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The UAE’s industrial sector ranks 1st for competitiveness in the Arab world

Dubai Industrial City1
The UAE’s industrial sector outperforms in four out of eight indicators in the CIP 2021.

The UAE’s industrial sector has emerged as the most competitive in the Arab world, according to the latest Competitive Industrial Performance Index (CIP). The CIP is a global ranking of 152 countries by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

The CIP ranking measures global industrial competitiveness based on the production and export of manufactured goods, technological depth and upgrading, and global impact.

The UAE’s industrial sector was also placed in the top 20% of countries in the CIP 2021, ranking 30th in the world. Across the Middle East, the UAE’s industrial sector ranked third, after Turkey and Israel.

With this, the country climbs five spots since the 2020 version of the report and nine spots since the 2017 version. 

This indicates growing competitiveness in the UAE’s industrial sector, on par with the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, Operation 300bn, Gulf News reported.

Meanwhile, Germany, China, the US, Japan, and South Korea formed the top five countries in that order in this year’s CIP.


The CIP 2021 report highlighted a number of factors as central to the progress of the infrastructure as well as the business ecosystem of UAE’s industrial sector. This includes the country’s adoption of advanced technology, science-based education, sustainability efforts, and attitude towards innovation

"UNIDO’s report reaffirms the UAE’s global reputation for developing an innovative industrial ecosystem underpinned by advanced technologies and Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions,” the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber said.

Al Jaber added that the progress in the UAE’s industrial sector is a result of its attractive business environment to local and international investors.

The country recently allowed 100% business ownership for foreign investors, and in March this year also launched its 10-year industrial strategy Operation 300bn. Last year also saw Dubai Industrial City complete a major expansion drive to meet growing demand in the country’s manufacturing and logistics sector. Meanwhile, companies in the country are focusing on new opportunities in the UAE’s industrial sector, such as mixed use industrial-retail investment options.

The UAE’s industrial sector performed especially well in four of the CIP’s eight indicators. These were manufacturing exports per capita, where the country moved from 31st place to the 17th, total manufacturing exports, manufacturing value-added per capita, and share of manufactured goods in the total export mix.

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