The Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, announced on his Twitter account the creation of a new ministry dedicated to investment in order to “stimulate the national investment environment and improve the competitiveness of our procedures and legislation”. At a meeting of the Council of Ministers at the Al-Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi, the Emirati government approved a new economic development strategy to address growing competition from neighbouring countries in the financial and tourism sectors.
The aim of the new ministry is to create an investment-friendly environment in the UAE, “to ensure that the country remains a global investment destination” and a major player in this global movement. The new ministry will be headed by Mohamed Hasan al-Suaidi, who was previously CEO of Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company, based in the same city.
To attract investors, the cabinet has committed to the energy sector by approving a “national energy strategy based on the rapid evolution of this sector”, which aims to “triple the contribution of renewable energies over the next seven years and inject a national investment of between Dh150 billion and Dh200 billion over the same period”. Among these renewable energies, the government is particularly committed to hydrogen, “which has become one of the most important types of clean energy”, according to the Prime Minister, as well as to a new national policy for electric vehicles.
As for the national hydrogen strategy, the plan “aims to consolidate the country’s position as a producer and exporter of low-emission hydrogen over the next eight years”, and to develop supply chains and the industry, in particular through the creation of a research and development centre. In relation to electric vehicles, the new policy aims to build a national network of electric vehicle chargers, while regulating the market and stimulating related industries to reduce emissions and energy consumption.
By developing this new energy strategy, the UAE aims to diversify its economy away from total dependence on oil revenues. This new plan also appears to be the first step towards a ‘green transition’ in a country where one of the main environmental problems is the exploitation of natural resources. However, no date has yet been given for the launch of this new programme.