cycled back into the economy, thus eliminating waste and increasing industrial growth. By boosting industrial output, we are maximising economic opportunities and safeguarding cost competitiveness, ensuring that Abu Dhabi remains an attractive global industrial hub.

I’m proud to say that this has been made possible by the continual support of the government. As part of the emirate’s new Industrial Strategy, it will see Abu Dhabi’s government invest Dh10 billion ($2.72bn) in order to double the size of the manufacturing sector by 2031. To support this, a new circular economy regulatory framework will be developed to ensure that industry in Abu Dhabi is underpinned by sustainable values. In addition, new initiatives will support further environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to create new business openings. They will also incentivise businesses to demonstrate sustainable credentials as they contribute to – and gain from – a circular economy.

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By boosting industrial output, we are maximising economic opportunities

This is not just for the benefit of the fight against climate change – it is necessary for future economic resilience. The net-zero necessity is no longer an additional bonus. It has become a core principle for businesses.

A plan for a smart circular economy catalyses value creation and ensures cost competitiveness. And with the combination of Abu Dhabi’s beneficial public-private partner (PPP) business ecosystem and investor-friendly regulations, we are ushering in a new era of economic growth.

The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy is increasing the pool of talent by providing rewarding career paths in manufacturing, equipping people with the right skills for industries of the future. This in turn helps strengthen R&D knowledge, improve local supply and production and enable greater co-operation among PPP organisations. By leveraging new technologies and fostering innovation, we are increasingly creating a cohesive industrial sector.

Rapid advances as a global industrial pioneer are key to the emirate’s future. The manufacturing sector is playing a pivotal role in the diversification of the national economy, with Abu Dhabi currently accounting for 40 per cent of the UAE’s manufacturing.

Over the past 15 years, Abu Dhabi has invested over Dh51bn ($13.88bn) and has established a vigorous industrial infrastructure, and our adherence to a circular economy continues to enhance our position as a global destination for industry.

Published: July 01, 2022, 1:34 PM
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