Dubai has announced a major new initiative charting an industry-friendly energy policy for the manufacturing sector that will serve to support and accelerate the emirate’s sustainability ambitions. The initiative also fits in with the emirate’s wider plans to develop a green economy in keeping with the Dubai Economic Agenda 2033 – D33.

Significantly strengthening Dubai’s position as a leading international hub for exporters and manufacturers, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will oversee the Government of Dubai’s ambitious green economy policy for the manufacturing industry, which is to be rolled out from 1st January 2024.

The initiative will enable manufacturers, data centres and agri-tech players to install captive solar generation up to their total connected load, empowering them to meet their own demand while slashing the power costs they would normally incur and achieving a cleaner energy mix. The power policy will also accord priority to such manufacturers to purchase available international renewable energy certificates (i-RECs), thereby boosting their potential to achieve net-zero goals and sustainability targets.

Factoring in the lower energy costs and higher share of green energy, the DEWA-led initiative is aligned with the Executive Council’s strategic initiatives to boost Dubai’s industrial sector and make the city more competitive in the regional and international markets. This will also contribute to increased investments from local and international players besides encouraging and attracting manufacturers and the downstream logistics and trade ecosystem to foster stable, secure, and sustainable growth.

At a macro-economic level, the initiative will also help to advance the goals of the D33 Agenda launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to consolidate Dubai’s bid to establish itself in the top three urban economies globally. A key priority of the D33 Agenda is to champion green manufacturing as part of ongoing efforts to support the growth of the emirate’s clean energy sector.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD&CEO of DEWA, said, “This initiative aligns with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to further the green economy and maintain a sustainable environment to support long-term economic growth.

“The initiative will increase Dubai’s attractiveness for manufacturing investments as it allows industrial players to reduce cost of doing business and achieve clean energy targets. On the other hand, it will help Dubai accelerate its decarbonisation journey and achieve net zero targets, while reducing dependency on natural gas.”

The policy announcement coincides with the UAE’s historic hosting of the global climate summit COP28 at Expo City Dubai from 30 November to 12 December, with the increased industrial opportunities for solar power generation and environmentally responsible manufacturing set to provide a critical step forward in Dubai’s industrial ambitions and significantly reinforce its efforts to enhance sustainability initiatives. The initiative will also drive decarbonisation efforts within the emirate’s manufacturing sector in accordance with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategy.

By promoting environmentally friendly and energy-efficient production in the manufacturing sector, the initiative also aids Dubai’s strategy to empower manufacturers – a core segment of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, which aims to increase the overall output and value-addition of the manufacturing sector while spurring innovation and showcasing the emirate as a preferred destination for industries.