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Al Gharbia taps into non-oil sectors for sustainable growth
2013-05-18 22:36:58
WAM Abu Dhabi, 18th May 2013 (WAM) - The Western Region Development Council (WRDC), the central coordinating body leading development and promoting opportunity in Al Gharbia, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, has defined a number of key non-oil sectors to drive economic growth and development in the region.

The step is in line with the Council's efforts in promoting economic diversification due to Al Gharbia's current reliance on the oil and gas sector that includes a number of oil related projects with the most prominent being UAE's peaceful civil nuclear energy program in Barakah. Today, the Council strives to support and help develop different sectors such as the tourism sector whereby, tourism is projected to account for 5.2% of Al Gharbia's gross domestic product, compared to only 1.3% in 2010.

It is worth mentioning that nuclear power reactors in Barakah are aimed at generating 25% of power needs from nuclear energy by 2020 for the Emirate. This is in addition to producing 7% of Al Gharbia's electricity needs from renewable sources (solar and wind) by 2020.

Residential projects are seen as a priority area for investment in Al Gharbia due to the noticeable rise in demand for residential units that has reached 15,000 units. Moreover, it is anticipated that the demand for commercial and retail spaces will also be on the rise and is estimated to reach 140,000 square meters. Meanwhile, the hospitality and leisure sector is considered to be a potential sector for investment as well, required to cater to the demand for 680 hotel rooms and serviced apartments.

"At WRDC we endeavour to provide guidance and support to potential investors, developers and visitors to the region that are interested in unveiling unique investment opportunities. The council also strives to support the oil and gas sector while working simultaneously on diversifying the economic activities in the region" said H.E. Mohamed Hamad Bin Azzan Al Mazrouei, Acting Undersecretary of the Ruler's Representative Court in the Western Region and Director General of the Western Region Development Council.

Al Gharbia's development has been plotted in a strategic framework that will be comprehensively discussed at the Al Gharbia Development Forum, which is being held under the distinguished patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, which is scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi on the 27th of May 2013.

A number of senior executives from across numerous government entities in Abu Dhabi will be participating at the conference led by Mohammed Omar Abdulla, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED); Falah Mohamed Al Ahbabi, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC);Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA); Dr. Saif Saleh Al Sayari, Executive Officer, Head of Energy Solutions Division, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA); Mr. Ali Al Hammadi, Deputy Managing Director, Tourism Development '&' Investment Company (TDIC); and Mr. Mohamed Ebrahim Al Hosani, Regional Development Director, Western Region Development Council (WRDC).

The forum will include open discussions on the opportunities available in Al Gharbia's transport sector in addition to the development of various projects set to take place within the next five years; as well as sessions on opportunities for diversifying the region's agricultural sector and other large scale projects.

"The investment and development opportunities offered by Al Gharbia are unprecedented and are critical to the future development of Abu Dhabi in particular and the UAE in general. The potential for growth is still largely untapped and those who want to get insider insights on where the opportunities lie should not miss this gathering," said Mr. Edmund O'Sullivan, Chairman, MEED Events, organizers of the forum in cooperation with WRDC.

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