Diversification is central to Abu Dhabi's economic strategy. By decreasing reliance on the oil sector, which is subject to price volatility, steady long-term growth can be maintained, according to Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, quoted in the latest edition of the Economic Review.
"By 2030 we are targeting a 64 percent contribution from the non-oil sector to Abu Dhabi's total GDP. In order to achieve this aim, the industrial sector will play a vital role", added Al Raqbani.
The Abu Dhabi Department has engaged in a consultative process with key public and private stakeholders within the emirate's industrial sector to create a focused and coherent blueprint for industrial development.
The resulting Industrial Development Strategy is a framework for the emirate with individual development strategies for 10 focus industries and clusters, including: aerospace, renewable energy, semiconductors, steel, aluminium, engineered metal products, petrochemicals and plastics products.
"Supporting this strategy are Abu Dhabi's industrial zones, which have developed world-class infrastructure under the management of the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones (ZonesCorp) and Abu Dhabi Ports Company" the ADCED Director-General indicated.
The newly opened Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) is also making its mark, having already signed agreements with 44 companies and with Emirates Aluminium (Emal) acting as an anchor tenant.
"One of Abu Dhabi's aims is to increase the U.A.E.'s regional aluminium output from the current 46 per cent it accounts for in the GCC. Kizad will help us achieve this goal with Taweelah Aluminium Extrusion Company, part of Abu Dhabi's industrial investment powerhouse, Senaat, the first aluminium downstream project to be set up in the free zone. Senaat also boasts a wide-reaching portfolio outside of oil, including steel and copper, some building basics and two food and beverage operations." Another company helping to broaden Abu Dhabi's economy is Mubadala. The powerful investment and development company is building knowledge based industries in the aerospace and hi-tech manufacturing sectors.
Among its many interests are the composite aero structures manufacturing facility, Strata, and the Advanced Technologies Investment Company, which has its primary investment in the world's second largest semiconductor manufacturing company. Through such targeted investments, Mubadala is helping to create a technology 'ecosystem' in Abu Dhabi, important for diversifying the wider economy.
Al Raqbani concluded by saying, "As a result of the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government, key players liken Senaat, Mubadala and ZonesCorp, and numerous partnerships between public and private entities, the contribution of the industrial sector is increasing steadily, now standing at 40 percent of GDP. This places us on track to achieve our 64 percent target for non-oil contributions to GDP by 2030." WAM/Esraa/Moran