ABU DHABI, 30th November, 2016 (WAM) — On the occasion of the 45th National Day celebrations of the United Arab Emirates, the Emirates News Agency, WAM, has issued a series of reports regarding the achievements of the state over the past year. In part nine, we look at the UAE’s infrastructural improvements.
Infrastructure is one of the main pillars in the UAE’s development achievements. It is a cornerstone in promoting the country’s stature worldwide. Infrastructure in the UAE is extremely well developed to ensure accelerated growth and help in spearheading the UAE Vision 2021.
Far-reaching urban planning initiatives such as Abu Dhabi’s Emirate-wide Vision 2030, and the Dubai Urban Development Master Plan 2020 are instrumental in achieving the UAE’s goal.
Abu Dhabi continues to develop the infrastructure required for a sophisticated capital city and many new projects in Dubai are driven by its hosting of the World Expo in 2020. AED30 billion will be spent on infrastructure at the Expo site and in the city, ultimately benefitting generations to come.
The UAE has the most advanced and developed infrastructure in the region. From roads to airports to telecommunications, the UAE is home to world class facilities that have supported economic growth and enabled the development of business.
The year 2016 was a great example of how the country is managing to make these goals a reality, witnessing the unveiling of many major development projects.
In May 2016, it was announced that the UAE jumped into the top 5 of the Nabarro Infrastructure Index, which rates 25 countries across the world in terms of investment attractiveness. The latest index followed the Infrastructure Index 2012, when the UAE was ranked in 12th place.
The new index rated the UAE as a more attractive investment location than European powerhouses France and Germany. Only the UK, Canada, US and Australia are more highly rated.
In March 2016, it was announced that the UAE’s 2021 national agenda aims to achieve a sustainable environment for quality of air, protection of water resources, increase clean energy and implement green development.
It aims to establish the UAE as the first country globally in terms of quality of infrastructure of airports, seaports, and roads. The agenda will seek to improve the quality of electricity consumption and telecommunications to make the UAE amongst the best countries in the e-service sector.
In November 2016, Abu Dhabi General Services Company, Musanada, announced that Abu Dhabi-Dubai Highway is 98 percent complete and is set to open soon.
The road is one of the strategic projects that will contribute to achieving the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Plan towards enhancing the quality of infrastructure and strengthening economic development.
The highway is an extension of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road (E311), and it will connect Seih Shuaib area at the Abu Dhabi border and Dubai with the Sweihan interchange. As a strategic artery, it can absorb additional traffic during peak hours. The new road also provides access to Abu Dhabi city and its international airport, and also to Yas and Saadiyat islands.
The Dubai Canal Project is an extension of Deira Creek, linking Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf. This environmentally friendly lifestyle development is comprised of three distinct zones: The Water Network, The Green Network and The Public Realm.
In October 2016, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, opened the 12 kilometre waterway that has been built at a cost of AED3.7 billion.
In June 2016, Abu Dhabi Airports announced the completion of the final ‘de-propping’ of the last arch in the roof of the new Midfield Terminal Building, while the Abu Dhabi General Services Company, Musanada, announced that it had completed 40 percent of the AED677 million upgraded road network and interchange at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
In July 2016, it was announced that work on the world’s highest and largest observation wheel has reached a ‘significant milestone’. Once completed, “Ain Dubai” will emerge as an engineering masterpiece and a spectacular attraction. Ain Dubai is set to become the main attraction on Bluewaters Island, which will also feature entertainment, retail, residential and hospitality offerings.
The first 3D-printed office building of its kind in the world prepared for actual use has taken into account the integration of a unique building design and 3D-printing technology to offer key services within the building.
The office space covers up to 250 square metres, while the exterior design reflects the most innovative forms of future work place. The design has been conceived to achieve a shift from the traditional form of work environments and provide greater opportunities to stimulate innovation and communication between work place teams.
In June 2016, it was announced that the contract for the Route 2020 project has been awarded by the Roads and Transport Authority to a consortium of French, Spanish and Turkish firms at a cost of AED10.6 billion.
Official operation of the service will begin on May 20th, 2020, five months before the official opening of the Expo. As part of the project, 50 trains will be purchased with 15 for the Expo service and 35 to upgrade the metro system.
