United Arab Emirates

Country: United Arab Emirates

Document type: National Hydrogen Strategy

Released: November 2023

Summary Points:

In November 2021, the governments of the UAE and Germany discussed ways of establishing a framework for launching new action plans in the energy sector as part of the completion of the “Declaration of Intent” of the joint cooperation signed by both countries in 2017. Among the new actions includes the formation of an action team specialised in hydrogen and artificial fuel to support plans to increase clean energy production.

In September 2022, it was reported the (UAE) Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) signed an agreement with Australia’s GHD in partnership with the German-based Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to develop a National Hydrogen Strategy.

The National Hydrogen Strategy was released in November 2023 at the second Emirates Energy Forum by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

The UAE has an ambition to be a leading global producer of hydrogen by 2031.

By 2031, the UAE targets a production capacity of 1.4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of low-carbon hydrogen to be produced via various production processes.

The strategy notes that under the right market conditions, sectoral demand in the UAE could reach 2.1 mtpa by 2031, with an additional export potential of 0.6 mtpa.

Looking beyond 2031, the strategy notes a potential hydrogen production pathway along the following lines:

  • By 2040, 7.5 mtpa of low carbon hydrogen production capacity – comprising 5 mtpa UAE sectoral demand and 2.5 mtpa export forecast (low export forecast)
  • By 2050, 15 mtpa of low carbon hydrogen production capacity – comprising 10 mtpa UAE sectoral demand and almost 5 mtpa export forecast (low export forecast)

The main UAE sectoral uses include for shipping, aviation, aluminium, transport and fertilisers and chemicals.

Hydrogen production capacity is split roughly equally between renewables-based hydrogen and hydrogen produced from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage technologies. Some small amount of production capacity is from electrolysis but with the required electricity coming from nuclear energy.

Low carbon hydrogen ‘oases’ and clean energy precincts are considered an important element in the establishment of a hydrogen value chain in the UAE. Ruwais and the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) are existing industrial clusters with storage capacity identified as possible suitable areas for hydrogen ‘oases’.


Updated: November 2023