The Industrial Activity Index report, issued by the Industrial Development Bureau of ADDED, for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2020 revealed that the total number of new industrial facilities placed into production in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2020 has reached 51 facilities. Of those, 35 facilities were in Abu Dhabi, 11 facilities in Al Ain, and 5 facilities in Al Dhafra, with a total investment of AED 3.9bn.

The report included information on the industrial facilities registered within the emirate including those still under construction, as well as those that placed into production. The report indicated that there were 11 new metal facilities that were placed into production last year, which constituted 23.5% of the total new industries in 2020. This was followed by 8 equipment and machinery facilities, 6 food and chemical facilities, 5 construction and glass industries, 2 electronics, energy and sustainability industries facilities, 1 textiles, clothes and leather, timber and paper facility, in addition to 6 general industries facilities.

The manufacturing sector’s contribution to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s overall GDP in 2020 amounted to 6.3%, while the sector contributed around 10.7% to non-oil GDP during the same period

Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, emphasized Abu Dhabi’s government efforts to promote the role of industry sector as a key driver of sustainable economic development by enhancing foreign direct investment (FDI) and by providing a package of competitive and enabling incentives for this sector.

The Department’s Chairman noted that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s overall GDP in 2020 amounted to 6.3%, while the sector contributed around 10.7% to non-oil GDP during the same period.

He noted that despite the repercussions of COVID-19 that have impacted economies and investments around the world, the new investments in Abu Dhabi’s industrial sector reflect investors’ confidence in the emirate’s investment climate, thanks to its myriad incentives and advantages that make it a center for attracting investments across the region.

H.E. demonstrated that the industrial sector is a key cornerstone in the emirate’s future plans and its vision to build a world-leading economy, achieve top rankings in regional and international competitiveness, and play a major role in contributing to the local economy.  

According to the Industrial Development Bureau’s report, 283 industrial licenses were registered in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2020. This included 171 ‘industry pioneer’ licenses, 61 ‘under construction’ licenses and 51 ‘production’ licenses. The total industrial licenses in Abu Dhabi have now reached 1,694 licenses including 839 facilities that were placed into production, 546 facilities under construction, and 309 industry pioneer licenses.

The report indicated that the total investment value for Abu Dhabi industrial facilities ‘under construction’ and ‘into production’, has amounted to over AED 553 billion during 2020, including AED 362 billion for the total of 839 industrial facilities that placed into production and AED 181 billion for about 546 industrial facilities under construction.

The report also revealed that the chemical industries constitute the highest investment value, reaching AED 211 billion, followed by energy and sustainability with AED 202 billion, construction and glass industries with AED 44 billion, equipment and machinery with AED 10 billion, food with AED 8 billion and other industries with around AED 6 billion.

The report also noted that the IDB launched a number of initiatives to support industrial investors and motivate the industrial sector in order to achieve business continuity and promote its competitiveness, which in turn enhanced the industrial sector’s contribution to the sustainable economic development realization.

According to the IDB’s report, the industrial licensing processes carried out in 2020 included 29,250 customs exemption transactions, 3582 technical license modifications, 704 ‘in production’ industrial licenses renewal, 171 new industrial licenses issuance and 147 administrative modifications, as well as 73 payment transactions and 29 license cancellation transactions.

The IDB conducted 903 field visits during 2020, which included 638 periodic visit to follow up on industrial facilities’ compliance with industrial licensing requirements, 104 visits for technical modification to the licensed industrial activity, and 161 visits to follow up on the application of safe industrial production standards. In addition, 7 warnings were issued to industrial facilities for the purpose of rectifying their status.   

The report also highlighted the initiatives launched by IDB, including identifying industrial investment fields to help achieve domestic self-sufficiency, which included 17 investment fields for food industries, 23 new investment fields for medical industries and 22 fields to support power production.

The IDB also has also carried out a quality enhancement of industrial products initiative by introducing and/or upgrading technical specifications and a conformity programme for 6 industrial products in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Quality & Conformity Council. This included cement products packaged in sacks, interlaced tiles, multi-purpose plastic bags, surface sterilizers, masks and electric transmitters.

The IDB’s initiatives also included issuing the guidelines to support the continuity of industrial production during Covid-19. The manual provided instructions and directives to industrial facilities for rapid alignment with the new requirements and conditions and smooth management of manufacturing operations in order to reduce the negative impact of Covid-19.  

In collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense General Directorate and Hassantuk, IDB has activated an electronic linkage initiative with the Hassantuk smart alarm system. This links 417 industrial facilities with the Hassantuk System, and 508 alarm system devices were also installed in industrial facilities.

During 2020, IDB also helped to advance Abu Dhabi’s financing ecosystem by signing a number of agreements with strategic entities and partners with the aim of boosting the GDP and industrial sector growth. In order to raise and promote the percentage of domestic exports, an agreement with Etihad Credit Insurance Company was signed.

In order to facilitate domestic factories’ and businesses’ access to financing sources and promoting the financing ecosystem of the emirate, a number of agreements have been signed with 10 banks including (First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, Mashreq Bank, Emirates NDB, National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, National Bank of Fujairah, Emirates Development Bank, and Investment Bank).

The report noted that the IDB has issued specifications policies to encourage competitiveness among products made in Abu Dhabi. It also identified a set of domestic industrial products within the major industrial sectors and set required specifications for them through accredited quality certificates.

A policy was also developed to identify basic and vital industrial products as well as the relevant facilities and their production capacity , in order to cover the demands of the domestic market and analyze the gaps in domestically manufactured basic products.

A policy was developed to activate the role of the IDB with respect to proposing the allocation of new industrial lands and its respective industrial activities within the emirate, as well as dividing the land for investors in a flexible manner and in proportion to investors’ needs and the industrial sector’s requirements, and in alignment with the industrial strategy. In addition, a policy was developed to introduce a mechanism to help the stalled industrial projects within the emirate by coordinating with the developers, banks and other government authorities.

The IDB developed a regulation that regulates, develops, operates and manages the processes and procedures related to industrial control in accordance with the emirate’s vision and based on the applicable laws and regulations in order to achieve the optimal desired results.

In addition, the IDB launched an initiative to promote sustainability in the industrial sector, and developed a sustainability manual as a reference for the industrial entity in order to adopt and change practices to achieve sustainable manufacturing. This included the enhancement of electricity and water consumption mechanism, management of industrial waste and improvement of carbon footprint. The IDB also carried out the initiative of monitoring and management of security-related material used in the industrial sector by evaluating and registering 381 industrial facilities within the hazardous materials management system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.