The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Shahin, a new company in the process of setting up in Abu Dhabi by NEV Enterprise, a prominent GCC establishment, in a move towards sustainable industrial development and promoting electric mobility.

The LoI, signed at the Make it in the Emirates Forum on Wednesday, underlines the country’s commitment to decarbonisation and increasing the contribution of the industrial sector to climate action and economic growth.

The LoI represents a strategic partnership focused on the development, maintenance, and operation of a charging station factory in the UAE, the first-of-it-kind in the region, catering to the growing demand locally and regionally for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure through pre-negotiated offtake contracts.

According to the Global Electric Mobility Readiness Index (2022), the demand for EVs in the UAE market has been rising over the past few years and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 30% between 2022 and 2028. The report shows the UAE, which has more than 300 charging stations, has one of the largest charging-station-to-vehicle-ratios in the world.

The LoI marks a major step towards the future of the UAE’s sustainable transport infrastructure in line with the country’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative with Shahin aiming to meet 40 percent of the UAE’s Direct Current (DC) charging demand by 2030. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology.

Tariq Al Hashimi, Director of Technology Adoption and Development, who signed the LoI on behalf of MoIAT, said, “This collaboration aligns with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and the 2023 Year of Sustainability. By actively contributing to the development of a robust EV ecosystem, this partnership will have a meaningful impact on our sustainability and decarbonization agenda, while at the same time supporting local and advanced technology driven economic growth.

“This partnership will bolster our local industries and create quality opportunities for Emiratis by creating knowledge-intensive jobs, and empowering UAE nationals with employment prospects in one of the most promising sectors.”

Ramzi Kuhail, Chief Executive of NEV Enterprise, signed on behalf of the new company. He said, “We are delighted to collaborate with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) on this significant endeavor to bolster the manufacturing of EV charging stations in the UAE. This reflects our shared commitment to sustainable mobility and positions the UAE as a key player in the global transition to electric transportation.

We look forward to engaging with both the Government and Private sectors to support this initiative, which will act as a great catalyst for our future expansion to produce world-class charging stations locally and regionally."

This collaboration represents a significant milestone in the UAE's journey towards a greener future, firmly establishing the country as a regional leader in the development and production of cutting-edge EV charging infrastructure.

Under the LoI, Shahin will also focus on research and development in partnership with local higher education institutions, which will contribute product and software localisation and create opportunities for young Emirati talent through apprenticeships and job opportunities, ensuring 20% Emiratisation within Shahin across UAE operations.

MoIAT will play a pivotal role in supporting Shahin’s endeavors. By facilitating connections with local manufacturers, MoIAT will promote the localization of the supply chain for EV charging stations. Finally, the ministry will support the company in securing offtakes for locally manufactured EV charging stations.

Organised by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) alongside the Abu Dhabi Department for Economic Development and in line with Operation 300 billion, the forum convenes stakeholders from across the industrial landscape. More than 2,000 senior decisionmakers, industry and technology leaders, experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, financial institutions, investors, and representatives from major national enterprises are in Abu Dhabi to discover new opportunities and announce new partnerships.

Launched last year, the Make It in the Emirates Forum has become one of the region’s most prominent industrial platforms. The inaugural event resulted in procurement opportunities worth AED110 billion, comprising 300 products across 11 sectors.

With the forum this year taking place in the runup to COP28, there is a particular focus on sustainable industrial development in line with the UAE’s efforts to address climate change and deliver on the government’s initiative of labeling 2023 as the Year of Sustainability.

This year’s forum has introduced the Make It in the Emirates Awards. These awards celebrate visionary industrial companies and individuals spearheading technological advancements, localisation efforts, sustainability initiatives, and innovation in the sector that help promote sustainable economic development and support the country’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.