The Abu Dhabi of today is built upon the vast oil reserves which the Emirate enjoys. It has however long been recognised that it is unwise for an economy to be largely reliant on one industry and consequently there is an active drive for diversification.
The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 is a wide-ranging strategic document that recognises four key areas of focus: economic development, social and human resources development, infrastructure development and environmental sustainability and optimisation of government operations.
A primary thread which can be seen to link these four, is the need for and benefits of diversification. The government has invested, through various vehicles, in a diverse range of businesses, including advanced technology, healthcare and aerospace.
The impact of these nvestments is wide-ranging, but has a direct impact on the key areas, outlined above. For example, by establishing new industries in the ’good times’ when oil supply and demand is strong, it allows those new industries to settle and grow, so that if/when the oil supply runs out or oil-based revenue is interrupted, the economy has other sectors to ’fall back on’.
Similarly, by bringing in foreign expertise to establish and operate new enterprises, the knowledge base of locals improves as they train and work in new fields.