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UAE Economic Growth to be Fuelled by New Technologies


UAE : 20 November 2011

Four Percent Growth in Abu Dhabi Expected in 2011

Abu Dhabi is tracking to reach four percent growth in GDP this year, with inflation averaging at less than three percent, according to Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi DED Mohammad Omar Abdullah.

Abdullah spoke about the GDP growth at a conference, adding that economic crises in Europe could marginally impact the rising GDP of Abu Dhabi.

The economic growth reported in Abu Dhabi throughout 2010 indicates that the emirate has moved beyond any repercussions of the worldwide economic downturn. Abdullah noted that the GDP has increased by 16 percent, at today’s prices, reaching Dh 620bn.

Abdullah stated that positive rates of growth were recorded in various economic activities, with mining and quarrying rising by 29 percent as a result of increasing oil production and rising oil prices.

Non-oil sectors also reported growth of about 5.5 percent on average. The financial sector experienced the highest rate at 14.5 percent with manufacturing reporting around 11 percent growth and business and real estate services coming in at 6.5 percent growth.

Abdullah reported that oil made up 49.7 percent of the emirate’s GDP in 2010. He also stated that these figures confirmed Abu Dhabi’s progression towards a diversified economy and an expanded base, as outlined in the Economic Vision 2030.

The undersecretary noted that the UAE has risen to the top, known for stability and recognized as a safe investment , as well as playing an important role in regional financing and business.

Abu Dhabi is especially attractive to both global and local investors as a result of its strategic location, well-developed infrastructure and provisions in the industrial centers and free zones. Lower taxes in Abu Dhabi and simple access to energy and credit also present advantages to investors.

New Technologies Driving Construction Sector in the UAE

The construction sector in the UAE will be driven by new technologies, according to The Big 5 ┬áreport entitled “New Technologies Utilized in the GCC Market.”

The report revealed that significant growth is occurring in construction throughout the GCC, despite the global economic downturn. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are spending the highest amounts over the coming months.

Ventures released the latest data, projecting that building construction spend will reach $184bn from this year until 2015.

The Big 5 is set to take place next week (from Nov 21 to Nov 24) in Dubai at the International Conference and Exhibition Centre. It is the largest event covering the Middle East construction industries.

New technological developments around the region are highlighted in the report, along with how those technologies will impact the industry.

Most of the growth within the building sector in Abu Dhabi is a result of the Vision 2030 which focuses on growth in the building industry stretching across a variety of sectors. Growth will continue in the UAE as new technologies are used in various industries.

As stated in the report, Dubai’s Mirdif City Centre used Enthalpy control technology within air handling units to conserve electricity costs. The demand for HVAC systems has grown from the 2010 figure of $1,494mn to $1,599mn in 2012, according to the report.

The UAE leads the way in the adoption of green building designs and technologies, according to the report. The Luminos tile, developed by RAK Ceramics, is designed to save energy by storing light in the daylight and glow after dark.

The efficient and environmentally friendly vacuum sewage system used at the Palm Jumeirah site is another example of new technology. Water conservation is achieved with dual flush toilets in projects like the Burj Khalifa Tower.

Event director Andy White noted that the report reveals the strengths of the GCC’s construction industry. The Big 5 commissioned the report to present case studies, real life success stories and current information about the GCC market.

White stated that the UAE, host nation for the Big 5, has been identified as a leader in the region providing confidence to the exhibitors and investors. The report will be distributed free of charge at the Big 5 event, a global platform for the construction industry.

Economic Growth in the UAE Driven By 4G Services

Global telecommunications device provider Ericsson predicts that the new 4G services currently being introduced in the UAE will create massive regional economic growth.

The firm released a paper stating that a 100-percent increase in broadband speed normally produces 0.3 percent economic growth. That translates to $690 million in GDP growth throughout the UAE (or Dh 2.5bn). Estimates are based on the World Bank’s recorded GDP for the UAE of $230.2bn.

Ericsson provides over 1,000 networks across 180 nations and conducted this recent study with the support of Arthur D. Little consultants and the Chalmers University of Technology.

MENA Regional President Anders Lindblad stated that increased broadband services in the United Arab Emirates will produce greater productivity for both business and personal users that depend on international internet connections.

Quicker connections will allow for greater efficiencies and an increased workload as a result of higher mobile penetration, according to Lindblad. Estimates state that for every UAE resident there are two mobile phones.

Lindblad stated that greater mobile penetration affects the region’s GDP based on the idea that time is money.

Lindblad projected that 50 billion devices in the region will be connected by 2050.

Etisalat has a 4G network running, although the speedy services will initially be offered to laptop users through USB dongles. This is expected to occur in December. Online users will be able to access 4G surfing services at speeds of up to 100Mbps, according to Etisalat.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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