Let’s talk self-reliance: Industrial competitiveness and domestic production to find boost in ‘Make it in the Emirates’

Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO, Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum


Beyond the world famous glistening downtown dotted with skyscrapers and a number of awe-inspiring innovative wonders, the UAE is a country built on values. Empathy, openness, innovation, and most importantly self-reliance – are some of the foundational values that have helped shape the present and the future of this country. Being able to survive, compete, and improve based on one’s own capabilities is a skill that is necessary to grow – be it an individual or a nation.

In the UAE, these values have transcended through generations and centuries, trickled down from the leaders to the citizens and the residents, and reached to all levels of workforces and communities to build a nation of realised dreams and attained wishes.

The recent announcement of what is being referred to as ‘Operation 300 billion’ by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is a highlight on the value of self-reliance of all others.

Industrial sector has been an integral part of the UAE’s development ever since the country came into being. It has contributed to the large scale growth that the country has seen over the period of time and is, therefore, one of the priority sectors for the government of the UAE.

Photo: Dubai Media Office

As per the recent the announcement, the ‘Make It In The Emirates’ is the UAE’s industrial identity to support domestic products and promote the sector globally, aiming to strengthen the country’s industrial competitiveness.

Making the formal announcement at one of the events, Sheikh Mohammed said, “The industrial sector is the backbone of large economies and the UAE has effective resources, policies and leadership to build a global economic base.”

“The industrial sector in the UAE has made great strides. With competitive national products we take pride in, our mission is to double our success, increase the in-country value and build an export ecosystem that enhances the global competitiveness of local products.”

Make It In The Emirates is designed to propel the contribution of manufacturing to the UAE’s GDP to AED 300 billion as the country begins its journey towards a resilient and yielding industrial, manufacturing and production sector.  One of the major boosts that this strategy is bound to bring about will be seen in the in-country value and the redirection of funds into the local economy.

This means the start-ups, the local businesses, the domestic productions – all are in for significant support from the government end and hence posed to open the growth corridors for a brighter and more positive looking sector in the next decade by becoming the main driving force of the national economy.

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