Feras Dahlan Image Credit: Francois Nel /Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE government wants to attract $100 billion (Dh367 billion) worth of investment in alternative and sustainable energy projects by 2020.

Feras Dahlan, CEO of Dar Al Tawasol and First Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Investment Map Conference (IMC), told Gulf News yesterday that eco-projects including bio-fuel production and alternative energy are already underway in the emirates.

He added that the UAE government wanted to boost investment in clean energy technology over the next five years. A seven-year investment development plan is also in place.

Dahlan said that the IMC will open four offices in the UK, Italy, Spain and South Korea to attend to investors and developers and let them know about the UAE, its regulations, laws and investment opportunities.

"We will work hard to attract investors from China, South Korea, the UK, Italy, Spain, the US, Argentina, Brazil, Russia and other countries which would be interested in launching projects in the country," said Dahlan.

Ecological balance

"With this expansion in the world, the IMC seeks to achieve ecological balance and sustainable development, to strengthen the UAE's position regionally, to encourage national economic reforms, to gain international exposure, to raise GDP and to promote employment development."

IMC Director Ramon Vidal said that the UAE is a conducive place for investment due to its free zones and political stability.

"The IMC aims to reduce the dependence on oil by diversifying revenue streams and investing in other sectors such as sustainable development and alternative energy projects, tourism, heavy industries, infrastructure, metals, construction and water," said Vidal.

He told Gulf News that there are no guarantees that projects will be shared equally across the seven emirates.

"Each emirate will inform the IMC about its projects and its plans in order to help the IMC promote for them for foreign investors. Yet there is no guarantee that they will be equally distributed among the seven emirates as each emirate has its own plans and ventures," said Vidal.

He added that the IMC will be facing two major challenges while promoting investment opportunities.

"There are seven emirates, which means different emirates and different strategies. This will make it hard for us to convince investors that we are working together under one umbrella. The second challenge will be to prepare the information that will be posted on the website in order to help investors to have easy access to them to answer their queries about investment in the UAE," Vidal said.

In November, the UAE Investment Map will be officially launched during the UAE's Investment Map conference, alongside a specialised exhibition to introduce government services to key international investors.