Abu Dhabi is looking to improve the competitiveness of its industrial sector by establishing an industrial investment journey in the UAE capital.

Speaking at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM Global 2023) this week, Arafat Al Yafei, Executive Director of the Industrial Development Bureau at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), revealed that the department is keen on increasing incentives for investors.

“Very soon, we are going to announce the Abu Dhabi industrial investment journey,” he said. “The Abu Dhabi government, especially the economic department, is providing good incentives for investors to come to establish their licence. We will take care of the investors [throughout their journey].

The emirate is reportedly keen on improving its industrial sector's competitiveness whilst developing and implementing initiatives and programmes from the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy (ADIS).

Launched last year, the ADIS will see the government invest an estimated AED 10 billion to more than double the size of Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing sector to AED 172 billion, create 13,600 skilled jobs, and increase Abu Dhabi’s non-oil exports by 143% by 2031.

“The strategy [ADIS] is cascaded into six confirmation factors,” Al Yafei continued. “One of them is to ensure that [we are] creating the ecosystem for the industry. He explained further that the ADDED has created special training programs for transformations to help enhance the industrial sector in Abu Dhabi.


Through this strategy, the ADDED is focusing on attracting investments around new and advanced technology.

“The future, as everybody knows, goes towards artificial intelligence [AI],” Al Yafei said. “Now, if you don’t have the infrastructure for that, if you don't invest in that, then I think you will not be competitive internationally.”

Sustainable development is also key, he added.

“We are also trying to ensure the industrial sector of Abu Dhabi is in line with the commitment of net zero. We are trying to ensure that we have a circular economy,” he said. “We want to be aligned with zero tolerance, and we cannot allow any investment in the industrial sector, [that does] not respect the environment for all the ESG [environmental, social, and governance] initiatives will be affected.”

The new plan, known to be ‘Industry 4.0’, looks at a circular economic model, talent development, ecosystem enablement, homegrown supply chain, and value chain development to put the country at the same level with global industrial centres. The aim is to attract disruptors and innovators to invest in the emirate and other parts of the country through taking different initiatives such as the investment journey.

A long-term strategy, Al Yafei also highlighted that the ADDED is investing in wider areas, such as schools, to prepare students for what the future requires. He added that the government is interested in creating a mix between international and local talent to ensure that the city is meeting the requirements within the industry.

“The new generation is nothing like us; they are looking at lifestyle, they are looking at safety, they are looking at security globally,” Al Yafei concluded. “So, we opened an office that looks at the entire family in terms of getting employment.”

(Reporting by Omnia Al Desoukie; editing by Seban Scaria)

(seban.scaria@lseg.com )