UAE’s rapid growth fuelled by Expo 2020 and new gas finds - GulfToday

UAE’s rapid growth fuelled by Expo 2020 and new gas finds

Expo 2020 Dubai

With the launch of Expo 2020 Dubai in October, the UAE economy is expected to make significant strides in all sectors.

As 2020 unfolds, the positive dynamic in January and February is auguring well for the UAE, with new gas finds and a series of mega developmental projects, announced over the past few months, giving multiple shots in the arm for the country’s economy, according to international economists.

Several indicators, supported by specialist international reports, show the UAE economy approaching significant milestones in various sectors and platforms, most notably the energy sector, where two gas finds have recently been announced in Dubai and Sharjah. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Adnoc, also declared plans to increase its oil production to four million bpd by the end of 2020. The first unit of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant is also expected to be launched this year, producing electricity that will supply 25 per cent of the country’s needs.

With the launch of Expo 2020 Dubai in October, the UAE economy is expected to make significant strides in all sectors, with the long-term financial proceeds of the World’s Greatest Show projected to amount to Dhs122.6 billion, according to an independent study published by Ernst and Young.

The beginning of 2020 saw the UAE announced the discovery of a new natural gas field in Jebel Ali with an estimated reserve capacity of 80 trillion cubic feet of gas - a significant indicator of the future success of the national economy. The field in Jebel Ali will ensure gas self-sufficiency and long-term energy security to support the country’s future major development projects.

The Sharjah National Oil Corporation, SNOC, announced the discovery of a new natural gas and condensate field in the emirate, called ‘Mahani,’ which has a flow rate of up to 50 million standard cubic feet per day.

In Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Adnoc, announced the award of two contracts for the construction of offshore facilities for the Dalma Gas Development Project located about 190 kilometres northwest of Abu Dhabi city and valued at Dhs6.06 billion or $1.65 billion. The two engineering, procurement and construction contracts are expected to be completed in 2022, enabling the Dalma Gas Development project to produce around 340 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of natural gas.

These announcements followed Adnoc’s announcement during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020 in January that the country’s crude oil production capacity will increase to four million barrels per day by the end of 2020.

In addition, the significant yields of the construction, tourism and banking sectors attest to the resilience of the country’s economy.

By the end of 2019, the UAE approved the largest ever zero-deficit federal budget of Dhs61.354 billion, one-third of which is allocated to social development, another third to government affairs, while the rest of the budget is allotted to infrastructure, economic resources and living benefits.

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR, announced the issuance of the operations licence for the first unit of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, which will produce electricity covering 25 per cent of the country’s needs, and will prevent emissions amounting to some 21 million tonnes annually. With regards to real estate projects, six residential compounds across the UAE will be delivered to Emiratis during 2020 under the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme at a cost of over Dhs2 billion, including 1,726 villas in Dubai, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah.

The programme features a package of housing projects, including 11,000 individuals housing units, along with 2,936 houses as part of four housing neighbourhoods under construction, which will be delivered in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

In February 2020, the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Residential City was launched in Fujairah, costing some Dhs1.9 billion.

The city, which includes 1,100 villas, is a milestone in Fujairah’s housing sector, benefitting some 7,000 citizens. The city also includes 20 parks of various sizes and plots of land for public services, such as schools, mosques and commercial stores, as well as a community and cultural centre.

On 12th February, the country announced the completion of the general plan for the Jabal Al Dhanna Housing Project in Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi, at a total cost of some AED2.7 billion.

The master plan includes over 1,449 apartments, two schools, eight mosques, a community centre, a medical clinic, and more than 700 detached villas and townhouse villas, which will upon completion accommodate about 12,000 people.

In Dubai, the ongoing construction of Dubai Creek Tower is expected to be completed before the launch of Expo 2020 Dubai in October 2020. A staggering 928 metres tall, the tower is set to break the world record held by the Burj Khalifa.

At a cost of $1 billion, the new cable-tied tower is planned as the centrepiece to a major new district based on the banks of Dubai’s creek close to the wildlife sanctuary at Ras Al Khor, serving as a tourist landmark reflective of the emirate’s impressive urban development, cultural diversity and wellbeing of the UAE’s people.


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