Global organizations continue to be drawn to the UAE as the nation holds its position as a financial and business hub for the region, according to experts the strong growth in tourism, banking, service industry and aviation.
The economic success story of the UAE has few parallels and ranked among the secure, stable economies offering one of the most sought-after investment destinations on the planet.
UAE Economic Growth in 2013
The UAE economy is expected to grow at a rate between 3.25 to 5 per cent in 2013, and much of that growth is a result of government projects tendered in 2013, and expected to invest AED300b in real estate market, according to experts interviewed by Gulf News.
The UAE economy has increased its focus on diversification by being the most competitive, diverse, investor friendly nation in the region and become the second largest Arab economy due to its prudent policies and diversified sources of income.
UAE High Quality Trade Reach Record Growth in 2012
UAE continues growth in non-oil private sector record high growth in December 2012 and that marks a positive start for the country’s economy for 2013, consequently, non-oil trade expected to grow further by 15% and is similarly expected to reach AED3.60 trillion, according to year-end results, Abdul Rahman Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade
“The total value of UAE’s non-oil foreign trade in the first half of 2012 touched Dh718.4 billion compared to Dh646.6 billion for the same period in 2011, recording an increase by Dh71.7 billion, up by 11.1 per cent,” he said.
This figure includes the value of trade in the UAE Free Zones which is expected to reach Dh440 billon, recording 20 per cent increase by the end of 2012.
“The growth policies of UAE opening new markets, approaching new trade partners as well as economic diversification have strong impact on the UAE foreign trade result,”
“Moreover, maintaining UAE trade interest’s abroad, increasing UAE trade competitiveness at regional and international markets, educating people about the trade regulatory environment that is consistent with the best international practices, as well as pursuing institutional excellence through achieving efficiency is our main interest to boost trade in the UAE.”
Build It and They Will Come (OR Iconic Expansions of UAE
The UAE’s construction sector is on track with iconic developments announced to change the face of the country.
The industry witnessed construction contract awards to the tune of $28.84 million in 2011, which is increased by $32.84 million in 2012 and expected to rise by $37.98 in 2013, according to Ventures Middle East.
- Mohammad Bin Rashid City: The biggest new announcement is a tourism and retail development on the outskirts of Dubai’s Downtown area, the largest shopping mall in the world, the costs of the project estimated to be around 10 billion dirhams. It will consist of four phases of development.
- Etihad Rail: A 1,200-kilometre railway being built to link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, as well as linking to the rest of the GCC, Etihad Rail’s network will enable the rapid transport of passengers and freight.
Estimated at Dh40 billion, the railway will connect the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east once complete in 2018.
- Taj Arabia: One of the most eye-catching and controversial project announcements in recent times is the $1-billion Taj Arabia complex, a replica of India’s TajMahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The project is part of the 3.7-million-square-metre Falcon city of Wonders, and is expected to be completed by late 2014.
- Abu Dhabi Capital District: Along with Khalifa City and the Corniche Beach Development, Abu Dhabi Capital District is a key initiative of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. The new city will become the symbolic and administrative centre for government, education and information-based institutions in the UAE. Consequently, its feature transport options such as trains and trams and shaded walkways to encourage pedestrians, thus reducing the impact of cars. It is to serve as a second downtown for Abu Dhabi, with the capacity to house 370,000 residents.
- The Heart of Sharjah: Work has begun on the Heart of Sharjah, a five-phase, 15-year historical preservation and restoration project that aims to revitalise the heritage area at the centre of the emirate. Managed by Shurooq, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, the project is on track to meet its 2015 deadline for completion of its first phase. It aims to reflect what Sharjah was like more than half a century ago.
Once complete in 2025, it will feature diverse commercial, cultural and residential projects, including a boutique hotel, restaurants, retail shops, art galleries, traditional and contemporary markets, archaeological sites, museums, play areas and offices.
- Saadiyat Island: Construction on the region’s biggest cultural development is expected to begin in January, when work on the first international branch of the Louvre Museum begins. Island in Abu Dhabi will house the world’s largest single concentration of premier cultural institutions, including the Zayed National Museum, to be completed by 2016, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, expected by 2017.
- Business Bay Canal: About one and a half billion dirhams are being spent on extending the Business Bay Canal from the Dubai Creek across the arterial ShaikhZayed Road and through a major park to the Arabian Gulf. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority is expected to begin work in the first quarter of 2013 and the project should be completed two years later, about 12.8 kilometers long.
- Real Madrid Resort Island: The Spanish football club earlier this year announced it is planning a $1-billion island resort off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah. The 430,000-square-metre facility will contain luxury hotels, villas and an amusement park and will feature a 10,000-seat football stadium open on one side to a view of the sea.
It is expected to be completed by January 2015.