UAE bats for local manufacturing and production


The UAE’s leadership supports the transformation of the country’s industrial sector into a global manufacturing hub

‘Make it in the Emirates’ is an open invitation to investors, innovators and developers to contribute to the UAE’s industry and advanced technology strategy, ‘Operation 300bn’.

Increasing numbers of investors notably manufacturing and production companies are gravitating to the UAE, taking advantage of the Government’s resolve to provide incentives, sops, tax relief’s, subsidies and waive-offs.

The call to ‘Make in the UAE’ provides them with an opportunity to benefit from the UAE economy’s tremendous and unique value proposition by investing in future industries and advanced manufacturing and exporting UAE products to new global markets.

“The decision by HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to issue a new law to regulate and develop the country’s industrial sector helps to create an attractive business environment for investors, strengthens the UAE’s position as a global industrial hub, and reflects positively on the performance and growth of the industrial sector.

This law will drive industrial development through empowerment, integration, and partnerships, pillars of empowerment,” affirmed Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director and Group CEO, ADNOC and Chairman, Masdar.  

“This law provides the flexibility to issue more incentives in the form of policies and programs, which are linked to national strategies, some of which have already been implemented, such as the National In-Country Value program, Industry 4.0, and the Technology Transformation Program. It will encourage new programs to be rolled out in the future to support the efforts of the industrial sector,” the Minister further asserted.

Why invest in the UAE?

The UAE’s industrial ecosystem is conducive to growth, as industrialists can easily access financial, advisory and technical support to establish and develop their businesses. The offer is particularly attractive to companies associated with the logistics and supply chain sectors.

The country boasts a diverse energy mix at competitive prices. Topping regional and global indices in logistics, transport and communications, its advanced infrastructure comprises 10 civilian airports, numerous cargo companies (and counting), as well as 12 sea and commercial trading ports capable of handling more than 17mn tons and a cargo capacity of 80mn tons annually.

The UAE also ranks high in global indicators that measure economic performance and ease of doing business, in addition to enjoying a strong credit rating. The country’s legislative framework is considered the most advanced in the region and its strategic location makes it a global link. From the UAE, it is possible to reach global markets spanning five billion people through flights that do not exceed eight hours.

How can companies benefit from the campaign?

Through a partnership between Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technologies (MoIAT) and Emirates Development Bank (EDB), industrial investors, innovators and entrepreneurs can receive significant financial and advisory support from EDB.

The bank is the financial driver of Operation 300bn and provides a wide variety of services to industrial players. Services include financing advanced technology and equipment, sponsoring machinery and equipment upgrades, especially those involving Fourth Industrial Revolution (4.0) applications, as well as green finance, business expansion, structured financing and capital investment, feasibility studies and business incubators.

Global Supply Chain highlighted two UAE companies—Acme Intralog from Dubai and Lubrex from the Hamriya Free Zone, Sharjah, as lead case studies for successful track records in their pursuit and resolve to ‘Make it in the UAE’.

Acme records increased demand for its warehouse automation solutions

UAE based Acme Intralog has recorded a 30% increase in demand for the company’s warehousing automated solutions and manufactured products all produced in the UAE in fiscal 2022.

“This growth is predominantly driven by retail and e-commerce sectors that are looking for solutions for order picking and sortation. If operated manually, these processes are often the most time-consuming, while also being repetitive and dull. Automating these processes can increase productivity as well as accuracy significantly,” affirmed Navin Narayan, CEO, Acme Intralog.

Range of solutions

At the company’s manufacturing facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Acme develops and produces a complete range of material handling solutions such as conveyors, AS/RS control systems. They also design and manufacture customised factory automation solutions for a variety of industries in the region. Acme continues to make significant investment in R&D to develop competitive and innovative solutions.

Acme provides its customers with an end-to-end life cycle support service that can be deployed both on-site as well as on an on-call basis. Their team can help customers manage equipment maintenance, safety, and obsolescence management as well as training customer maintenance staff to safely maintain and improve machine and system longevity.

“As a local manufacturer, we have strong design and consulting capability based out of our Dubai facility. This enables us to provide quick and accurate solutions that cater to our customers’ requirements,” Navin Narayan observed.