The site of Expo 2020 Dubai will be one of the fastest, smartest, and best connected places in the world during the global mega event, through its Premier Partnership with Etisalat Group.
Reem Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General Bureau Expo Dubai 2020, said, “Communications that took 6 weeks in 1851, when the first Expo took place, now take 6 microseconds. Ours is a hyper-connected age, and Etisalat plays a critical role in linking people and their technologies so that they can connect and share, innovate and create.”
In July 2016, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport at Abu Dhabi City Municipality announced that it started renovations of the Sheikha Fatima Park at a cost of AED94 million.
The project, which began in June 2016 and is slated for completion in July, 2018, is intended to meet the needs and aspirations of the community, nurture an upscale environment and provide modern services and an excellent family rendezvous, broadening the amount of green spaces, and diversifying parks and recreational facilities in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.
In April 2016, Dubai Municipality unveiled a number of new projects, including a new convention centre with 7,000-seat capacity, an industrial city, a network of sewage tunnels and a 100-hectare Safari Golf project. The projects seek to make Dubai a green and fully sustainable city by 2021.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launched the 2030 Dubai Industrial Strategy to elevate Dubai into a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovation-focused businesses.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed said, “The Dubai Industrial Strategy aims to leverage our advanced infrastructure and enabling environment to transform the UAE into a global platform for innovative industries and a destination of choice for international companies seeking an integrated and favourable environment for growth and sustainability.”
The Dubai Industrial Strategy will add an estimated AED165 billion and 27,000 jobs to the economy by 2030.
In July 2016, the Abu Dhabi’s Executive Committee of the Executive Council approved a number of projects for roads, infrastructure, services, and education facilities worth AED544 million.
In July 2016, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ENEC, announced the completion of another milestone in the development of the country’s first nuclear energy plant, with the successful installation of its Unit 3 Reactor Vessel (RV) at Barakah.
The installation is a critical step in the continued progress and delivery of the country’s third nuclear energy unit and follows the successful installation of the Barakah Unit 2 RV in 2015 and the Unit 1 RV in 2014. The reactor vessel is one of the most important features and largest components in a nuclear energy plant.
Announced in 2016 and set to be completed in 2017, the Nareel Island project spreads over two connected islands comprising 148 villa plots being built on the coast of the Al Bateen area in Abu Dhabi. The project also involves a lagoon, marina, clubhouse, open parks, private beaches, pontoons and gardens.
The Madinat Zayed – Al Marfa road project is one of many others included in the 2016-2021 strategic plan of the Department of Transport in the western region, aiming to develop world-class infrastructure and construct road and transport networks planned to serve the emirate’s economy and community.
The AED653 million project is part of efforts aimed to develop infrastructure projects to help enhance economic and social movement in the western region.
In November 2016, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, visited ongoing projects and work progress in Khor Fakkan, including new government premises, utility services and housing projects in the area.
The Emirate of Sharjah is implementing a number of development projects, including Al Jubail Marina Market, Sharjah International Airport, bridges and roads, exhibition and conference venues, and Sharjah Mosque projects.
In July, 2016, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Board of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, inspected work progress at the Ajman Residential Complex, part of Zayed Housing Programme’s keenness to provide high quality houses to Emiratis which comply with the latest standards, in addition to observing the traditions of the Emirati family.
Ras al-Khaimah is building its first camel underpass, on the fast and busy Al Shuhada road which connects the emirate with Fujariah.
Even though the number of vehicles hitting stray animals on roads fell dramatically between 2014 and last year, RAK’s Public Works and Services Department is building the underpass as a way of reducing casualties even more.
To contribute to sustainable development, the road linking the Sheikh Khalifa Road in Fujairah with the Khatam al-Melaha crossing on the border with Oman is set to be completed by year end. The cost of the first phase of the road is estimated at AED30 million and trucks will be diverted to the new two-way road to relieve traffic pressure on Kalba City.
The project is being carried out by the Ministry of Infrastructure to support the UAE Vision 2021 and the National Agenda as well as promote happiness for society in the UAE.