Dubai Greenlights Progressive Changes: Agriculture Boosts and Single-Use Plastics Prohibition

Today, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, led a council meeting, endorsing various pioneering measures aimed at invigorating Dubai’s industrial sphere, fostering advancements in agricultural technology, and instituting a policy against single-use plastics.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, was present at the meeting.

Emphasizing the indispensable role of a diversified economy, His Highness highlighted its significance in achieving Dubai’s ambitious goals as per the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. The agenda aims to position Dubai among the top three global cities by 2033, aligning with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

His Highness remarked, “Dubai sets the pace, supporting businesses, cultivating innovation, and advocating sustainability. The endorsed incentives are set to amplify Dubai’s agricultural sector by 2033, fortify its worldwide prominence in agricultural technology, and bolster the food security domain. Within the industrial sector, our aim is to elevate the added value of manufacturing.”

His Highness said: These steps represent significant measures to expand the contribution of agriculture to Dubai’s diverse economy by doubling the size of the sector. We call on investors, experts, and innovators to join our global platform for research, development, and innovation.

His Highness emphasized the societal significance of reducing single-use plastics, fostering sustainability, and advancing climate consciousness, especially in anticipation of COP28.

His Highness commended individuals and organizations for their efforts in minimizing the usage of single-use bags and plastics, aligning with the UAE’s hosting of COP28 this month. He underscored the pivotal role of every societal segment in instilling a sustainability culture, actively diminishing carbon footprints, promoting the circular economy, and laying the groundwork for a future rooted in climate consciousness.

Enhancing Dubai’s Manufacturing Capabilities

The Executive Council has sanctioned an ambitious strategy to elevate Dubai’s industrial sector, aligned with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. The goal is to amplify the Manufacturing Added Value (MAV) by AED 58 billion, approximately 2.5 times the sector’s current value.

This comprehensive plan spans three distinct programs over the 2024-2033 period: The National Program supporting all manufacturing companies, the Special Program catering to priority sectors, and the Strategic Program, fostering expansion through exemptions, infrastructure investments, and capital facilities. This strategic blueprint positions Dubai as a global manufacturing hub, expanding its economic prowess.

Enabling Growth in Agricultural Technology

The Executive Council has greenlit a strategy to expand Dubai’s agricultural sector twofold by 2033. This strategic endeavor is geared towards positioning Dubai as a frontrunner in the adoption and utilization of agritech, evolving the city into a hub for agricultural research and innovation. This initiative is set to draw in international corporations while nurturing local enterprises, fostering economic expansion, bolstering competitiveness, and fortifying food security.

The incentive package covers five key domains, incorporating investment perks, fee waivers, accessible financing, R&D platforms, global company attraction, and local producer market facilitation. This holistic approach involves simplifying agricultural licensing, waiving government fees, drawing in specialized talents, and forming strategic alliances to foster growth. Notably, it’s geared towards promoting the utilization of clean and renewable energy sources in agritech. The plan strives to allure major international companies, budding enterprises, and local ventures, all while encouraging the utilization of locally manufactured products.

Encouraging Local Value Addition

The Executive Council also sanctioned the In-Country Value Program under the Government Procurement Program, an effort designed to bolster local enterprises, enhance SME expansion, and advocate for domestic production.

In accordance with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, the program incorporates local production assessments in government procurement tenders and mandates government sectors to assign a portion of acquisitions to SMEs. It also aims to introduce provisions in procurement contracts featuring financing opportunities for SMEs to enhance their involvement in government procurement. Moreover, the program establishes a department for managing local content to guide and bolster government procurement of domestic content.

Advancing Sustainability in Anticipation of COP28

The Executive Council has expanded its initiative to reduce single-use plastics, encompassing a wider array of plastic materials in its phased-out plan by 2026. This policy now encompasses items like single-use plastic bags, tableware, and styrofoam containers. Government departments and private retailers are spearheading community awareness campaigns to endorse eco-friendly substitutes for single-use plastics. A recent survey indicates a strong inclination toward eco-friendly alternatives, with 72% of Dubai residents showing a willingness to embrace such options. Furthermore, the survey highlights that 62% of individuals are already using environmentally friendly alternatives, and a transition toward sustainable options is underway in 71% of hotels, 67% of shops, and 50% of restaurants in Dubai.

In line with Dubai’s readiness to host COP28, these measures underscore the significance of sustainability, reuse, and recycling in shaping the worldwide green and circular economy. The policy, launched in February 2022, is under ongoing scrutiny to ensure the complete elimination of single-use plastic bags by 2026.

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