UAE manufacturing sector steps up to the plate

Press release
Published December 26th, 2010 - 04:06 GMT
H.E Mohamed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary, Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi, during the opening of MEMEX 2010
H.E Mohamed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary, Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi, during the opening of MEMEX 2010

HE Mohamed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary, Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi, opened the Middle East Manufacturing Exhibition (MEMEX 2010) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, today, Sunday 28 November.

The Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi (DED) is a leading strategic partner of MEMEX 2010. The manufacturing sector is a key component of the UAE's diversification strategy, stimulated by and the need to diversify away from the oil sector.

"The UAE government is considering industries which will increase industrial output and allow the UAE to compete on an international scale, sectors such as aluminium, steel and the petrochemicals, meet that criteria," said Jim Meltz, Group Director at IIR Middle East the organiser's of MEMEX 2010.

In 2009 the manufacturing sector represented 16.2% of UAE GDP and according to H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy, it should increase substantially. "We're looking at up to 35% of industrial contribution to GDP in the next five years," he said in a recent interview.

"The UAE has to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons. It was an encouraging sign that in 2009, the non-oil sector contributed more than 70% of the UAE's total GDP for the first time," said Binu Pillai, Exhibition Director, MEMEX 2010.

"Volatile markets and pricing, slow economic growth and increased investment into renewable energy, is encouraging GCC countries to diversify away from hydrocarbons to balanced and sustainable knowledge-based economies, " added Pillai.

Abu Dhabi has already announced 100% ownership for foreign companies in the multi-billion dollar Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ) in Taweelah. KPIZ is a multi-purpose facility strategically located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The project includes the construction of a world-scale container and industrial port and the development of over 100 square kilometres of industrial, logistics, commercial, educational and residential special economic and free zones.

The interesting aspect of KPIZ is that is close to the 140 square kilometre Dubai World Central designed to support Dubai's aviation, tourism, commercial and logistics and Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) one of the largest free zones in the world. Together they form a considerable free trade area, especially if Economic Zones World (EZW) which includes the hi-tech TechoPark is included.

Numerous industrial zones are also being created across Saudi Arabia including King Abdullah Economic City an industrial city to the north of Jeddah with initial investment of $26.6 Billion. Bahrain is also planning a variety of industrial initiatives in the metals sector such as fifteen projects in the aluminium sector worth a total of $142 Million. Qatar is looking to attract $30 billion to drive its industry base.

MEMEX 2010, organised by IIR Middle East, has attracted 120 exhibiting companies, representing 400 brands from 16 countries. Over 3,000 decision makers from more than 25 countries are expected to attend, primarily from across the MENA region. 

Background Information

Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development

Acting as an economic policy advisory council, Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED) was established in May 2006 to facilitate economic diversification and growth through creating greater understanding, cooperation and engagement between the public and private sectors of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. ADCED main objective is to bring together business and government leaders with the aim of making Abu Dhabi an international economic hub, boasting a world-class economic environment with sustainable growth.

The Council is chaired by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Executive Council; the Vice Chairman is HH Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince Court Chairman. The board includes members of The Executive Council, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI), the Private Sector and representatives of Business Councils.

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