The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) launched its localisation programme (In-Country Value – ICV) in late 2017, which came into effect in 2018 (ICV 1.0). The first round of revisions came into force in November 2018 (ICV 2.0). The third version of the ICV formula (ICV 3.0) took effect in May 2020. In 2019 and 2020, various governmental and semi-governmental bodies followed the ICV programme. In September 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) took over the ICV programme, rolling it out as the “National ICV Programme”, followed by Etisalat, Emirates Steel and TAQA Group joining the programme. This article discusses the latest developments regarding the National ICV Programme.

1. What has happened so far?

ADNOC’s “In-Country Value” (ICV) programme was announced in November 2017 and implemented on 1 January 2018. Since 1 April 2018, all suppliers of goods or services to ADNOC and its subsidiaries (ADNOC) are required to calculate and declare their ICV score for the previous financial year to demonstrate their localisation efforts. ICV scores require certification by an approved certifying body annually and are submitted by suppliers to ADNOC with each bid proposal they make.

In April 2019, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) introduced its localisation programme (also referred to as Abu Dhabi Value (ADV) or Abu Dhabi Local Content (ADLC). ADV was soft-launched one year after ADNOC’s ICV programme and relied greatly on the ICV 1.0 formula and the same procurement decision making process as ICV.

Abu Dhabi Ports and Aldar Properties entered into framework agreements on 12 November 2019 with ADNOC, ultimately adapting the ICV programme for their procurement process.

To harmonise the localisation programme landscape in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on 25 February 2020, ADNOC and ADDED entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to implement the ICV programme with ADDED. ADDED, therefore, disregarded its localisation programme (ADV).

In September 2020, Mubadala and ENEC joined the ICV programme.

In September 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) announced that it would roll out the ICV programme as the National ICV programme. Subsequently, MoIAT entered into Memoranda of Understanding to implement the ICV programme with Etisalat, Emirates Steel and the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA).

2. Why did the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology take over the lead of the In-Country Value Programme? 

The rationale behind the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) taking over the ICV programme is to have a central federal authority responsible for the nationwide roll-out of the programme. The MoIAT is the competent ministry for the country’s industrial development and overviews the recently launched industry strategy. Under “Operation 300bn”, the MoIAT aims to raise the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by 2031.

3. Why was the ICV programme rebranded as National In-Country Value Programme?

The ICV programme was rebranded as the “National In-Country Value Programme” to highlight its significance in achieving national industry strategies, in particular, the “Operation 300bn”.

4. What are the expected effects of the national roll-out of the National In-Country Value Programme?

The MoIAT has communicated in its campaigns that joining the ICV programme would give bidders a greater chance of winning a government contract. How the respective governmental bodies, however, will implement the ICV programme in its procurement strategy will remain entirely up to them. The joiners will have full autonomy as to how to implement the ICV programme in their procurement strategy.

Interestingly, the ICV programme will be linked to other government initiatives like the “Make it in the Emirates” programme. Local manufacturers will be able to apply for export insurance through the Etihad Credit assurance. Other incentives, such as Abu Dhabi’s Electricity Tariff Incentive Programme (ETIP), are indirectly linked to the ICV programme by building on aspects of the ICV formula. Investors can, therefore, create synergies by utilising high local content scores in the ICV Programme in other incentives.

5. Conclusion

Suppliers engaging with

  • ADNOC;
  • ADDED;
  • Aldar;
  • Abu Dhabi Ports;
  • Etisalat;
  • Mubadala;
  • ENEC;
  • Emirates Steel; or
  • TAQA

should familiarise themselves with the requirements of ICV. The expansion of ICV into logistics (Abu Dhabi Ports), construction & real estate (Aldar), general investment (Mubadala), telecommunication (Etisalat), steel (Emirates Steel), energy (ENEC and TAQA) and general procurement (ADDED) highlights the broad expansion of the ICV programme in the United Arab Emirates.

By agreeing on a unified local content certification, the ICV programme had been strengthened as being the essential local content programme in the United Arab Emirates. The MoIAT, as a federal authority, now has the competence to rollout the programme throughout the country. While the old and new joiners are all located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, it is expected that the MoIAT will conclude further Memoranda of Understanding with other governmental and semi-governmental players in other emirates.

The ICV formula has remained unchanged since its third revision (ICV 3.0) in May 2020. It is expected that the ICV formula will be revised against the goals of “Operation 300bn”



Dr. Constantin Frank-Fahle, LL.M.
Founding Partner
T  +971 (0) 2 694 8585

Michael Hackenbruch
T  +971 (0) 2 694 8585

This publication does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice. | © emltc Ltd. 2021

Abu Dhabi | Addis Ababa | Dhaka | Dubai | Erbil | Kuwait | Lahore | Riyadh