According to the World Bank, the market for producing hydrogen was valued at $130 billion in 2021 and is expected to increase by up to 9.2% annually through 2030.
Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, who serves as the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, shared that the plan for hydrogen is a “long-term plan to transform the UAE into a leading and dependable producer and provider of low-carbon hydrogen by 2031.” He also said that this hydrogen program is part of the new national energy policy for the UAE, approved by the cabinet in July. Al Mazrouei highlighted that the hydrogen plan, which will be a vital tool, will aid the UAE’s effort to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Sharif Al Olama, an undersecretary in the ministry, also said that the plan had “tangible steps” to build two hydrogen hubs and look into three more, which could create tens of thousands of jobs.
Hydrogen’s Rise in the GCC: Research Unveils Promising Hydrogen Plan
In January, Frost & Sullivan, a business consulting company, released a research report. This report indicates that hydrogen will be key to decarbonizing the GCC’s economy across many end-use industries.
According to the study, GCC countries, especially the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, are working on national plans to support the region’s hydrogen industry and position themselves as possible hydrogen exporters.
The previous year, Stuart Bolton, staff at the Middle Eastern office of Watson Farley & Williams, shared that the UAE would try to adopt a similar role in the field of hydrogen to that of its role in the oil and gas industry. Bolton thought that the UAE would have an effect on the hydrogen industry by using its good location, developed energy infrastructure, and well-established trading markets.
Bolton shared that the Emirati government regards hydrogen less as a key part of its plan to switch to green energy in the region, which will be mostly driven by solar energy, and more as their way to diversify their economy. Ultimately, the UAE wants to play an essential role in exporting hydrogen to those countries that need energy but don’t have the means to produce it.
Similar to the efforts in UAE, Saudi Arabia is also making its own efforts. The world’s largest green hydrogen production facility, which is underway in KSA with an estimated $8.5 billion investment, will be able to produce hydrogen that is CO2-neutral because of water electrolysis.
Neom Green Hydrogen Company, a partnership between Acwa Power, Air Products, and Neom, is developing the Neom Green Hydrogen Project. In 2026, the facility will begin manufacturing green hydrogen using only renewable energy.
The UAE’s hydrogen plan demonstrates a long-term, economically diverse roadmap, using its assets and regional position to contribute to a greener future in pursuing sustainable progress.
GCC members have several competitive advantages that may be useful to them in the global green hydrogen economy, including their export networks, financial influence, and solar and wind resources.