Construction projects in Abu Dhabi

From cultural hubs like Saadiyat Island to social services we round up Abu Dhabi's full project roster
Big capital: infrastructure work underway near Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi
By CW staff
Sat 04 Feb 2012 07:27 PM

In a meeting on 23 January, the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi approved a range of projects and developments in the Emirate, ranging from cultural projects like the Saadiyat Island museums to social services, housing, health and education. “This is in keeping with the government’s priorities of providing a dignified life and adequate housing for all citizens,” the Executive Council stated.

The meeting was chaired by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. It was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice Chairman of the Executive Council.

Investment in housing and community facilities: Construction, renovation and infrastructure projects will be implemented in Liwa, Ghayathi, Al Hayer, Al-Shuaib, Bida Al Mutawaa, Mazyed, Um Ghafa, Nema, Al Salamat Umm Alashtan and Alybanh. Additional infrastructure projects will be implemented for a number of other residential districts in the north of Al Wathba, Al Falah, Mohamed bin Zayed and Emirati neighborhoods in metropolitan and other areas.

The North Wathba project is one of the largest residential projects to have been approved to date. It covers an area of 4,178ha. Upon completion, it will provide 13,150 new residential plots. The Abu Dhabi government will, during the course of 2012, provide a total of 7,608 residential villas for its citizens. This is in line with long-term planning targets for providing appropriate levels of accommodation for all Abu Dhabi citizens.

Budget approved for Khalifa Port infrastructure: The budget for infrastructure works for Khalifa Port and the development of Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD) was approved. These investments reflect the growing importance of Khalifa Port to Abu Dhabi’s economy. The first operations are expected to commence on 1 September 2012.

Investment in major civil infrastructure projects: The Executive Council also approved projects to develop new terminal facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The new terminal building has an area of 700,000m2 and will be able to handle 27million passengers a year. It is planned to be open in the fourth quarter of 2016.

There will be two new major road projects. The first is the Al Mafrag-Ghuwaifat Road, which connects Abu Dhabi with its neighbours, and is considered one of the most important road-development projects in the Emirate. The project includes the development and expansion of the current road by 246km, and the building of 15 new overhead interchanges.

This will enhance traffic flow, ensure the security and safety of road users and keep pace with economic growth. It should have a significant impact on the growth of the Abu Dhabi transport sector. The second major project is the extension of the existing Emirates Road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Provision has also been made for the design of a metro and tram system to help reduce traffic congestion in the city of Abu Dhabi.

The Executive Council also approved construction and maintenance of drainage systems in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region. These investments are aligned with the long-term strategy of the government to support infrastructure projects, and upgrade the level of services provided to its residents, investors and visitors. This has taken into account projected population growth, rates of urbanisation and growth in tourism.

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Increase in quality healthcare facilities: Fourteen new healthcare facilities and a world-class rehabilitation centre will be built. This continues the process of upgrading the level of healthcare to serve the community, and delivering better and more uniform health services to all areas of Abu Dhabi. One of the new facilities is the Abu Dhabi Cleveland Clinic, which will provide world-class services in the specialist areas of cardiac, digestive, gastrointestinal, neurological and ophthalmological medicine. It will also provide job opportunities for citizens to work in one of the best global centres as doctors, nurses and specialists, thereby giving them the opportunity to obtain a high degree of professional experience.

Supporting economic expansion: Provision has been made for two new industrial zones in the Western Region. The Al Rowais Industrial Zone will cover an area of 14km2, and will focus on the chemical, petrochemical, plastic manufacturing, oil and gas, cement, building and logistics industries. The Madinat Zayed industrial zone will focus on the oil and gas, food manufacturing and logistics industries. It will cover an area of 2.5km2. Both of these industrial zones will provide employment for the people of that region.

The development of an Auto City, which will be located adjacent to ICAD (Industrial City Abu Dhabi), has also approved. This project will act as a cluster development for all auto-related businesses. It is intended to serve the future growth needs of the automobile sector in Abu Dhabi. The project will attract investment in automobile manufacturing and spare-part logistics for facilities across the region. It is also anticipated that this will provide employment opportunities for UAE nationals.

Investment in renewable energy: A number of projects that support the UAE’s global role as an energy provider have been approved. The Shams solar power plant is scheduled to be operational by August 2012, and will contribute 100MW to the Abu Dhabi power grid. Approval has also been given for the construction of the Sir Baniyas wind farm. Both of these projects will help to support the government’s vision of having 7% of its energy needs supplied by renewable energy.

Maintaining safety and security: The Executive Council has approved a number of projects by the Abu Dhabi Police to provide high-end security and training infrastructure facilities to ensure that the existing high standards of safety and security are maintained and enhanced.

Investment in education infrastructure: The Executive Council approved projects proposed by Abu Dhabi Education Council for the establishment of 24 new schools, and the refurbishment of ten existing schools. Accommodation projects for teachers have also been provided for to ensure that quality staff will be prepared to work in remote areas. These investments are in line with the government’s stated plans to provide an international standard education system for all of its citizens.

Social development projects: The establishment of six special needs rehabilitation centres across the Emirate’s various regions was approved. These include autism centres in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

Developing national human capital: The Executive Council approved the training and development of nationals for professional roles at the Strata project, a composite aero structures manufacturing facility, in line with plans to have UAE nationals representing 50% of the workforce by 2015. Budgets for training and development in ITEC have also been approved to achieve similar goals in the semiconductor industry.

Museums in the cultural district on Saadiyat Island: Budgets and opening dates were approved for the museum projects in the cultural district on Sadiyat Island. These include the Zayed National Museum (opening date of 2016), Louvre Abu Dhabi (opening date of 2015) and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (opening date of 2017). The cultural district will rank Abu Dhabi as a world-class tourist destination. Two additional projects were approved for the redesigning and building of a new Al Ain National Museum and the design and development of the cultural Hilli site. These two projects will significantly contribute to the historical material and cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi, raising awareness of Abu Dhabi’s deep ancestral history, and adding value to Unesco’s international heritage collection.

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