UAE industrial exports surge to $50.9 billion in 2023, marking 61 percent growth

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid chaired UAE Cabinet meeting, reviewing accomplishments of industrial sector
UAE industrial exports surge to $50.9 billion in 2023, marking 61 percent growth
The UAE's industrial sector made a significant contribution to the GDP in 2023.

During a UAE Cabinet meeting held at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, it was announced that the UAE’s industrial sector made a significant contribution to the GDP in 2023. The sector’s contribution amounted to AED197 billion ($53.64 billion), representing a growth rate of 49 percent compared to 2020. Additionally, industrial exports reached around AED187 billion ($50.91 billion) in 2023, experiencing a growth rate of 61 percent compared to 2020.

Read more: UAE’s industrial exports reached AED174 billion in 2022

The meeting was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Presidential Court, as well as H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance, and H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

UAE industrial exports
Part of the UAE Cabinet meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

Attracting talent: UAE secures first place globally

During the meeting, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum highlighted several achievements in the country’s labor market. The UAE was ranked first globally in the lack of labor disputes indicator, according to the Global Competitiveness Report, and first globally in the ability to attract talent, as indicated by the Prosperity Index. Furthermore, the UAE ranked third globally in digital skills.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum mentioned that over 7 million employees across all sectors in the UAE are benefiting from the Involuntary Loss of Employment scheme (ILOE), and 98.8 percent of the workforce in the country are covered by the Workers’ Protection Program, emphasizing the importance of monitoring their concerns and protecting their rights for the advancement of the national economy.

The UAE Cabinet also approved a new structure for the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, which includes the establishment of a coordinating council for the labor market in the UAE to maintain stability and enhance competitiveness.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum further discussed the progress of the “Operation 300 Billion” project, launched in 2021 to increase the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP to AED 300 billion by 2031. He highlighted that the current contribution of the industrial sector stands at AED 197 billion, a significant increase from AED 132 billion. The implementation of the ICV (In-Country Value) Program has also led to an increase in national spending, reaching AED 67 billion in 2023.

Incentives stimulating growth

Regarding the industrial sector’s advancement, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stated that various incentives are being provided to stimulate its growth, as it is considered a national priority.

During the Cabinet meeting, the UAE Cabinet approved a national policy on biofuels to encourage the production and consumption of locally produced biofuels. Amendments to the executive regulations of the federal law on citizenship and passports were also approved, including extending the validity period of the UAE passport from 5 to 10 years for Emiratis aged 21 and above. These amendments include additional facilitations and comprehensive digital services to be provided by relevant authorities.

The achievements of the Digital Wellbeing Council for the year 2022 were also reviewed during the meeting. This council, in collaboration with various social media platforms, successfully eliminated over 160,000 websites and accounts that targeted the youth by promoting substance use and unfavorable habits that are inconsistent with the UAE’s culture.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum concluded by emphasizing the importance of the family as the strongest defense for children. He highlighted the need to instill awareness in new generations and stressed the significance of cooperation among families, media, and schools in safeguarding the nation’s most valuable asset, its children.

Accomplishments of the UAE industrial sector in 2023

During its meeting, the UAE Cabinet assessed the achievements of the industrial sector in 2023. The sector has made significant progress in various competitive indicators. Notably, the UAE ranked first in the region and 37th globally in the Frontier Technology Readiness Index. It also secured the top position in the Arab region and 29th globally in the Competitive Industrial Performance Index. Furthermore, the country ranked first in the region and 11th globally in the Quality Infrastructure for Sustainable Development Index report.

The petrochemicals and metal products sector played a pivotal role, contributing 38 percent to the overall industrial value added in 2023. Sectors such as metals, construction materials, food, and beverages accounted for over 47 percent of the total industrial exports during the same period.

The ICV Program experienced remarkable growth in 2023, with national spending reaching AED67 billion. The cumulative spending under the program reached AED237 billion, marking a noteworthy 13-fold increase compared to the program’s launch in 2018.

The ‘Make it in the UAE’ initiative secured purchase offers worth approximately AED62 billion, enabling the local manufacturing of around 1,400 products worth AED120 billion over the next decade.

In support of the industrial sector, financial solutions amounting to AED5.3 billion, credit solutions worth AED1.4 billion, and customs exemptions valued at about AED3 billion were provided in 2023. Additionally, the value of import substitution projects reached approximately AED9 billion.

The Cabinet also approved the implementation of new consumption tiers for electricity services offered by the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA), aiming to provide further support to the industrial sector.

Key takeaways

Other major outcomes from the meeting include:

  • Approval of the UAE National Policy on Biofuels.
  • Implementation of the National Digital Accessibility Policy.
  • Establishment of the Coordinating Council for the Labour Market.
  • Introduction of the Governance Guide for Boards of Directors in the Federal Government.
  • Approval of six international agreements, including deals with Serbia, Georgia, and the Czech Republic.
  • Authorization to host six international conferences and events in the country, including the conference on the Implementation of the Early Cargo Targeting Systempending.

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