Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Hazaa Bin Zayed Mega Project For Al Ain

Major details of the massive mixed use Hazaa Bin Zayed Stadium project in Al Ain have been announced today including a hotel, residential and commercial buildings, a sports center, and food and retail outlets. Once complete, the project will be the main attraction for hundreds of community, entertainment and business events.

The new development covers an area of 500,000 square meters which, in addition to the main stadium, includes a community with 700 residential units in a complex of apartments and green spaces, two office buildings of 20,000 square meters, and a chain of 50 restaurants and retail outlets plus a 172 room international hotel.

The project, which will be constructed in phases, will have a public courtyard for both visitors and residents, stylish promenades linked together by a network of pedestrian walkways and a family entertainment area synonymous with a healthy and modern lifestyle. The multi-use project is part of a vision of building a touristic, social and sports destination that includes Hazaa Bin Zayed Stadium and the area surrounding it, to foster ongoing growth and development in Al Ain and the UAE.

The Hazaa Bin Zayed Stadium, which will be launched mid-January 2014, is considered an architectural marvel and one of the most impressive and technologically advanced sports constructions in the UAE. It can accommodate 25,000 spectators and was built in only 17 months, measuring up to the best international standards.

The development is located in the strategic Tawya area of Al Ain, which is easily accessible for visitors coming from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and with close proximity from the city’s main roads. It is only 15 minutes from Al Ain Airport, and is situated near other main attractions in Al Ain which makes it one of the most sought after destinations by families in Al Ain and the UAE in general.

The Plaza area will stand as the main part of the project and the head point for all sports and social gatherings, with the Hazaa Bin Zayed Stadium in the background adding even more atmosphere to the open spaces and surrounded by a number of restaurants and retail outlets.

The project will also include a healthy lifestyle area with a number of sports zones and a dedicated pool and gymnasium considered to be the biggest of its kind in Abu Dhabi. The whole project has been planned to reflect the principles of health and well-being and encourage a more sporting life. The Plaza and the area surrounding the stadium are designed to help walking as no cars are allowed inside. The outer area of the project includes cycling, jogging and walking tracks.

The family entertainment area provides its visitors with a wide selection of entertainment facilities that suit different age groups and several sports activities to help residents and tourists enjoy their time in a healthy and stylish atmosphere throughout the year.

The restaurant and café area is located near the hotel, linked together with a pedestrian design that provides access to as many of the development’s destinations as possible and provides a location for a variety of high-end restaurants and coffee shops.

The new stadium will be officially opened in January 2014. The celebrations will include a 3 day family festival from January 16-18, plus other events for launching the stadium. The 25,000 capacity Hazza Bin Zayed stadium will officially be the new home for Al Ain Football Club’s first team, and is intended to boost the sports activities in the UAE. The stadium covers an area of 45,000 square meters and it is 50 meters high which makes it one of the highest buildings in Al Ain City. It hosts more than 3,000 premium seats, one of the highest ratios of premium seating in the world for football stadiums. The mobile roof can move to cover the whole play field during the hotter months. The marvelous design of the outer façade of the stadium is inspired by the trunk of the palm tree which is an integral part of the UAE’s heritage and legacy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Billionaires - World's Richest Arabs 2013

Here is a list compiled by ArabianBusiness.com of the World's Richest Arabs for 2013. I think you will enjoy reading it. These are the wealthiest Arabs in the world and most of them are involved in one way or another with the Mega Projects going up in the MENA Region. As you will see Saudi Arabia is by far the leader in Arab Billionaires. For some reason, aside from Prince Alwaleed of KSA, the list does not include any other Arab Royals. Perhaps this is because their net worth is harder to estimate.


1. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, KSA, $31.2 Bil

2. Mohamed Al Jaber, KSA, $12.66 Bil

3. Olayan Family, KSA, $12.5 Bil

4. Mohammed Al Amoudi, KSA, $12 Bil

5. Issam Al Zahid, KSA, $11.6 Bil

6. Sawiris Family, Egypt, $11.2 Bil

7. Kharafi Family, Kuwait, $8.6 Bil

8. Binladin Family, KSA, $8.1 Bil

9. Joesph Safra, Brazil/Lebanon, $7.5 Bil

10. Said Khoury, Palestine, $7.2 Bil

11. Bukhamseen Family, Kuwait, $6.8 Bil

12. Al Ghurair Family, UAE, $6.3 Bil

13. Kanoo Family, Bahrain, $6.1 Bil

14. Majid Al Futtaim, UAE, $6.1 Bil

15. Tareq Al Qahtani, KSA, $6 Bil

16. Bugshan Family, KSA, $6 Bil

17. Toufic Aboukhater, Palestine, $5.8 Bil

18. Mansour Family, Egypt, $5.1 Bil

19. Mohamed Abdul Latif Jameel, KSA, $5 Bil

20. Abdullah Al Rushaid, KSA, $4.6 Bil

21. Mubarak Al Suweiket, KSA, $4.5 Bil

22. Al Rajhi Family, KSA, $4.3 Bil

23. Gargash Family, UAE, $3.7 Bil

24. Adel Aujan, KSA, $3.56 Bil

25. Taha Mikati, Lebanon, $3.5 Bil

26. Mohammad Jamjoom, KSA, $3.4 Bil

27. Najib Mikati, Lebanon, $3.4 Bil

28. Alghanim Family, Kuwait, $3.4 Bil

29. Saad Hariri, Lebanon, $3.3 Bil

30. Sulaiman Al Muhaidib, KSA, $3.3 Bil

31. Abdulatif Al Fozan, KSA, $3.25 Bil

32. Hayek Family, Lebanon/Switzerland, $3.2 Bil

33. Bahaa Hariri, KSA, $3.1 Bil

34. Munib Masri, Palestine, $3 Bil

35. Zamil Family, KSA, $2.9 Bil

36. Mansour Ojjeh, KSA, $2.8 Bil

37. Mohammed Elkhereiji, KSA, $2.73 Bil

38. Ayman Asfari, UK/Syria, $2.7 Bil

39. Mohammed Sharbatly, KSA, $2.69 Bil

40. Osama Abu Dawood, KSA, $2.68 Bil

41. Wafic Said, UK/Syria, $2.6 Bil

42. Mohammed Al Barwani, Oman, $2.6 Bil

43. Ziad Manasir, Joedan, $2.58 Bil

44. Mohammed Al Issa, KSA, $2.38 Bil

45. Nadhmi Auchi, UK/Iraq, $2.2 Bil

46. Mohammed Ibrahim, Sudan, $2.15 Bil

47. Miloud Chaabi, Morocco, $2.1 Bil

48. Saleh Kamel, KSA, $2 Bil

49. Fawaz Al Hokair, KSA, $1.98 Bil

50. Ayman Hariri, KSA, $1.95 Bil


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Abu Dhabi To Spend $100 Billion On Projects!

Abu Dhabi’s project spending could balloon to over $100 billion in the next seven years as the government ramps up efforts to sustain economic gains built over the last few years.

The 8th Abu Dhabi Conference 2013, which began yesterday, highlighted the key sectors that will receive the bulk of investments until 2020.

According to MEED, which tracks projects activity throughout the Middle East, construction projects remain the most active with $30 billion worth of projects to be awarded in the next seven years, followed by the Oil & Gas sector with a project pipeline valued at $25 billion.

Transport and chemical-related projects will also see a surge in investments with a total of $20 billion contracts to be awarded during the same period. The industrial as well as power & water sectors will likewise be busy with contracts valued at $6 billion and $5 billion to be awarded until 2020.

H.E. Eng. Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy delivered the opening address this morning, and said that the UAE economy is growing strongly and will benefit from new government measures designed to promote the private sector and foreign investment. “The UAE economy is on solid ground. It has been attracting visitors and investors looking for a safe haven in the Middle East. Growth was 4.4 percent in 2012, its fastest pace since 2006. In view of improved activities, we expect UAE GDP to have expanded by 4.5 percent this year.”

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) Undersecretary H.E. Mohammed Omar Abdullah then spoke to the conference delegates about creating a business hub critical to the global economy, highlighting the initiatives and upcoming projects aimed at driving long term investments into Abu Dhabi.

And for the first time at a conference – H.E. Dr. Abdullah Hassan Ghareeb Al Bloushi, Executive Director, Land and Property Management Sector, Department of Municipal Affairs presented details of the Onwani project – the unified addressing and wayfinding project for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, saying “This is the largest project the municipal system in Abu Dhabi has ever undertaken, and it is also one of the Emirate’s most important. The vital infrastructure provided by the new addressing system will take us forward to meet future economic and social challenges and bring real benefits to residents, businesses and visitors alike. It is not only a street map for the Emirate, but a road for development.”

This year alone, based on an article 'Gulf projects market hits new peak' recently released by MEED, the construction sector in Abu Dhabi picked up pace when the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) awarded the long-awaited $653m contract to build the Louvre Museum on Saadiyat Island to a consortium comprising the local Arabtec Construction, Spain’s San Jose and Oger Abu Dhabi – the local affiliate of Saudi Oger.

TDIC has also tendered the contract to build the Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island, although an award is not expected this year. In July, Abu Dhabi-based Saadiyat Investment & Development Company awarded a $482m contract to local Al-Jaber Building for the construction of 462 villas at the Hidd al-Saadiyat Villas Development on the island.

As a result, along with new projects awarded in Dubai, the UAE has seen the largest rise in project activity in the GCC this year. MEED’s Gulf Projects Index is now at its highest level ever, having reached $3.19 trillion this month.

“The return to growth is the latest chapter in what has been a roller coaster ride for the index over the past seven years. The index remained relatively flat until about 12 months ago, when it began to move upwards as stalled projects were revived and new schemes launched, which has seen it grow more than 30 percent to its current level of $3.19 trillion. The major driver of this growth has been the UAE, with Abu Dhabi contributing a significant chunk of investments,” said Richard Thompson, Editor, MEED.

By 2014, the IMF has forecasted real GDP growth for the UAE of 3.6 percent (up from 3.1 percent last year) owing to the government’s continued push to boost the economy led by a spate of new infrastructure investments.

“Abu Dhabi has targeted knowledge-intensive sectors, such as aviation, petrochemicals, renewable energy and health care. The developments across these strategic sectors are aimed to make the capital an attractive proposition for domestic and international investors,” said Abraham Akkawi, MENA Infrastructure Advisory Services Leader, Ernst & Young.

Yesterday’s highlights included a special VIP Plenary Session that provided a snapshot of project opportunities, achievements and challenges faced in delivering Abu Dhabi’s economic vision 2030 across key sectors. The session was led by a panel of authorities from Abu Dhabi’s key agencies such as the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi (EAD), Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD), Industrial Development Bureau as well as the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

The Abu Dhabi Conference is an annual gathering of government and private sector leaders which enables discussions and updates on upcoming project and investment opportunities in Abu Dhabi’s diverse economy. It is a heavily Government supported event, with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group, Western Region Development Council and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority as supporting partners; The Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority as Strategic Partner, Zones Corp as Industrial Partner and the Abu Dhabi Chamber as silver sponsor. Other conference partners include Al Khalij Bank Hill International, E&Y, Bentley Systems and Mashreq. For more information on the conference: http://www.theabudhabiconference.com/

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