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Abu Dhabi to Invest Dh 330 Billion in Capital Project as GDP Increases By 3.9% in Qatar and Exports Up by 9% in Dubai

Middle East : 18 January 2013

Dh 330 Billion Marked for Capital Investments in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s government has committed to investing Dh 330bn in capital projects over a five year period, creating 5,000 employment positions for Emiratis across several economic sectors. These plans align with the President’s vision to promote development and progress in Abu Dhabi and maintain the strong economic status of the UAE.

Some of the finances allocated for this year will result in 5,000 new employment opportunities for Emiratis. Qualifying nationals have been offered advanced training and some have gone abroad in order to gain technical expertise and global experience.

Projects involving social development remained a top priority for the Council. The established timetables for social development were recognized and reiterated, and past and current projects in this area were credited for the progress in other sectors.

Work on several hospitals is underway and ongoing, including the Al Mafraq New Hospital Project and the Cleveland Clinic. Work in seven other clinics has been completed and two others are at the initial stages, around 15 percent completed.

Education is another sector set to benefit from investment and development. Fifteen government schools are scheduled for inauguration in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi this coming year, with room for 15,675 students. Discussions about the Abu Dhabi Future School Program also occurred with the Council.

Approximately 24 percent of the project’s work has been completed and school building infrastructure work is progressing. The New York University is scheduled for inauguration in 2014 and is currently at 57 percent completion.
Housing and infrastructure are included in the planned investments, as well as Dh 3bn in housing loans for Abu Dhabi citizens.

Third Quarter GDP Up By 3.9 Percent in Qatar

The GDP of Qatar increased by about 3.9 percent in Q3, driven by improvements in the manufacturing sector and other sectors in the non-hydrocarbon industry.

The oil sector experienced a slight decline, dropping around 0.8 percent from Q3 2011 levels due to declines in LNG exports and maintenance, according to a report from the nation’s stats authorities.

Real GDP in the opening nine-month period of 2012 was 5.8 percent higher than the same period in 2011. Nominal growth came in at 13.5 percent.

Gains in the manufacturing sector reached almost 13.6 percent in Q3, resulting from higher levels of petrochemical production and greater production of GTL products, fertilizers and aluminum.

Declines in hydrocarbon resulted from the maintenance shutdown of several LNG trains.

The quarter-on-quarter figures for communications and transportation showed around 9.4 percent growth. The same level of growth occurred in construction, with 8.1 percent increases in the restaurant and hotel sector, as well as in trade.

Domestic services increased by 8 percent, electricity and water were up by 6.3 percent and real estate, finance and insurance increased by 4.7 percent. Import duties rose by 9.2 percent, according to the report.

In terms of current pricing, manufacturing rose by almost 19.9 percent and hydrocarbons fell by 0.9 percent. Government services experienced 28 percent growth, domestic services rose by 22.3 percent and construction increased by 15.4 percent in current prices. Social services, communications and transportation all rose by 13.4 percent each.

Robust oil prices and a sharp increase in LNG sales drove the Qatari economy to new highs in terms of growth. As gas exports stabilized, the growth projections for 2012 are expected to slow down dramatically.

Down from double digit figures in the last few years, the GDP of Qatar is expected to grow by about 5 percent last year, according to the Saudi American Bank. GDP growth for 2010 was at 16.3 percent and 2011 figures came in at 13.5 percent.

Qatar nabbed top spot as the world’s wealthiest nation for 2011. Several mega projects came to completion in 2010, opening up the massive reservoir in the North Field and pushing Qatar to the forefront as the highest LNG exporter. Estimated figures for the unassociated gas in the North Field come in at 25TR cubic metres.

Liquefied natural gas income remains at the same level as oil income in Qatar. With access to the third largest gas resources on the globe, Qatar produces about 77Mn tonnes of LNG per year.

Export Up by 9 Percent in Dubai

The total value of exports and re-exports handled by members of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry hit Dh 268 billion last year, according to the Dubai Chamber’s Director General Hamad Bu Amim.

Based on figures in the annual report, exports and re-exports rose by 9 percent over the 2011 total of Dh 246 billion. Bu Amim called 2012 a “very successful year” and noted that logistics, trade, financial services and tourism play important roles as economic growth drivers.

Three additional chamber offices will open in 2013, with locations in India, China and Saudi Arabia. Bu Amim stated that plans for offices in Ethiopia and Kurdistan will follow this year’s openings, with several other markets under consideration.

The Chamber hopes to improve the level of competitiveness for Dubai firms operating abroad, as well as working to enhance the emirate’s business environment. The Chamber continues to concentrate on gaining a better global profile and establishing a larger role in global commerce and trade through various associations in the world of trade.

Membership in the Dubai Chamber went up in 2012, with more than 140,000 members currently. New membership for 2011 was 10,634, while 12,733 new members joined the Chamber last year. This increase is indicative of the favourable climate for businesses in Dubai, and shows how attractive the emirate is to both national and international companies. The Dubai Chamber’s membership increase also shows a high level of confidence for foreign investors.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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