By Courtney Trenwith
DEWA to spend $5.4bn on expansion plans by 2020, while Dubai Municipality outlines boundaries for new projects
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will spend AED20bn ($5.4bn) on three major expansion projects to cope with demand for services during the World Expo in 2020.
The government corporation said the largest portion of the spending would be on a clean coal plant worth AED13bn with a capacity of 1200 mega watts.
Dewa CEO and managing director Saeed Al Tayer said while Dubai had large reserves of electricity and water, the expansion plan aimed to promote sustainable development.
The projects would increase Dewa’s power generation capacity by 20 percent.
About 25 million visitors are expected to visit Dubai during the six-month Expo, to be held near Jebel Ali.
Small and medium-sized businesses in Dubai could earn up to AED90bn from the international event, Dubai Economic Department chief economist Mohamed Lahouel told the SME World Summit in Dubai on Wednesday.
“Dubai is targeting a 5 percent growth rate for the next 5 years with macro stability,” Lahouel said.
“Dubai expects a 10 percent growth in visitor numbers every year till 2020, which will meet the 20 million visitor target even if there was no Expo.
“I see a AED90bn opportunity for Dubai’s SMEs with the amount of construction, infrastructure and sales that will be generated.”
The Dubai Municipality planning department this week estimated the emirate’s population would grow from 2.3m to 2.8m by 2020.
Head of planning Najeeb Mohammad Saleh said a committee had recommended that development within Dubai should not exceed Emirates Road to ensure sufficient infrastructure to cope with the influx of people.
“To know which direction the city would grow in, we adopted the scenario of a compact city, which has already been adopted and approved,” Saleh told Gulf News.
“So, all the upcoming projects, whether by the government or by property developers, will be within the city and should not exceed beyond Emirates Road.”
Plans announced since the economic crisis already have revealed Dubai’s changed development priority, from inland projects such as Dubailand, to infill, such as the Mohammed Bin Rashid City (MBRC) project announced last year, as well as areas in the south, particularly around the new Dubai World Central (DWC) and Jebel Ali.
"One of the interesting things about the MBRC is that a lot of planning are things that were originally going to be in Dubailand - further into the desert - [and] are now being pushed into MBRC, back towards the centre of Dubai,” Jones Lang LaSalle CEO Middle East and Africa Alan Robertson said in February.
"So it's a deliberate policy to move the development back in for infill."