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Editor's Desk

Pratap Padode Dubai: In the making

Transformation has been constant in Dubai. And, a new dimension in this makeover has been the official opening of the Dh 2.7 billion Dubai Water Canal. Opening new possibilities in marine transportation, the canal connects the areas of Deira and Bur Dubai through the extended waterway of Dubai Creek, Business Bay and Dubai Water Canal.

As per the BNC database, close to 400 projects valued at US$ 64 billion were announced in the emirate in the last few years across the three sectors of hospitality, infrastructure and retail. One hundred and sixty projects with values greater than US$ 100 million and a consolidated value of approximately US$ 45.7 billion were announced for these sectors. This apart, a BNC report points out to the top 10 high value projects that are in various stages of construction, and which on completion, will give a lift to the Dubai construction market. These include (with estimated values):

  • US$ 8.1 billion Dubai Wholesale City
  • US$ 8.1 billion Desert Rose Smart City
  • US$ 2.9 billion Dubai Metro Red Line Extension
  • US$ 2.7 billion Mamzar Beachfront Development
  • US$ 2.7 billion Dubai Metro (LRT)-Phase 4 (Purple Line)
  • US$ 2.1 billion Sobha Hartland Development
  • US$ 2.1 billion Central Business District
  • US$ 2 billion expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport Expansion-Phase 2
  • US$ 1.6 billion container Terminal 4-Jebel Ali Port Expansion
  • US$ 1.5 billion Dubai Eiffel Tower-Falcon City of Wonders

With this, it is evident that the Dubai construction market is growing strong; it acts as a catalyst for economic growth and diversity, and plays an instrumental role in achieving the goals outlined in the Dubai Plan 2021.

Moreover, adding to the list of new plans and strategies for the city is the 2030 Dubai Industrial Strategy. Recently approved by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, the strategy will oversee 75 initiatives in an effort to generate an extra $44 billion for the emirate´s economy. It is reportedly based on five objectives - increasing the output of the manufacturing sector; improving innovation; making Dubai a preferred manufacturing platform for international firms; promoting energy-efficient manufacturing; and making the city a hub for the global Islamic products market. In addition, the strategy has also outlined six sectors, which include aerospace, maritime, aluminium and fabricated metals, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, food and beverages and machinery and equipment. With 27,000 jobs to be created by 2030, this definitely seems to be a step towards developing national talent as well as bringing Dubai at par to compete globally in the industrial sector.

If we look at the larger picture, the UAE´s economy is also positioned among the best performing economies in the Gulf region.

As per a United Arab Economic Outlook by Focus Economics, the country´s more diversified economic base compared to that of neighboring Gulf countries has made the emirates more resilient to the ongoing regional slowdown triggered by the crude slump. Moreover, it is known that the government is working on a new mining law aimed at attracting more investment to the industry.

And, all these developments will certainly impact Dubai, and of course, positively. In the long term, between October 2020 and April 2021, Dubai is set to host the next world expo, which will bring together 180 nations offering the UAE much more in terms of nation branding and financial gains.

While that´s in the long run, mid-term outlook also appears positive for the UAE construction segment with expos such as The Big 5. The 2016 edition is set to be bigger with more exhibition space, exhibitors and products, and that is what certainly made it the focus of this edition of CW too.

It´s certain: Dubai is in the making and there is no stopping!

Pratap Padode