Advanced manufacturing facility

“With a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Jebel Ali, we are able to manufacture to European specification and CE standards at affordable prices with short lead times and therefore fast project delivery times,” he added.

“In addition to this our large after sales team in the region can support our customers with life cycle maintenance as well as operation support so that they are never left without support once the system is handed over. Particularly in the UAE, we have seen great opportunities in the push for the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative by our Government as well as the increasing appetite for Industry 4.0 solutions across the whole region,” he asserted.

Over the past over 47 years since inception, Acme has gained great trust and respect within the MENA region and developed a huge base of customers. Their continuing successes can in no small measure be attributed to Acme’s local manufacturing capabilities and indigenous production that enables the company to deliver customised solutions that are tailored to the needs of the region.

Lubrex: Championing IndigenizationHome-grown manufacturer supports local production

Lubrex FZC is a leading lubricant manufacturing company, registered in Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah, UAE. It was established in 2005 as the flag bearer in the UAE of a group of lubricant manufacturing oil exporting companies with decades of experience.

With a primary focus on the GCC, Middle East, Far East and Africa, Lubrex is uniquely positioned to lead in manufacturing, development and marketing in the regional and international markets, providing unmatched level of support and services for its customers.

Producing its distinctive products in the UAE is a trademark and Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for the company. The company has made local production the centerpiece of its corporate objectives.

Critical factors

Having realised that a critical factor of success in any venture is the access to specific industry knowledge, the company is founded and articulated by a team of leading industry professionals, strategic partners, and business associates, which in turn have encouraged and emboldened the company to participate in one of the most challenging markets in the world.

Lubrex uses state of the art automated blending systems with latest machineries to keep products precisely blended avoiding any avoid human errors, ensuring consistency in the delivery of products in scheduled time without compromising in quality.

Lubrex lubricants are made from first grade mineral oils, virgin base oils, and high-quality additives to meet industry standards. According to a company official local procurement, given the advanced, highly developed infrastructure complemented by the investment policies of the UAE, the local sourcing and local production makes sound economic sense.

Furthermore, this move strengthens the local and national manufacturing ecosystem thereby consolidating the national economy whilst providing employment opportunities. 

Abbas Moniri

Lubrex has an impressive track record built on the ‘Make in the Emirates’ model. Abbas Moniri, Managing Director, Lubrex, responded to a questionnaire from Global Supply Chain specific to localization of its operations and advocacy of manufacturing in the UAE.

Global Supply Chain (GSC): Why did you espouse the cause for ‘Make it in the Emirates’?

Abbas Moniri (AM): We are proud of our global expertise and international staffs, but we are also proud of our regional roots and our understanding the local market needs.

By adopting ‘Make it in the Emirates’ campaign, we can ensure our costumers the best of both worlds, global know-how and local understanding. Briefly, make the case for ‘Make it in the Emirates’…. incentives of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT)

UAE has always been a major player in the regional and global trade routes. This is not just for its strategic location, but also for its infrastructure that incubates innovation and incentivises creativity in all aspects. ‘Make it in the Emirates’ campaign is a great example of that, and we are proud of being part of it.

GSC: Describe your partnership with Acme Intralog?

AM: We appointed Acme Intralog to design and build an end-of line solution for us that would seamlessly integrate with our automated production line.

Through this partnership, our palletisation will be fully automated, which will enhance our overall productivity as our production capacity was significantly higher than the volumes we could handle at the end of line.

It was important to us to work with a solution provider who manufactures their systems in the UAE as they could offer a custom solution for us as well as fast installation and maintenance services.

GSC: How did Acme empower local production and profitability? How specifically was Acme associated with your operations?

AM: With Acme’s solution we can now palletise our range of close to 200 types of products coming from four production lines onto two outbound lines. The new optimized system (which includes two palletising robots) would help us increase our end of line productivity by 210%.

The robots are equipped with customised universal grippers that can lift boxes of different sizes and shape as well as prepare empty pallets on the outbound lines. That way, we do not have any interruptions when the production lines change, or a pallet is filled and ready for shipping.

GSC: What are your UAE and regional expansion plans?

AM: Our plan is simple: To be the best, and then to remain the best.

As simple as it can be said, this is only achievable by hard work, and investing in research and development. With ambitions like ours and the support we have from the UAE as an incubator of success, the sky is the limit.


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