UAE: Mega bucks for mega projects

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The spectacular Louvre Museum,"Rain of Light" that is under pipeline at the Saadiyat Island Complex, Abudhabi. Image:
The spectacular Louvre Museum,”Rain of Light” that is under construction at the Saadiyat Island Complex, Abudhabi. Image courtesy: Saadiyat


The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has announced its plan to spend an estimated USD 90 billion over the next five years on social infrastructure projects.

The allocated funds would cover a variety of projects in the areas of education, roads, establishment of economic zones and other facilities for the development of country’s economy. This huge spending is expected to usher in a new era of prosperity and diversify the economic interests of the emirate.

A statement issued by the Executive Council says that “the allocations, intended for the emirate’s economy, are in line with the Abu Dhabi government policy to diversify its economic resources and reduce dependence on oil and gas industry revenues”. These projects are aimed at promoting trade and investment in the region by offering attractive facilities and incentives to the investors.

Under the proposed allocations, the emirate would be building a total of 12,500 housing units via nine major projects. Further, the education sector would also come under greater focus as 34 schools and 10 kindergartens will also be constructed to meet the growing needs of world-class educational facilities in the country. Investment in human capital is key to sustainable development in the emirate.

Some other prominent infrastructure projects include the Strategic Tunnel project and the 328-km Mafraq-Ghuweifat road connection. The government will also be establishing several specialized economic zones to encourage investment in different industrial and trade sectors. As an incentive, investors in these zones would be offered exemptions and transport and communication networks. It is expected that these initiatives would help to add more than 5,000 jobs for locals during 2013.

Abu Dhabi also plans to build recreational facilities in the emirate, such as the construction of its version of the Louvre museum. Besides the Guggenheim and the Zayed National Museum, the Louvre museum is being developed on Saadiyat Island by the government-sponsored Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC).

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