Industrialisation is key to a country's economic development. The latest drive by the UAE authorities to develop specialised industries and manufacturing belts will help to not only create employment and transfer technologies, but also reduce import dependency.
"The UAE has historically been a transit point serving the regional economies by offering good connectivity. That is why the trade, transportation, logistics, tourism and retail sectors grew faster than the manufacturing and industrial sectors in its service-driven economy", opined UAE English language local daily, Gulf News, in its editorial on Saturday.
Now that the country is in a very comfortable position with political stability helping boost economic prosperity the country can invest in industrial development. Strengthening of the manufacturing and industrial sectors also helps a country to absorb external shocks in an uncertain economic environment.
It noted that "The industrial sector's contribution to the UAE's non-oil economy is 14 per cent. However, when calculated with the overall economy, including the hydrocarbon sector, its contribution drops further. The country's industrial sector has a lot of potential to grow." The paper said that Abu Dhabi is focusing on a number of key industries that it wants to develop as part of its economic diversification plan, including a downstream petrochemical industrial base as well as aircraft parts' manufacturing and associated industries.
Jebel Ali Free Zone, Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, Hamriya Free Zone in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone are some of the major locations where a number of large industries have been set up by the government and the private sector.