UAE Approves 22 Policies To Expedite Transition To Circular Economy

In January 2021, UAE approved a Circular Economy Policy, an ambitious and important mission to transition from a linear model to a circular economy approach. The linear economy of the UAE consumes valuable materials and resources without being able to benefit from them after use, which represents waste in the modern concept of sustainability. On the contrary, the Circular Economy Policy seeks to protect the UAE’s environment and ensures the long-term economic and social prosperity of the country.

Recently, the Circular Economy Council approved 22 policies that focus on accelerating the implementation of the economic model in the country. The council that attended the second meeting in 2022, identified almost 16 circular economy activities that open opportunities for businesses, such as recycling textile waste into new products, developing automated artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled waste management solutions and remanufacturing electronic waste.

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UAE Circular Economy Climate Change Initiatives

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, mentioned in the second meeting in 2022, that more than 45% of global greenhouse gas emissions result from producing cars, clothes, food, and other products used every day. This provides a great potential that lies in a circular economy, which can mitigate the current climate crisis. The Council’s Circular Economy Policies Committee recently held workshops and meetings with the government and private sectors as well as international partners to support the implementation of the UAE Circular Economy Policy in four key sectors which include manufacturing, green infrastructure, transportation and food production & consumption as well as the 22 new policies issued to drive the UAE’s overall transition to a circular economy.

The policies will contribute to addressing all challenges the private sector is facing in its shift to a circular economy and support the country’s green development drive. The Committee is currently investing efforts to implement the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 through programmes and projects that are set to attract investments to this field and expand its infrastructure. Efforts are also being exerted to establish a circular economy database, in addition to offering incentives to encourage the private sector to shift towards clean production methods.

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The implication of Circular Economy to the UAE

Initiated in January 2021, the new economic policy identifies the optimal approach to the country’s transition to a circular economy. Some of their major objectives are building a sustainable economy, promoting the efficient use of natural resources, encouraging companies to opt for cleaner industrial production methods, and adopting sustainable consumption and production patterns. The UAE Circular Economy Council comprises 17 representatives which include federal and local government entities, private sector businesses, and international organizations. Their initiatives in the elimination of waste and the continued safe use of natural resources will provide a sustainable future for the UAE.

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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at for research inquiries.