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Wed 30 Jan 2008 01:03 PM

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RAK to splash $800mn on roads, sewerage

Investment follows announcement emirate's GDP surged 50% in past four years.

Ras Al Khaimah plans to invest $800 million into roads and infrastructure projects over the next five years after announcing a 50% surge in gross domestic product (GDP) over the last four years, a consultant on the project said on Tuesday.

David Yaw, regional managing director at Halcrow, said the development project would upgrade the road and sewerage networks to cater for a predicted population rise to around 600,000 by 2015.

"The road improvement programme would include the extension of the Emirates Road, creation of new roads, including those to rural areas and quarries, and expansion of the existing road network,” Yaw said, speaking at the Ras Al Khaimah Conference 2008.

The cost of the project, estimated to be between $545 million and $800 million, will be split between the federal Ras Al Khaimah governments, Yaw said.

In addition to the planned extension of Emirates Road, the project will also create new highways, widen existing roads and build flyovers to improving congested junctions and intersections, he added.

Yaw also said the government had allocated almost $100 million for a two-phase sewage infrastructure development and a further $16 million to construct a wastewater treatment plant.

The announcement of the infrastructure investment came shortly after the CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (Rakia) revealed the emirate's GDP had grown to 11.12 billion dirhams ($3 billion) from 2003 through 2006.

Khater Massaad projected a 15% annual growth rate over the next few years. “…we expect the growth momentum to carry forward in the years to come,” he said.

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