Third Make It In The Emirates Forum And Exhibition Kicks Off With Participation Of Leading Companies And Experts

The third edition of the Make it in the Emirates Forum and its accompanying exhibition kicked off today at the Abu Dhabi Energy Center. Taking place from 27-28 May, the event is organized by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and ADNOC, and attended by a large number of experts, industrialists, investors, and innovators. The forum is sponsored by 16 national entities and companies.

The exhibition features 44 major industrial institutions showcasing locally manufactured products, as well as innovations and solutions supporting the development of the industrial and technological sectors.

His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, opened the forum, which was attended by His Excellency Viacheslav Iarin, Minister of International and Foreign Economic Relations of the Sverdlovsk Region, His Excellency Mohammed Fadel Al Mazrouei, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Her Excellency Amna Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change & EnvironmentHer Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, His Excellency Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai, Advisor to President for Strategic Research and Advanced Technology Affairs, and Chairman of EDGE Group, His Excellency Eng. Awaidha Murshed Ali Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), and His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), alongside a number of senior officials from federal and local authorities, and several heads of leading local, regional, and international companies.

Forum Objectives

The third edition of the forum builds on the success of the previous two editions, which supported the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, Operation 300bn. They helped strengthen the country’s position in priority, vital and future industries, raising the global competitiveness of Emirati products, enhancing the UAE’s investment environment, and encouraging innovation and advanced technology adoption in industry.

The Make it in the Emirates Forum supports sustainable economic development, promoting self-sufficiency, localization and resilience in value chains. It empowers Emirati talent to take advantage of opportunities in the industrial and technology sector and build careers in emerging industries. Ultimately, the forum helps boost the growth and competitiveness of UAE industries, especially through advanced technology, Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions and AI applications.

This year’s edition will address various topics related to the industrial sector, such as artificial intelligence, the space sector, and more, through dialogue sessions and panel discussions. Additionally, new initiatives, benefits, and enablers for the industrial sector will be announced designed to enhance the role of the industrial sector in the UAE.

Opening speech

In his opening speech, His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, emphasized that since its establishment in 2020, the ministry has been working towards achieving the goals and realizing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance the role of the industrial sector in sustainable economic development. The aim has been to unify efforts among stakeholders, provide key enablers, create a highly-developed industrial system, establish strong regulatory and legislative capabilities, create an attractive investment environment and localize supply chains. The ministry has also been working to drive self-sufficiency by providing for the nation’s basic product needs, ensuring the continuity and agility of industry, and creating a positive tangible economic and social impact.

His Excellency expressed appreciation for the direct support of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Head of the Presidential Court in promoting local manufacturing of essential products.

MoIAT launched the National Strategy for Industry and implemented a series of strategic initiatives most notably the update of the Industry Regulation and Development Law, the creation of new enablers and incentives, the launch of the National ICV Program, import substitution project, the Technology Transformation Program, the Make it in the Emirates Forum, the Made in the UAE brand, the launch of I4.0 enablement centers, the Champions 4.0 Network, the development of the R&D framework, the Industrial Census project, the Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap and the Industrialist Program.

His Excellency said: “These initiatives and programs focused on enhancing national achievements and leveraging the country’s competitive advantages to create investment opportunities that contribute to the growth of local industry. We also focused on supporting local products with enablers, financing solutions, and providing demand through offtake agreements to spur investment, growth, innovation, technological transformation, and sustainability. We also focused on creating private sector job opportunities for citizens through the National ICV Program and the Industrialists Program. I would like to thank all our partners in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Nafis, ADNOC, and companies such as Ali & Sons, Al Masaood Energy, NAFFCO, IFFCO, Abdul Jalil Al Asmawi Group, Emirates Food Industries, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, and other partners. I invite all our partners to leverage and expand on these opportunities.”

His Excellency added: “Through these initiatives, we are focused on raising the industrial sector’s contribution to GDP to more than AED 300 billion by 2031. By the end of 2023, the value of the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP reached AED 197 billion, an increase of 49% compared to 2020. UAE industrial exports rose to AED187 billion, a 60% increase compared to 2020, and we recorded a 70% growth in flexible financing solutions for the industrial sector, reaching AED 6 billion compared to 2022. Additionally, we launched the Industrialists Exhibition, which contributed to employing 505 citizens in its first edition and provided 885 job opportunities for citizens in its second edition, including 150 positions for people of determination. We aim to reach more than 2,000 jobs by the end of this year.”

