Capital to see US$100bn investment

The Abu Dhabi government has confirmed that the emirate will invest over US$100 billion into economic diversification, over the next four to five years. In addition, the UAE capital will also become home to at least 100 new hotels over the same period.

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By  Andrew White Published  May 14, 2006

The Abu Dhabi government has confirmed that the emirate will invest over US$100 billion into economic diversification, over the next four to five years. In addition, the UAE capital will also become home to at least 100 new hotels over the same period. “Over the next four to five years, Abu Dhabi will be investing over US$100 billion in several large scale projects,” Sheikh Hamad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy and Planning, announced at the Italy-Abu Dhabi Investment and Business Forum. “These include a new airport to handle up to 20 million passengers a year, a new world-scale port in Taweelah, the building of new communities at Reem island, Lulu island, Saadiyat island and Raha Beach,” he confirmed. The island developments will have commercial and recreational facilities, hotels and tourist attractions, and apartment and office buildings, in addition to civil infrastructure, he added. “Moreover, in the next five years, Abu Dhabi is envisioned to make major investments in its energy and industrial sectors,” continued Sheikh Al Nahyan. “These include increasing crude production from 2.5 million barrels per day to 3.5 million, the development of refineries, gas processing plants, petrochemical complexes and large-scale heavy industries.” He emphasized that Abu Dhabi was seeking to develop new manufacturing, tourism, logistics and service industries in joint ventures with leading global companies. “We have recently concluded an agreement to avoid double taxation as well as pacts for the protection of investment and air transportation, which has laid down the foundation for the growth in trade and investment,” he told the delegation of around 140 Italian businessmen. Trade between the two countries surpassed 2.5 billion euros in 2004, and is growing at a rate of 6% per annum. “Our strategic intent is to build in partnership with the private sector, a new economy that is open, diversified, innovative, export-oriented, and capital and knowledge-intensive,” he continued. “We are actively working on developing an investor-friendly environment by changing investment legislation and streamlining licensing processes.” The Italian delegation was representing a cross-section of industries including energy, engineering, pharmaceutical, building materials, infrastructure, logistics, iron and steel, automotive, heavy engineering and aerospace and furniture. Key officials from 10 Italian banks and trade bodies were also part of the visiting European deputation. “We hope that an increasing number of Italian entrepreneurs will become our partners in our endeavour to transform Abu Dhabi into a new major economic power in the region,” said Sheikh Al Nahyan. Meanwhile, Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of Aldar Properties, said: “About 100 new hotels over the next 10 years will be built in Abu Dhabi at the rate of 10 a year. We are building the infrastructure.”

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