Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi
Abu Dhabi’s project spend ‘to top $100bn’
Abu Dhabi, December 10, 2013
Abu Dhabi’s project spending could balloon to over $100 billion in the next seven years, said the organisers of a major investment summit that opened in the UAE capital yesterday (December 9).
The eighth Abu Dhabi Conference 2013, set to conclude today at Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa, highlighted the key sectors that will receive the bulk of investments until 2020.
According to business analysis firm Meed, construction projects remain the most active with $30 billion worth of projects to be awarded in the next seven years, followed by the oil & gas sector with a project pipeline valued at $25 billion.
Transport and chemical-related projects will also see a surge in investments with a total of $20 billion contracts to be awarded during the same period. The industrial as well as power & water sectors will likewise be busy with contracts valued at $6 billion and $5 billion to be awarded until 2020.
Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy delivered the opening address this morning, and said that the UAE economy is growing strongly and will benefit from new government measures designed to promote the private sector and foreign investment.
“The UAE economy is on solid ground. It has been attracting visitors and investors looking for a safe haven in the Middle East. Growth was 4.4 per cent in 2012, its fastest pace since 2006. In view of improved activities, we expect UAE GDP to have expanded by 4.5 per cent this year,” he said.
“The return to growth is the latest chapter in what has been a roller coaster ride for the index over the past seven years,” said Richard Thompson, editor, Meed.
“The index remained relatively flat until about 12 months ago, when it began to move upwards as stalled projects were revived and new schemes launched, which has seen it grow more than 30 per cent to its current level of $3.19 trillion. The major driver of this growth has been the UAE, with Abu Dhabi contributing a significant chunk of investments.”
By 2014, the IMF has forecasted real GDP growth for the UAE of 3.6 per cent (up from 3.1 per cent last year) owing to the government’s continued push to boost the economy led by a spate of new infrastructure investments.
“Abu Dhabi has targeted knowledge-intensive sectors, such as aviation, petrochemicals, renewable energy and health care. The developments across these strategic sectors are aimed to make the capital an attractive proposition for domestic and international investors,” said Abraham Akkawi, Mena Infrastructure Advisory Services Leader, Ernst & Young.
Today’s highlights included a special VIP Plenary Session will provide a snapshot of project opportunities, achievements and challenges faced in delivering Abu Dhabi’s economic vision 2030 across key sectors. – TradeArabia News Service