Over the course of the two-day Make it in the Emirates Forum (MIITE Forum), the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) marked several significant achievements.
Organised in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the second edition of the forum was held from 31st May to 1st June and built on the successes of the inaugural edition in 2022.
The forum was hosted under MoIAT‘s remit to support the implementation of the national leadership’s vision to keep up with the pace of industrial and technological change, as well as diversify the economy through building a strong industrial sector.
The forum resulted in concrete outcomes stemming from agreements and dialogue sessions, which have highlighted the UAE’s position as an ideal destination for investment and establishing industrial businesses that contribute to both economic growth and sustainability goals.
Around 5,000 leaders, officials, investors, experts, academics, entrepreneurs, and representatives of global companies and financing institutions participated in the MIITE Forum.
More than 100 MoUs and partnership agreements were signed, while billions of dirhams worth of projects were announced. Major new financing solutions were also introduced to enhance the country's investment attractiveness.
Hosting more than 50 high-level discussions, the forum offered a platform for knowledge exchange to support the growth and development of the national industrial sector.
The forum also highlighted the UAE’s competitive advantages to investors.
Integrated model for attracting investment
The UAE’s integrated model for supporting investment and growth was highlighted to investors during the forum to showcase its advantages and attractiveness.
The model is the result of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, which was launched to create an attractive business environment for local and international investors, support the growth of national industries and help local companies to export to international markets. The UAE today offers companies access to a consumer population of 2.2 billion, thanks to various Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs).
The national industrial strategy also stimulates innovation and promotes the adoption of advanced technology to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global destination for future industries. This position is reinforced by competitive financing and administrative services featuring the highest standards of quality, efficiency, and transparency, as well as legislation and laws that support and protect national products.
During the forum, the ministry’s flagship initiatives were highlighted. These include: the Make it in the Emirates initiative, the National ICV Programme, the Technology Transformation Programme (TTP), the Made in the Emirates mark, Green ICV, and the Industrial Technology Transformation Index (ITTI), which will for the first time be implemented outside the UAE following an agreement signed with the MEXT Technology Centre during the forum.
Ease of doing business
The forum showcased the UAE’s business friendly environment, supported by various incentives and enablers. These include fee reduction for ministry services, price reductions on land, and competitive energy and electricity costs. These incentives are in addition to the advanced infrastructure and world-class logistics network, supporting sustainable production and export.
The UAE is expanding its number of free trade agreements to help local manufacturers access new international markets, in line with the ministry’s efforts to support business and export growth, as well as the competitiveness of local products. The UAE is in the process of signing CEPAs with several ASEAN countries, as well as nations in Africa and South America, in an effort to double its global trade. Work is also underway to conclude CEPAs with two economic blocs in the Eurasian region.
MoIAT provides more than AED 3 billion of competitive financing solutions in partnership with some of the UAE’s leading financial institutions, including Emirates Development Bank. These solutions support entrepreneurship, help industrial companies set up, and enhance digital transformations within existing businesses. The second MIITE Forum witnessed the announcement of new innovative financing solutions, including AED 5 billion via First Abu Dhabi Bank and AED 1 billion via Mashreq Bank.
MoIAT in 2021 launched the National In-Country Value Programme (ICV), which leverages local expenditure to increase demand for local products and support the growth of UAE businesses. Redirecting higher portions of public and private spending into the national economy, ICV boosts economic performance and enhances self-sufficiency.
The inaugural MIITE Forum resulted in procurement opportunities worth AED 110 billion over a period of 10 years, comprising 300 products across 11 sectors. Less than a year on, AED 31 billion worth of deals have been implemented, accounting for 28 percent of the total value.
At the second edition of the forum, an additional AED 10 billion in procurement opportunities was announced, bringing the total to AED 120 billion. ADNOC also announced at the second forum the allocation of over AED 20 billion for the purchase of structures and metal products from national companies.
To attract investment, the UAE focuses on priority industries, particularly those related to food and medical security, which are global priorities. Focusing on these industries supports products, goods, and solutions that enhance food security and aid self-sufficiency. The UAE promotes the development of both existing and future industries by accelerating the adoption of advanced technology,, which supports industrial growth and boosts the industrial sector's contribution to decarbonisation.
In line with the UAE’s competitive industrial investment model and position as a global hub for manufacturing and innovation, MoIAT launched the “GO to UAE” initiative in partnership with Tawazun Council and Thales to enhance national exports. Significantly contributing to the ICV programme, GO to UAE was launched at the MIITE Forum to strengthen the UAE’s industrial capabilities, upskill national cadres, create job opportunities and empower Emirati citizens across the defense value chain.
The initiative also aims to boost demand for local products through a range of international certifications for technologies, parts, and services. These industry-accredited certifications will allow domestic suppliers to export Made in the Emirates products and services to Thales Group entities internationally. As part of this programme, Thales will set up a comprehensive training and development plan with the objective of supporting UAE suppliers to increase performance and competitiveness. UAE suppliers will benefit from this programme by integrating with opportunities across Thales’ global supply chain.
The MIITE Forum was also an opportunity to highlight the success of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology. In 2022, the industrial sector contributed over AED 180 billion to GDP, with industrial exports reaching AED 174 billion. Moreover, the National ICV Programme redirected more than AED 53 billion into the economy in 2022, an increase of 25 percent compared to 2021.
During the second forum, the Make it in the Emirates Awards recognised excellence and innovation in the industrial sector, celebrating the pioneers, visionaries, national talents, and sustainability champions who are helping to drive the UAE’s transformation towards becoming a global manufacturing hub.
Government and executive leaders, private sector partners, financing bodies, investors, experts, and industry specialists attended the awards, which comprised categories under 4 main umbrellas: Factories of the Future, Contribution to In-Country Value, Industrial Enablers, and Leadership & Talent.
The winners of the inaugural Make it in the Emirates Start-up Pitch Competition were also announced at the forum. Three startups were revealed as winners during the event. Twenty-four startups were shortlisted to participate in the competition from a pool of almost 400 submissions. First, second and third place winners received AED 100,000, AED 70,000 and AED 50,000, respectively, to scale up their businesses.
The forum also witnessed the announcement of MoIAT’s collaboration with the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (Nafis) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), unveiling an initiative offering 500 training and job opportunities for UAE nationals in the industrial sector.
More than 30 innovative industrial projects worth more than AED 6 billion were also announced on the first day of the forum, including pioneering initiatives such as setting up the first hydrogen electrolyzer plant in the UAE.
MoIAT has redoubled efforts to create an environment that is conducive to the growth of the national industrial sector through enhancing the flexibility and standardisation of procedures, reducing duplication, lowering fees for the industrial sector, and supporting innovation, entrepreneurship, and small businesses. Furthermore, the ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Economy and economic departments across the country to open new markets for local manufacturers.