UAE Government, Now ‘Paperless,’ Promises that 25 Percent of New Dubai Construction Will Be 3D-Printed by 2030

UAE 3d printed office building plan

A UAE plan for a 3D-printed office building.

Business Review Middle East recently reported that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates – a tiny, oil-rich country in the Middle East – has announced an ambitious goal to 3D-print 25 percent of new construction in Dubai city by 2030. The plans are part of the Dubai Future Agenda program.

As some readers may recall, last year in May, bin Rashid Al Maktoum also reported that the UAE government had begun operating virtually paper-free, with 96.3 percent of government transactions using “smart functionality” and applications that avoid the use of paper. That figure is across 41 separate federal entities, ministries, and departments. Two year ago in 2013, bin Rashid Al Maktoum had challenged every government department across the UAE to become paperless, directing government personnel to implement new strategies and use new technologies to make government paper-less.

As for the 3D-printed construction initiative, the prime minister announced that the UAE government’s goal is that 25 percent of buildings in Dubai (the most populous city in the UAE) are based on 3D-printing technology by 2030, and that it will raise this percentage “with the development of global technology as well as growth of market demand.”

bin Rashid Al Maktoum explained that the benefits of 3D printing for construction include lower costs and reduced construction time. The government says it’s also focusing on using 3D printing in other areas such as such as medicine and consumer products, with the end result being lower prices.

The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy aims to make Dubai “a global capital for the technology.”

The construction and building sector will focus on using 3D printing in “lighting products, bases and foundations, construction joints, facilities, and parks, buildings for humanitarian causes and mobile homes, in addition to galleries, stores, and residential villas.”

The value of 3D-printing construction in Dubai is expected to be about AED (Arab Emirates Dirham) 3 billion by 2025 (approximately $817 million U.S.). The use of 3D printing in Dubai’s construction sector is slated to increase by 2 percent starting in 2019, and further in coming years depending on the development of 3D-printing technology and its future reliability.

Within the medical-products sector, the UAE’s focus will be on developing 3D-printed teeth, bones, artificial organs, and medical and surgical devices, as well as hearing aids. The value of 3D printed medical products in Dubai is expected to reach AED 1.7 billion by 2025.

The consumer-products sector will focus on household items, optics, fashion jewelry, children’s games, and fast food. The volume of consumer products printed by 3D-printed technology in Dubai is expected to be about AED 2.8 billion by 2025.

More Resources

May 2015: United Arab Emirates Claims it’s First Government to Go Paperless

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