Category Archives: Commerce

4 UAE Projects You Need to Know About

4 UAE Projects You Need to Know About

This past year was a positive one for the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) construction sector, particularly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where mega projects like Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi and Dubai Frame were completed on schedule. In addition, several other contracts have been awarded for prominent development projects in both the commercial and residential real estate sectors.

The strength of the UAE’s construction sector was on display during the 2018 Construction Week Awards in Dubai, where the UAE-based ALEC and ASGC earned the Contractor of the Year and Highly Commended Contractor of the Year Awards, respectively. As such, it should be no surprise that the country continues to approve and move ahead with large-scale projects at an impressive rate. Below are four important ongoing construction and infrastructure developments in the UAE:

Construction of Dubai Expo 2020

Dubai will host Expo 2020 from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, during which time more than 200 nations, corporations, educational institutions, and multilateral organizations will collaborate on initiatives to achieve a more promising future. Located near the Al Maktoum International Airport in the Dubai South district, the site covers more than 430 hectares and is expected to include 2,100 residential units for participants, as well as a retail mall and food and beverage outlets. Construction began shortly after Dubai was selected as the host site in 2013 and, according to the real estate and development team in charge of building the facility, it will be completed well in advance of the event’s opening.

While the site is being designed and constructed for the purpose of Expo 2020, most of its structures and facilities will be of use to the city after the event. As much as 80 percent of the structures built will remain intact as part of plans for the integrated District 2020 community, which is expected to open in late 2021. The new neighborhood has already received interest from Expo partners like Siemens and Accenture, both of which plan to establish headquarters there. It will also be the site of the Dubai Exhibition Centre. Once the Expo is over, District 2020 will be linked to the rest of Dubai via four major highways and the planned Metro extension.

Alghadeer Residential Neighborhood Project

In conjunction with the development of the District 2020 site, the UAE has plans for a nearby residential megaproject called Alghadeer which, once completed, will include more than 14,000 homes, entertainment attractions, commercial properties, and cultural and institutional amenities. The project is expected to cost USD $2.72 billion. This past November, Aldar Properties, which is overseeing the project, agreed to a $91 million contract with Al Rakha Contracting & General Transport to build more than 700 apartment complexes, villas, and townhouses.

Promoted as a site for those who value sustainability and environmentally-friendly living, Alghadeer will include a multi-use agricultural space as well as an outlet called The Field, where people can rent plots of land to grow their own produce. The development will also include a retail space for freshly-grown produce and a facility in which residents can sign up for agriculture-based training and workshops. Other amenities include a network of gardens and parks lit by solar-powered lights, running and cycle tracks, and camping sites.

“From its location at the center of the UAE, Alghadeer offers residents a peaceful community with sustainable living initiatives within close proximity to both Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” noted Aldar CEO Talal Al Dhiyebi in an article in Trade Arabia.

Abu Dhabi Airport’s Energy Harvesting Walkway

Abu Dhabi International Airport is doing its part to promote energy-efficiency as it recently became the first commercial airport in the Middle East to install an interactive walkway that converts footsteps into off-grid data and electricity. The energy-harvesting walkway was constructed by Masdar and connects two of the airport’s terminals.

Given that Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of the busiest in the Middle East, more than 8,000 travelers per day will pass through the walkway, and their footsteps will provide enough electrical energy to help power lighting along the path and track footfall data. There will also be accompanying screens to track how much energy is harvested, as well as a special game interface designed to educate children. “Through this collaboration, Abu Dhabi Airports aims to further its commitment to sustainable practices, educating travelers and residents alike about different sources of off-grid energy and data,” explained Abu Dhabi Airports acting chief operations officer Ahmed Al Shamisi to Construction Week.

Reem Mall in Abu Dhabi

Another major tourism infrastructure project expected to be completed by 2020 is the Reem Mall, which is being constructed in the Najmat District of Abu Dhabi’s Reem Island. The retail megaproject is expected to cost a total of $1.2 billion and will occupy 2.9 million square feet, two-thirds of which will be available for lease. Once finished, the mall will include 450 retail and dining locations, as well as offices and entertainment facilities. There will also be four department stores, a chocolate museum, and the world’s largest indoor snow play park, where visitors can go sledding and try the luge.

Everything You Need to Know about UAE’s Hyperloop

Everything You Need to Know about UAE’s Hyperloop

Transportation options in the Middle East have been increasing in recent years, and there are plans for further expansion in multiple countries. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in particular, is investing heavily in its transportation infrastructure. By 2021, the Gulf Cooperation Council Railway project is expected to link the country to Saudi Arabia, Oman, and… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Entertainment City

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Entertainment City

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative was established by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs under the guidance of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As part of this initiative, Saudi Arabia is working toward diversifying its economy and creating a vibrant society with a wealth of cultural and entertainment options. Earlier in 2018, the… Continue Reading

4 Infrastructure Developments in Saudi Arabia You Should Know About

4 Infrastructure Developments in Saudi Arabia You Should Know About

Despite being the second-largest oil producer in the world behind the United States, Saudi Arabia is working to reduce its economic reliance on the oil and gas sector. So while oil revenue increased by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from the same period a year prior, non-oil revenue climbed a whopping 63… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about the Reconstruction of Yemen

What You Need to Know about the Reconstruction of Yemen

Yemen’s infrastructure has never been in an enviable state, but its essential services and buildings have been particularly ravaged since civil war broke out in 2014. Access to water diminished after explosions in early 2016 severely damaged a water desalination plant near Al-Mokha and a failed drilling technique made water even more scarce and expensive.… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Bahrain’s Booming Tourism Sector

What You Need to Know about Bahrain’s Booming Tourism Sector

Bahrain has high aspirations in regard to its tourism sector and is spending billions of dollars in tourism infrastructure to meet its goals. By 2020, the Middle East country anticipates the sector contributing more than $1 billion to its GDP. By that time, it will also have spent more than $13 billion on related projects.… Continue Reading

Everything You Need to Know about Kuwait’s Infrastructure Spending

Everything You Need to Know about Kuwait’s Infrastructure Spending

Home to more than 6 percent of the world’s crude oil reserves, Kuwait has built a relatively strong economy based upon oil production and distribution, with petroleum accounting for more than 90 percent of the nation’s export revenues. However, realizing the need to diversify its economy, Kuwait’s leaders are now heavily investing in civic- and… Continue Reading

Investigating and Evaluating Emerging Market Opportunities

Investigating and Evaluating Emerging Market Opportunities

On June 20, 2018, MSCI, a leading global equity indices provider, upgraded Saudi Arabia to emerging market status. The investment bank UBS says this decision could attract up to $45 billion in capital to Saudi Arabia. Of this inflow, passive investors would contribute $10 billion and active ones would account for $35 billion. Another $5 billion… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Doing Business in Oman: Strengths and Opportunities

What You Need to Know about Doing Business in Oman: Strengths and Opportunities

The city of Duqm may offer a sneak peek into the future of economic opportunities in Oman. At one time a somewhat sleepy fishing town, Duqm aims to become the preeminent economic zone of not only Oman, but the entire Arabian Peninsula. Per Santander Financial, the Duqm Special Economic Zone alone attracted over $11 billion… Continue Reading