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UAE to Invest $1.6 Billion in Northern Emirates

UAE : 03 March 2011

Northern Emirates that are currently developed to a lesser degree will receive $1.6 billion in investment from the United Arab Emirates to improve the infrastructure, according to recent media reports.

President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, decided to expand the electricity and water networks in those areas after he witnessed the living conditions while recently touring the third largest exporter of oil in the world. This was reported by state media firm Wam.

Wam noted that the supply of electricity will be brought into the shops and buildings of northern Emirati citizens based on the president’s orders.

Revolutions and protests against oppressive leaderships and difficult economic conditions have been raging over the Arab region in the last few months, with the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt being ousted.

The United Arab Emirates is the largest economy in the Arab world, next to Saudi Arabia, and has not experienced any of the political unrest thus far. The population is on the smaller side and is also enjoying one the highest economic output (per capita) in the world, currently more than $47,000.

Khaled Abdulla al-Qubaisi is a senior advisor at Mubadala,  the investment firm for the Abu Dhabi government. Al-Qubasisi commented that although there is a widespread climate of unrest in Arabic nations, the UAE has dealt with the uncomfortable issues more than twenty-five years ago.

The citizens of the UAE and Abu Dhabi are being provided the basic necessities, as well as employment, health and a decent quality of life. Al-Qubaisi recently said at a Dubai conference that Mubadala did not see these problems to be an issue.

Any unrest is more likely to originate in one of the five northern emirates. The citizens of those areas have seen less benefit from the capital generated in Abu Dhabi due to oil and trade, as well as less of the opportunities from property development in Dubai.

There have been some protests seen in Ras Al-Khaimah, a northern area, ¬†that were rapidly squelched by the security forces of Abu Dhabi. This emirate is located on the Strait of Hormuz, a body of water that sees the passage of 40 percent of the globe’s seaborne oil.

In order to meet the expected demand instructions have been given to the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority to supply about 1,300 megawatts of power to the Federal Electric and Water Authority.

There have also been plans for the building of a 62 mile/100km water pipeline with a price tag of $245 million (Dh 900 million). This line would stretch from the northern locales of Kalba to Dibba and is in addition to the 60km pipeline set for the emirate of Umm Al-Quwain. That line will cost Dh 300 million.

Also, a collection of UAE supermarkets are working together with the ministry of the economy to slash food prices, as well as the costs of other essential commodities, by a possible 40 percent for a period of one month, according to the comments of an official.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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