Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi government will invest Dh330 billion to help fund capital projects during the next five years and create 5,000 new job opportunities this year for Emiratis in various sectors in order to upgrade public performance.
General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, said the plans and projects underway were designed to translate into reality the vision of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This vision aims to foster Abu Dhabi’s progress and development as it should be and strengthen the UAE’s status as an economic and social example to be emulated by other world countries, Shaikh Mohammad said in remarks made during the Executive Council meeting he chaired at the Crown Prince Court. The meeting discussed the latest developments of plans and projects in various sectors and the aspired-for objectives tailored to enhance the progress of development in the emirate.
“The noblest objective we work towards have is to ensure every citizen’s welfare and stability. As such, most of our efforts are geared to allow our sons to enjoy the benefits of development and help them contribute, through their creative potentials, to the overall development of the country,” he said.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi will inject huge financial allocations to help fund capital projects from 2013 to 2017, with a total of Dh330 billion distributed to various sectors. The council stressed that these projects should be in compliance with the standards which guaranteed the achievement of the objectives stated in the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision. The projects will encourage economic development in the emirate and offer necessary services to its citizens.
The private sector will be an essential partner with the public sector in carrying out many of these projects, and this will have a positive impact on the economic situation in the emirate by revitalizing work in all sectors.
Based on this, and with the aim of improving services to investors and businessmen, the council discussed the status of work in the Abu Dhabi Business Center which is planned to be inaugurated in the first quarter of this year. The center, an affiliate of the Department of Economic Development, will provide services to businessmen and investors as well as various government institutions.
The allocations, intended for the emirate's economy, are in line with the Abu Dhabi government policy to diversify its economic resources and reduce dependence on oil and gas industry revenues. Therefore, the government has launched several initiatives aimed to improve the investment environment by offering incentives and facilities to investors.
To that end, the emirate has developed a number of specialized economic zones covering different industrial and trade fields. These offer various exemptions to investors, as well as advanced infrastructure in terms of transport and communication networks, making the emirate a springboard to other countries in the region.
Part of the financial allocation of the projects has been used to create 5,000 new job opportunities in 2013 for Emiratis in various sectors in a way that will upgrade public performance. The Abu Dhabi government has been offering advanced training courses to qualified UAE nationals and many are being sent abroad to acquire international experience and technical skills.
Reviewing government sector performance
During the meeting, the Council members discussed the performance of various government sectors during the past year. The extent to which the stated objectives in the 2012 general budget have been realized were checked, as well as how much progress was made in major projects within the set timeframe.
Social development projects were given priority in the Council's deliberations due to their direct impact on public life. The Council members underlined the necessity to move forward with the social development projects in accordance with the timetables already stated because these projects are closely associated with progress being made to projects in other sectors.
As such, the council discussed the main indicators in the health sector and reviewed progress in the Al Mafraq New Hospital Project where 33% of the work has already been completed. The hospital, which accommodates 739 beds, is expected to offer quality services especially in emergency cases. It includes a full-fledged center to treat first degree burns.
As for the Cleveland Clinic, 60 per cent of work in the project has been completed. The hospital will have 364 beds and can be expanded to 490 beds. Regarding the health clinics and centers in Abu Dhabi and the Eastern Region (Al Ain), 90 per cent of the work in seven clinics has been completed. Work in two other clinics is still at the initial stages, having reached only 15 per cent.
The Council members also reviewed work in government schools planned to be opened in the 2013/2014 school year. Fifteen schools will be inaugurated in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. They can accommodate 15675 students.
The Abu Dhabi Future School Programme was also discussed. It includes building 34 schools and 10 buildings for kindergartens; 24.3 per cent of work in the project has already been completed. Infrastructure work in the school buildings is progressing in accordance with the specified timeframe. Another major project is the New York University, where 57 per cent of the project has been completed. The university will be inaugurated in 2014.
In terms of housing projects, the council looked into the status of work in the Wattani project, where progress has reached advanced stages. The project, which includes 703 villas, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year. It is located in Khalifa City (A) near the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Another major project is Al Ghareba in Al Ain. The first stage of this project, which includes 600 villas expanding over 154,7 hectares, is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year. The Sila’a housing project is also expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year. It will provide 448 villas on a plot of 130 hectares in the Western Region.
