The 4thFuture Manufacturing & Trade Summit, under the patronage of His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy & Industry, hosted by Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of Dubai Economy, in collaboration with Expotrade Global, began today at the Intercontinental Festival City, Dubai with over 1,000 senior professionals and experts coming together to discuss the innovations, priority sectors, challenges in manufacturing and the role of industries in driving exports.
The two-day Summit will particularly focus on developing the potential of UAE’s industrial sector and promoting exports of local companies because of their role in enabling growth in Dubai and across the country. At the Summit, Dubai Exports aims to highlight the importance of technology adoption in boosting local manufacturing capability and enabling UAE exporters to grow globally.
The Summit agenda includes 16 presentations based on the current state of the industry along with six panel discussions on topics focusing on advanced manufacturing, production, operational excellence & lean strategies, the future manufacturing workforce, e-commerce and logistics.
Engineer Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports, commented: “The Future Manufacturing & Trade Summit seeks to address a range of topics such as the Globalisation Roadmap for UAE manufacturers, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Warehouse Automation in addition to securing credit, integration of blockchain and other important topics. Speakers will also shed light on the future workforce of the industrial sector, trade finance, and e-commerce.”
Dubai Exports, in cooperation with its partners in the government and industry, seeks to provide varied services and initiatives to boost manufacturing and exports, including information on global markets, exporter verification and issuing certificates of accreditation, said Saed Al Awadi. “We also facilitate meetings between companies during trade missions and international exhibitions. Our efforts have helped the industrial sector contribute 9.2% to Dubai’s GDP in 2018. We have also seen a 30% increase in Dubai’s direct exports between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019 while re-exports increased 7% along the same period.”
His Excellency Engineer Osama Amir Fadhel, Acting Assistant Undersecretary of Industrial Affairs, Ministry of Energy & Industry, told the Summit that the industrial sector has a pivotal role in the UAE’s 2021 Vision. “The sector contributes to around 9.5% of the country's GDP, which is equivalent to 11% of the non-oil GDP, with a growth rate of 4.5% in the last five years. It also provides more than 460,000 job opportunities. Almost half of the sector's contribution to GDP comes from industrial capacities that employ high or medium-level technologies and skills. All these indicators reflect the strength and flexibility of this sector.”
“However, as the global economy entered the fourth industrial revolution and artificial intelligence, physical and digital tools and technologies brought new challenges which caused radical transformations in various dimensions across the value-added and supply chains” added Osama Amir Fadhel. “The traditional industrial concepts such as ‘Total Quality Management,’ ‘Lean Manufacturing,’ and others have also changed into new concepts which weren’t present less than 10 years ago. Today, it covers the industrial landscape such as 3D manufacturing, automation and robotics, and digitization. Together, these tools have provided exceptional opportunities that were not previously available to improve productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness.”
Reiterating the UAE's commitment to pioneering technical progress, Amir Fadhel said government initiatives at the federal and local levels, such as the launch of the UAE's Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy, the National Strategy for Advanced Innovation, the UAE Council for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and others are clear testimonies to this trend.
The Ministry of Energy and Industry is working with its partners in the UAE's Industrial Coordination Council to develop an integrated and unified strategy for the country's industrial sector, benefiting from the diversification of infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities among the emirates, Osama Amir Fadhel said. It focuses on four main themes: Fourth Industry, Advanced Skills, Sustainable Manufacturing, and Export development through integration with global supply chains, building on existing success stories of the aluminum and aviation sectors.
The Summit also features an exhibition where 21 leading technology and service providers showcase their latest products that support the growing manufacturing market in the region. The exhibitors include Epicor, Daifuku, Etihad Credit Insurance, Sage, Honeywell, Lighthouse, Dubai South, Al Sajaa Industrial Oasis, Ajman Chamber, Ajman Free Zone, 3i Infotech, ANT Industrial Software Solutions, ELGi Air Compressors and DB Schenker among others.
The opening day of the Summit saw a presentation by Mohammed Al Kamali, Deputy CEO, Dubai Exports, on Dubai's industrial sector and the key performance plan based on the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. It was followed by a panel discussion titled ‘Dubai by 2030 – a Global Platform for Knowledge-based, Sustainable and Innovative Industries,’ providing an overview of the factors transforming future manufacturing in Dubai, most importantly SMEs and innovation. Speakers included Marwan Abdul Aziz Al Janahi, Executive Director of Dubai Science Park; Saud Abu Al Shawareb, Managing Director, Dubai Industrial City; Mohammed Ibrahim Ishaq, Director, Property & Sales Management, Dubai Maritime City; and Dr. Zain Tahboub, Senior Advisor at Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects.
Mohammed Al Balooshi from the Free Zone Authority shared the highlights of the Dubai Silk Road Strategy and its importance to global trade. Dr. Majida Al Azazi, Chief Executive Officer, Sandstorm Automotive Factory, recognized as the first to manufacture 4WD vehicle here in the UAE, also participated in the panel discussion on exploring and adapting modern manufacturing and production technologies.
Ismail Abdulla, CEO of Strata Manufacturing, spoke about building the next generation of leaders in Aerospace from within the country, collaborating and partnering internationally in achieving Strata’s vision and the significance of R&D in their ambition and growth.