The UAE is home to two of the Middle East’s top three airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways, backed by the governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, respectively. The aviation sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP stands at more than 13%. After a massive loss of $1.70 billion during the pandemic, Etihad recovered and cut its losses down to $476 million in 2022. Now, it has become the first airline in the UAE to join the country’s In-Country Value Program to raise the efficiency of the country’s industrial sector. By prioritizing local suppliers and UAE-based companies for procurement, Etihad will increase aviation’s contribution to the growth of the industrial sector. The In-Country Value program aims to increase local demand for certified companies and competitiveness. Etihad’s participation is part of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology’s plan to include more sectors in the national industrial strategy. The airline has become one of 45 federal entities and 18 national institutions to sign up for the program. Through this initiative, the government expenditure is diverted towards the growth of the industrial sector to create more jobs and provide incentives for adopting tech.
The In-Country Value program also hopes to increase the number of certified vendors from 5000 to 7300 in the UAE. Before this, as part of its Al Watani local content program launched in 2020, 35% of Etihad’s purchasing spending was done within the UAE.
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