The Strategic Tunnel project in Abu Dhabi is of special economic importance as one of the vital infrastructure projects. All stages of work in the project were discussed. Digging work between work shaft number 8 and 9 of the tunnel in Al Wathba area has been completed, and this means that the 5th breakthrough of the tunnel has been accomplished.
The tunnel is 41 kilometers long with 43 kilometers of sub-tunnels and a pump station of 30 cum/second capacity. As for the Al Mafraq-Al Ghwaifat road project, the first stage (80 kilometers) of the project has been completed together with five intersections. Tenders have been forwarded to consultants and contractors for the remaining three stages of the 328 kilometers long road which is divided into four stages.
Housing loans for citizens approved
During the meeting, the Executive Council endorsed a new payment of housing loans totaling Dh3 billion that will be distributed to 1500 people from the three areas of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Names of beneficiaries will be decided at a later stage.
The Council's decision to offer these loans emanates from the keenness of the President of the State His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to ensure honorable, dignified and stable life for citizens and their families. It also is in line with the policy adopted by Abu Dhabi Emirate decades ago that makes citizens' affairs a top priority for the government agenda, thereby securing their social and economic stability.
The new payment of loans meets citizens' housing demands in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region, there will be 834 beneficiaries from Abu Dhabi, 618 from Al Ain and 48 from the Western Region. Over the past three years 6,416 housing loans valued at Dh13 billion have been distributed to citizens from Abu Dhabi emirate.
Housing projects in Al Ain and Western Region
The Council approved the establishment of housing projects providing 786 housing units and plots of land in Mezyed, Umm Ghafah and Ne'mah in Al Ain as well as in Bida Al Mutawa in the Western Region. Under the Council's decision, Abu Dhabi General Services “Musanada” has been assigned to appoint a contractor to carry out the housing project in Mezyed and Umm Ghafah in the Eastern Region (Al Ain). The project includes 110 villas, 71 in Mezyed and 39 in Umm Ghafah, of 480 sq m each. The project will be established on a total area of about 230,000 square meters.
Musanada was also assigned to appoint a contractor to carry out the housing project in Bida Al Mutawa. The project, to be established on 323,000 square meters, includes 60 housing units, of 455 square meters each, a mosque and other infrastructure facilities such as water, electricity and sewerage networks.
Musanada will also appoint a contractor and a consultant to carry out the second stage of infrastructure works in Ne'meh housing project, located 25 km away from Al Ain city center. The project includes the construction of roads, water, electricity and sewerage networks for 616 plots of land. It is noteworthy that the number of housing units and villas in nine housing projects being implemented amounts to more than 12,500.
Fodder subsidy and supply programme
The Council decided to launch a project to establish organized manor complexes aimed to offer support to animal breeders who do not benefit from the government fodder subsidy programme. Such central manors will help prevent environmental damage and at the same time provide all the necessary infrastructure facilities such as veterinary services, quarantine centers and markets for animal products. They will also contribute to food and environment security by providing support to animal breeders, improving animal husbandry products and augmenting trade activities in this sector.
Meanwhile, the Council has directed Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority to coordinate with government and semi-government authorities to open new channels that encourage marketing animal husbandry products in the local market to support local breeders and increase local productivity.
Government contact centre in Al Ain
In terms of the government excellence sector, the council has assigned The Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre to appoint a service provider for the Government Contact Centre (800555) in Al Ain provided that the service provider concludes contracts with emirate nationals to train them and employ them in the center.
By establishing full Emiritization at the Centre, the council aims to provide new job opportunities for UAE nationals and qualify them to serve as a link between the government and its customers. It also aims to promote partnership between the public and the private sector and benefit from the private sector's experience and encouraging emiritization in it.
Updating sewerage system in Abu Dhabi
The Council also approved the first stage of the plan to update the sewerage system network in Abu Dhabi in order to increase its capacity and meet the demands of newly established urban areas and the accelerated population increase. The project will serve several areas such as Al Nahdhah Al Jadeedeh, Al Wathbah, Bani Yas, Khalifa City (B), Al Falah, Al Heeleyeh, Al Mua'zzaz, Al Shawamekh and Al Mafraq.
The primary objective of this project is to cover a wide area in Abu Dhabi and collect waste water from the existing 12 waste water pumping stations and take it to a single pumping station that is being constructed. This project designed to shift the flow of waste water to the strategic tunnel which is one of the longest sliding sewerage tunnels worldwide.