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July 22, 2024

Dubai approves major plans to boost economy, extends policy banning single-use plastics

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, approved a set of new initiatives to enable growth in Dubai’s industrial sector, incentives for the agricultural technology sector, and a policy banning single-use plastics, at a recent meeting of the council.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “We approved a set of incentives to double the contribution of the industrial and agricultural technology sectors to Dubai’s economy over the next 10 years. The goal of these initiatives aligns with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. We also rolled out a plan to progressively phase out the use of single-use plastics.”

Dubai’s Crown Prince stressed the social impact of curbing single-use plastics, nurturing sustainability, and promoting climate awareness.

Boosting Dubai’s manufacturing sector

The Executive Council approved an ambitious plan to boost Dubai’s industrial sector and the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33.

The plan aims to increase manufacturing value added by Dhs58bn, equivalent to 2.5 times the industry’s current value.

It entails three key programmes for 2024-2033:

  • The National Program, which supports all manufacturing companies
  • The Special Program caters to priority sectors
  • The Strategic Program will stimulate growth through exemptions, investments in infrastructure, and capital facilities

 

Emirate’s agritech sector to double

Additionally, the council backed the plan to double the size of Dubai’s agricultural sector by 2033.

The incentive package covers five main areas such as:

  • Investment benefits and fee exemptions
  • Competitive financing loans, research and development platforms
  • Attracting world-leading companies
  • Facilitating local market entry for local producers

This will streamline agricultural licensing, offering exemptions from government fees, attracting specialised talents, and strategic partnerships to bolster growth.

It will promote the use of clean and renewable energy sources in agritech.

The plan seeks to attract major global companies, emerging firms and local enterprises while promoting the consumption of locally produced goods.

The council also approved the Government Procurement Program’s In-Country Value Program to support local businesses, stimulate SME growth, and encourage local production.

This programme will see the addition of local production evaluation criteria to government procurement tenders and require government departments to allocate a percentage of purchases to SMEs.

It aims to include clauses in procurement contracts with financing options for SMEs and will set up a local content management department to support and direct government procurement of local content.

Single-use plastics to be phased out by 2026

At the meeting, the Executive Council also extended its single-use bags reduction policy to include additional plastic materials as part of the phasing out of single-use plastics by 2026.

This policy now includes single-use plastic bags, tableware, and styrofoam containers.

Community awareness campaigns, led by government departments and private retailers, will continue to promote eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics.

The implementation of the policy, introduced in February 2022, is continually evaluated to ensure single-use plastic bags are completely phased out by 2026.