If there are shifting sands in the Middle East’s energy landscape and the region as a whole is on a path to wider economic diversification, then the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have arguably been the leader in the pack of this transition.
The UAE has long been diversifying its economic base away from the oil and gas riches that are so customary across the Middle East. Just look at the towering skyscrapers and jaw-dropping skylines of Dubai, or the slaloming asphalt of Abu Dhabi’s Formula One circuit (pictured). Both are symbolic of the UAE’s increasing hotbed of hospitality, leisure and tourism.
Other indicators can be found by looking at the region’s industrial gases market. Often the bellwether for a region’s economic performance, industrial gases are also a good barometer for the make-up of a local economy such is the nature of the industry as inherently being at the heart of so many others. In the UAE in 2018, the main end-user sector of industrial gas demand was the manufacturing industry, accounting for as much as 35% of commercial revenue according to gasworld Business Intelligence.
Whilst the chemical sector was the second-largest end-user for industrial gases, it only accounted for a distant 11% of revenues and comprised part of a considerably fragmented marketplace; metallurgy, food and beverage, the refining sectors and many others all created a relatively equal split of industries.
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