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From Oil to EVs: The UAE and Saudi Arabia Embrace Green Mobility

Many countries find that encouraging the adoption of EVs (often referred to as “green vehicles”) is an uphill battle. This is particularly apparent in the UAE and Saudi Arabia which are both making significant investments in electric vehicles (EVs) as part of their efforts to reduce their reliance on oil and transition to a greener economy.

Insights in an article based on research by Manara Global show that, although in its early stages, the EV market in the UAE is expanding rapidly. Significantly, the younger generation is driving this change with the proportion of green vehicle owners in the 16-34 age bracket being 30% higher in Dubai than the national average. However, in order for EVs to dominate the wider market,  growth must expand beyond this small group of young, typically tech-savvy and affluent consumers.

That is why the UAE government, which hosts COP28 this month, has implemented a number of policies to encourage EV adoption, including subsidies for EV purchases and tax exemptions. The country has also invested heavily in developing EV charging infrastructure with an aim to increase the share of EVs on the roads to 50% of total vehicles by 2050.

Saudi Arabia is also investing heavily in EV manufacturing, with the aim of becoming a major global hub for EV production. The country has even launched its own EV brand, “Ceer Motors”, and beyond Ceer is also collaborating with global automakers like Hyundai to develop increased local EV production capacity.

Overall, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are both well-positioned to become leaders in the global EV market. The UAE has a strong track record of innovation and technology adoption, while Saudi Arabia has the resources and the ambition to become a major EV manufacturing hub. These initiatives are also part of a wider push to prepare for a lower carbon future centred on renewable energy, carbon-neutral transport, and advanced manufacturing.

In the words of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, the country’s leaders are not just building EV factories; they’re “igniting a new industry and an ecosystem” poised for innovation and a sustainable future.

Can intellectual property help accelerate the race to net zero? Visit our Energy Transition hub to find out.

As the UAE gears up for COP28 this month, it’s positioning itself as a world leader in a post-oil era. With policies like the National Electric Vehicle Policy and the Net Zero by 2050 initiative, the country is swiftly transitioning to EVs, signalling its commitment to a carbon-neutral future.


climate change, transport, yes