Abu Dhabi's west to be next development hotspot
Abu Dhabi, March 30, 2013
Abu Dhabi’s Western Region is poised to become the UAE’s next development hotspot, with economic output expected to reach more than Dh500 billion ($136 billion) in 2030, according to the Al Gharbia Investment Roadmap.
The projected rise in the region’s GDP, up from just Dh243 billion in 2010, will largely be driven by an estimated Dh240 billion worth of projects invested in key economic sectors such oil & gas (Dh120 billion), power generation (Dh62 billion), infrastructure and transportation (Dh54 billion) and tourism (Dh4 billion).
In the next five years, Al Gharbia will witness the completion of the initial stages of a number of multi-billion dollar projects, such as the Madinat Zayed residential developments, a complex that will feature over 100 apartments, retail shops, a health club, a mosque and offices and the expansion of Ruwais refinery owned by Takreer.
On completion in the first quarter of 2014, the refinery will produce a total of 832,000 barrels per day of oil (bpd).
Another significant development is the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc)-funded Etihad Rail, which will cover a network of up to 1,200 km connecting the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.
The Adnoc project is expected to be complete its initial phase this year, and will connect the village of Shah (in Liwa oasis) to Ruwais.
These projects and other planned developments will be discussed comprehensively at the inaugural Al Gharbia Development Forum, to be held in Abu Dhabi on May 27.
“Working together with our partners MEED Events, I am delighted to invite you to attend the Al Gharbia Development Forum that will highlight the region’s investment and development potential," said Mohamed Hamad bin Azzan Al Mazrouei, the director general, Western Region Development Council.
"Our focus for this forum is to work together with our key strategic partners - the Western Region Municipality (WRM), the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (AD DED) and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) among others - to achieve our goal of laying the foundations for sustainable economic growth across Al Gharbia for the benefit of all. To achieve this, we also need the support of the private sector,” stated Al Mazrouei.
“The forum will highlight the specific projects and opportunities where investors and businesses can play an early and practical role. It will pinpoint exactly where to invest and how this can be profitably done,” he added.
As a strategic guide for all the development initiatives in the Western Region, a comprehensive plan has been formulated and encapsulated in the visionary framework called Al Gharbia 2030.
“The Western Region of Abu Dhabi has abundant natural resources and much untapped potential. The Al Gharbia vision calls for this to be develop and harnessed to the extraordinary developments taking place in other parts of the emirate. Particular attention will be paid at the conference to agriculture and food-processing industries; tourism and leisure; infrastructure and basic services," said Edmund O’Sullivan, the Meed chairman.
"These and other topics will be comprehensively and authoritatively explored by an expert panel of high level government speakers and other experts drawn from the private sector in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the world outside," he added.
To date, Al Gharbia’s regional economy has been dominated by the oil and gas industries, with construction and manufacturing also driven by the energy sector. Although it is acknowledged that this will remain the case, the government hopes that other industries will play a larger part in the economy in the future.-TradeArabia News Service