UAE’s special industrial zones vital incubators for innovation

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The UAE is headed towards an exciting new phase of sustainable economic growth with the launch of its comprehensive 10-year Industrial Strategy – known as Operation 300bn that aims to transform the industry into a vital enabler and contributor to national GDP.

Implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in collaboration with more than 200 industrial stakeholders, the strategy seeks to build on the robust industrial foundations set in place over the last two decades. By identifying the obstacles and opportunities to expand and accelerate industrial growth, Operation 300bn lays out an ambitious-yet-practical set of objectives and initiatives to more than double the industrial sector’s GDP contribution to AED300 billion by 2031 and generate new levels of in-country value.

As the UAE gets set to ramp up its industry’s global competitiveness, the opportunities for innovators and developers from around the world to benefit from its vibrant business climate are rife, thanks largely to the multitude of incentives on offer.

Whether it’s setting up an expansive manufacturing operation or establishing an ultra-connected logistics and distribution services, the 28 business and logistical services zones across the emirates offer an enabling business environment with access to worldwide markets, vast energy supplies at competitive tariffs and raw materials.

From the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai to the Khalifa Industrial City (Kizad) in Abu Dhabi; from the Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah to the free zones in Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, each offers a strategic location to complement all business needs.

Location is everything for companies that depend on globally connected trade routes; access to the consumer is king. This is central to the success of the UAE’s industrial free zones. The UAE has access to more than 100 countries – who have each signed free trade and bilateral agreements. It also has access to more than 22 custom-exempt countries.

The strong prerequisites, combined with the country’s high agility to adapt to challenging times, fortifies the indispensable role of the UAE’s free zones and special industrial zones not just for the nation, but the global markets that depend on their productivity and performance. It’s a role that Operation 300bn will only further enhance as the nation drives towards becoming a regional and international industrial hub.

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