His Excellency said: “The number of Emiratis employed in companies registered under the National ICV Program in the private sector reached 16,000. The ministry’s partners, including ADNOC, national companies, and local and federal government entities, have played a key role in achieving this result. Since the launch of this program, more than AED 237 billion has been redirected to the national economy, including AED 67 billion in 2023 alone. During the second edition of the Make it in the Emirates Forum, we introduced a list of 1,400 products that can be manufactured locally in collaboration with 12 strategic partners, with a total value of AED 120 billion. We have executed 52% of the targeted offtakes for the next ten years, exceeding AED 62 billion and including essential sectors and products such as medicines, medical supplies, plastics, rubber, textiles, ceramics, metals, pipes, drilling and production equipment, control and monitoring systems, drilling fluids, foodstuffs, electrical and mechanical equipment, electronics, chemical and petrochemical products, manufacturing and wood industries, building materials, and other essential consumer products. I would like to thank our national companies that have provided these opportunities, including ADNOC, PureHealth, Etihad Airways, Emirates Steel Arkan, e&, Emirates Global Aluminium. I look forward to recognizing even more national companies for their direct contributions in the coming year.”

Regarding competitive financing for industry, HE Dr. Al Jaber said: “The value of financing resulting from the ministry’s initiatives reached AED 10 billion between 2021 and 2023, providing in partnership with the Emirates Development Bank, as well as national financial institutions like First Abu Dhabi Bank and Mashreq Bank.”

His Excellency added: “We have also implemented a program to accelerate technological transformation in the industrial sector and stimulated high-tech industries through financing solutions valued at AED 1.5 billion last year. Our high-tech national exports increased from AED 2.9 billion in 2020 to AED 3.5 billion in 2023.”

Touching on the announcements being made in the third edition of the forum, His Excellency said: “This edition will announce more significant and quality investment opportunities, partnership and manufacturing agreements, and additional enablers and financing solutions. One of the most important announcements is an additional AED 23 billion in offtakes, raising the total value to AED 143 billion for over 2,000 products, including AED 20 billion from ADNOC and AED 3 billion from PureHealth. Moreover, there will be investments in new industrial projects worth AED 20 billion and financing solutions for the industrial sector (in partnership with the Emirates Development Bank and commercial banks, valued at AED 1 billion, to empower SMEs. Additionally, competitive electricity prices will be provided for industrial companies in Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah, in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and the Etihad Water and Electricity, who we thank for their cooperation and efforts. Furthermore, the AI in Industry Innovation Program will be launched, funded by the Emirates Development Bank, with a value of AED 370 million to support startups.”

Regarding future challenges, HE Dr. Al Jaber said: “Despite global economic challenges, geopolitical tensions, and the impact of climate change on supply chains, we strive to be well-prepared, proactive, adaptable, and resilient to turn challenges into opportunities. With the support of our leadership and the concerted efforts and contributions of partners from both the public and private sectors, we have succeeded in building a resilient economy capable of adapting to changes.”

He added: “We value our partners’ opinions and rely on their communication to elevate our industry and support our national economy, localize vital industries, enhance supply chains, and strengthen the country’s position and competitiveness.”

His Excellency also highlighted the role of AI as one of the country’s most important strategic directions, which is the focus of partnerships to develop skills, applications, and solutions in manufacturing to drive innovation, efficiency, cost reduction, productivity, and competitiveness.

He concluded: “We want to continue this momentum and positivity throughout the year, continuing to seize the available investment opportunities through the list of offtakes, with more than AED 81 billion currently allocated for local manufacturing. As well as leveraging these opportunities, we remain committed to implementing the leadership’s vision by developing human capacities, supporting youth, and providing job opportunities.”

His Excellency invited businesses, government entities, and young citizens to explore the opportunities available at the forum. He noted that the ministry’s teams and their partners are ready to provide support and guidance to help companies and individuals seize the opportunities presented at the forum.

“Rest assured, our teams and partners are prepared to support and guide you in seizing these opportunities to expand your operations and achieve our shared objectives. Together, we will enhance the growth of local manufacturing  and ensure the flexibility and resilience of our supply chains. Our collective efforts will support the continuity and sustainability of our operations and achieve a positive sustainable economic impact.”