The maritime sector has been identified as one of six key pillars in a new ‘Dubai Industrial Strategy’ (DIS) designed to pump AED160bn ($43.5bn) into the economy and generate 27,000 new jobs by 2030.
Unveiled by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the bold DIS plan aims to elevate the Middle East business hub into a “global leader for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovation-focused businesses”.
The policy blueprint, critically targeting growth beyond the Dubai’s hosting of World Expo in 2020, has identified 75 initiatives in six sectors across the UAE’s most populous city – maritime, aerospace, aluminium and fabricated metals, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, food and beverages and machinery and equipment.
Dubai has grown rapidly into a leading player in the shipping world courtesy of the largest seaport in the Middle East, the ever-expanding DP World-operated Jebel Ali Port which is expanding it total handling capacity up from its current 19 m teu to 22.1 m teu by 2018.
While light on launch day specifics, the DIS highlights the expansion of DP World’s ability to cater to the largest ships and offshore structures currently plying international waters as well as maintenance and repair work opportunities at Drydocks World Dubai shipyard. It also mentions a “foray into yacht and boat” manufacturing.
The development of the DIS was led by the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) and Dubai Industrial Park in Dubai Wholesale City with support from the Executive Council of Dubai. Industry heavyweights from more than 25 government entities and the private sector were involved during the development phase.
The strategy aims to develop long-term industrial policies to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the industrial sector in Dubai and across its free zones. It focuses on strengthening industrial integration by connecting the target sector with educational and research institutions to stimulate innovation and creativity.
Mohammed has earmarked an additional Dh700m investment in R&D funding to help the DIS reach another key goal, a Dh16bn increase in exports by 2030.
“Nations are recognised for what they produce and offer in products and services and the value they add to the global economy,” Mohammed said.
“With the launch of the Dubai Industrial Strategy, we are taking one more step towards the future. We have laid down a strong foundation that blends our strategic location and infrastructure with our ambition, confidence and experience. Today we have put in place the basic framework needed to compete globally in the industrial sector and develop national talents. We are one step closer to achieving the goal of making Dubai a homeland for innovators, a favourite place to live and work in, a global economic hub, and a preferred destination for visitors.”
DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said the DIS vision was aligned with the UAE’s roadmap for sustainable progress in the post-oil era and reinforced Dubai’s efforts to diversify the national economic structure.
“The launch of Dubai Wholesale City, the world’s largest city for wholesale trade extending over 550 million square feet at a cost of AED30bn, reinforces Dubai’s clear economic vision for the future through the creation of dynamic new sectors and the reformatting of existing sectors on a global scale,” said Bin Sulayem who also wears the hats of Chairman of Dubai’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of the Dubai Maritime City Authority.
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