Interview: Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak
How would you assess Abu Dhabi’s industrial development and diversification? What effect is this having in terms of job creation?
KHALDOON KHALIFA AL MUBARAK: I think we’re making good progress. GDP diversification is a high priority, yet part of that is developing sectors that create a range of career paths for current and future generations.
Mubadala is helping to progress Abu Dhabi’s diversification – actively developing industries such as aerospace composite manufacturing, aluminium production, health care, renewables and semiconductors, while continuing to build on the emirate’s areas of strength, including growth in oil and gas, utilities and infrastructure. Like any stable portfolio, we work to manage the volatility of the global economy through greater diversification. We are establishing the UAE’s position across a range of globally-integrated industries and we’ve seen two recent milestones in our portfolio that demonstrate progress in this area.
Strata, our advanced aerospace composites business based in Al Ain, delivered its first shipset of 777 composite ribs to Boeing in the United States. Strata’s confirmation as a Tier 1 supplier meets an important goal set by the world’s largest aerospace company and Mubadala, and demonstrates the enormous strides we are making in establishing a world-class aerospace hub in Abu Dhabi. Another key milestone was the merger between Dubai’s DUBAL and Emirates Aluminium.
Emirates Global Aluminium, the new entity, now has a combined annual production capacity of 2.4m tonnes per annum, making it the fifth-largest aluminium producer in the world, serving over 440 customers in 55 countries. Emirates Global Aluminium is also a great example of the job creation resulting from industrial development. The business already employs 6200 in the UAE and it is expected to add an additional 2000 jobs by the end of the decade.
This will in turn underpin a further 6000 indirect jobs, contributing to total employment of over 33,000 people in the UAE’s broader aluminium sector by 2020.
How does Al Maryah Island fit in with Abu Dhabi’s development plans?
AL MUBARAK: Al Maryah Island is the home of Abu Dhabi Global Market, the international financial centre that will be a true game changer for local, regional and international financial institutions. Mubadala is master planning and developing the island, modelled on the world’s leading central business districts. Al Maryah currently offers 80,000 sq metres of efficient and high specification office space and approximately 37,000 sq metres of retail and food and beverage space beneath the central square, with a luxury hotel and premium shopping destination already operational. The island is also home to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which will integrate with the existing Mubadala and Abu Dhabi health care network to provide a standard of medical care never seen before in the region.
What factors are enabling industry development?
AL MUBARAK: Creating mutually beneficial partnerships with the public and private sector, both at home and internationally, is at the heart of Abu Dhabi’s development. By collaborating for competitive advantage, we benefit from knowledge-transfer and access to IP that enhances our talent pipeline and creates a climate of innovation that will spur wider organic growth and ultimately create opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises – a priority for any diversified and self-sustaining economy. In addition, partnerships open the door to global supply chains and customers in new markets, helping to create globally integrated industries that will deliver sustainable returns to Abu Dhabi.
Mubadala’s activity in the health care sector is a solid example of our approach to creating clusters underpinned by partnership. Through Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Healthpoint, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and other health care initiatives, we play a key role in developing a pioneering, sustainable health care sector in the UAE. It is a strategic effort that addresses some of the region’s most pressing health care needs.
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