25% of Dubai’s buildings will be 3D printed by 2030: Mohammed

'Future will depend on 3D printing technologies in all aspects of our life, starting from houses we live in, the streets we use, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear and the food we eat'

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’, a unique global initiative that aims to exploit technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by the year 2030.

His Highness was accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE will continue its quest to achieve global leadership in the adoption of future innovations to launch initiatives that benefit the entire human community.

"Our vision for development is driven by a deep understanding of the future needs, and built on proactive ideas because we want to be in first place globally. Our methodology for development is based on the launch of initiatives that can be applied anywhere in the world and creating a global model for not only our economy but also for the global economy," His Highness said, before continuing, "The future does not wait for those who hesitate and slow down. The next stage requires us to act fast and utilise the opportunities. A few days ago, we launched the Dubai Future Agenda and we have started to implement it through a number of initiatives and strategies which add value to humanity and our national economy."

The launch of the strategy was attended by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Hamid Mohamed Al Qatami, Chairman and Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, DHA, Hussein Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, and Ahmad bin Byat, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Dubai Holding.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed went on to say, "The UAE is presenting to the world today the first integrated and comprehensive strategy to exploit 3D technology to serve humanity. We have also framed practical plans and precise goals to turn the strategy into reality, the reality that will contribute to the progress and prosperity of the world and help preserve our human heritage."

"The future will depend on 3D printing technologies in all aspects of our life, starting from houses we live in, the streets we use, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear and the food we eat," His Highness said, adding, "This technology will create added economic value and benefits worth billions of dollars during the coming period. We should have a share in this growing global market. This technology will restructure economies and labour markets as the use of unskilled labour will come down compared to the current situation, especially in the construction sector. It will also redefine productivity because the time needed for 3D printing of buildings and products will be 10% of the time taken in traditional techniques."

His Highness explained, "Our key goal is to ensure that 25 per cent of buildings in Dubai are based on 3D printing technology by 2030, and we will raise this percentage with the development of global technology as well as growth of market demand. We believe that this technology is capable of transforming the construction sector by lowering costs and reducing the time it takes to implement projects.

“It will also help reduce manpower requirements as well as waste generated from construction which can be harmful to the environment. We will also focus on utilizing this technology in other vital sectors such as medicine and consumer products to offer goods and services at competitive prices."

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, "Through the 3D Printing Strategy, we aim to make Dubai a global hub for the development of this technology and a base for research and development in this area. We aim to provide the best opportunities for innovation and optimal application of this technology worldwide. Our goal is raise the level of services provided to the people and harness 3D printing for the benefit of the entire community."

His Highness called on all government agencies, private sector companies, universities and research centres to work as a team to establish a universal model in the UAE that will serve as a platform for innovators in this futuristic technology from all over the world.

There are three key sectors and five pillars of the strategy.

The three major sectors are Construction, Medical Products, and Consumer Products.

The construction and building sector will focus on 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 the 3D printing technology based construction sector in Dubai is expected to be about Dh3 billion by 2025. The use of 3D printing in Dubai’s construction sector will increase by 2% starting 2019 and more in the coming years, depending on the development of the technology and its future reliability.

In the medical products sector, the focus will be on developing 3D printed teeth, bones, artificial organs and medical and surgical devices and hearing aids. The value of 3D printed medical products in Dubai is expected to be reach Dh1.7 billion by 2025.

The consumer products sector will focus on household items, optics, fashion jewellery, children's games and fast food. The volume of consumer products printed by 3D technology in Dubai is expected to be about Dh2.8 billion by 2025.

The strategy has five main pillars: Infrastructure, Legislative Structure, Funding, Talent and Market Demand.