WAM: The Sustainable Blue Economy Office has opened in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain, under the directives of HH Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain.
The Sustainable Blue Economy Office will play a key role in implementing the emirate’s Sustainable Blue Economy Strategy 2031, launched during the World Government Summit 2022.
The Office will facilitate the implementation of eight transformative projects over the next ten years to drive the emirate’s sustainable economic development, protect and rehabilitate its maritime environment, and ensure optimal use of its natural resources.
The Office consists of three main committees, which are the Higher Committee headed by Sheikh Majid bin Saud Al Mualla, Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Archaeology; the Executive Committee headed by Sheikh Sager bin Saud Al Mualla, Chairman of the Smart Government Department; and the Advisory Committee featuring a number of teams, which includes the environment and urban planning team, the economic incentives and business environment improvement team, the foreign investment and private sector attraction team, the media and marketing team, and the performance indicators monitoring team.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Head of the Sustainable Blue Economy Strategy Higher Committee, stated that the establishment of the Sustainable Blue Economy Office is in line with the vision of the Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, to make the emirate a leading model and destination for investments in the blue economy sectors in the region by 2031, and to increase the blue economy’s contribution in the emirate’s GDP by no less than 40 percent.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Sager bin Saud Al Mualla, Head of the Sustainable Blue Economy Strategy Executive Committee, emphasised that the Office will focus on implementing the transformative projects under the Strategy and developing opportunities for the private sector to invest in the priority sectors that support the strategy’s goals in the environmental, tourism, and economic fields.
The Sustainable Blue Economy Office will develop a roadmap for Umm Al Quwain’s Sustainable Blue Economy strategy by setting legislative frameworks, bylaws, policies, and defining the requirements for the emirate’s physical and digital infrastructure, to enable the implementation of the Strategy’s eight transformational projects.
The projects are increasing the natural reserves in the emirate to cover 20 percent of the total area; launching of Umm Al Quwain’s own hub to promote entrepreneurship in the sustainable blue economy sector with a minimum of 100 projects; dedicating three carbon-neutral urban areas, including the heritage district, the corniche, and the mangroves area; and launching a centre for planting and exporting mangrove trees internationally.
Also, launching a programme to support the transformation of local industries in priority sectors into ecofriendly industrial models; developing a set of policies, programmes, and governmental facilitations for companies and investors in the sector; offering investment opportunities by attracting more than 100 companies and investors; developing large partnerships with the private sector to achieve the target projects.
The Office announced the launch of the first reserve for the protection and restoration of the marine and coastal environment of Umm Al Quwain, namely ‘Umm Al Quwain Mangroves Reserve.’ This reserve is the Office’s first environmental project within the Sustainable Blue Economy Strategy 2031, aimed at protecting the environment, achieving optimum use of resources, and contributing to the development of environmental tourism in the emirate.
The reserve further includes the Mangrove Beach project, which overlooks Khor Al Yefrah and Al Siniyah island. The project offers its visitors a chance to explore natural sceneries and the coastal lines of the emirate, apart from recognizing the significance of mangrove trees in environmental preservation.
The emirate’s beach stretches over five kilometres and has several specialised projects in marine sports, equestrian sports, and tracks for jogging and bicycles.
The Sustainable Blue Economy Office is also working on establishing a ‘Mangrove Trees Propagation Centre’ within the reserve in the next stage. This centre will specialise in the propagation of mangrove trees and exporting them. These trees significantly prevent coastal erosion and floods, thus offering various environmental benefits and adding more value to tourism and investment opportunities in the emirate’s real estate and infrastructure sectors.