UAE / GCC INTRODUCE VAT TAX 2018
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NEW PROJECTS - ABU DHABIAbu Dhabi's biggest projects are almost finished with a combined value of $37 billion, they're expected to be completed by 2020. Abu Dhabi, which sits on about 6 percent of the world’s oil reserves, has pushed ahead with a construction program that began before crude prices slumped in 2014.
From a branch of Paris' Louvre museum, a new airport terminal and a nuclear power plant, here are the 10 biggest projects under way. With a combined value of 134 billion dirhams ($37 billion), they're expected to be completed by 2020, according to a list provided by the government this month in response to questions.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi: The Jean Nouvel-designed building, covered in a white dome and surrounded by water, is set for completion by the end of May. The $1.14-billion facility includes a children’s museum and a 280-seat theatre. Barakah Nuclear Power Plant: The first nuclear plant in the United Arab Emirates will supply 25 percent of its electricity needs from May 2020, according to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Cooperation. The $23 billion-project includes four reactors producing a combined 5,600 megawatts.
Midfield Airport Terminal: At a cost of $3.5 billion, Abu Dhabi's new terminal will have 49 gates and double the airports capacity to 30 million passengers a year. Built over six levels, it will include a hotel, shops and restaurants when it's finished in January 2019.
Sewage Tunnel: At 41 kilometers (25 miles) in length, Abu Dhabi says its sewage tunnel is among the world's longest. With an additional 43 kilometers of smaller linking tunnels, the $1.5 billion project is due to be completed in the third quarter of this year. E11 Highway: The new highway and road upgrade program will link Abu Dhabi with the Saudi border, via the industrial hub of Ruwais— the site of the UAE's first nuclear plant. The project includes 15 flyovers, and costs $1.5 billion. Zayed City Infrastructure: The government says the road network, sewage, lighting, electricity and water infrastructure for Zayed City, a new district in Abu Dhabi, is about 19 percent complete. The $909 million project is expected to be finished by January 2020.
Jabel Hafeet Housing Development: At a cost of $1.5 billion, the project near Al Ain includes homes for 3,000 people, including a school, a clinic and other facilities. It is due to be finished by the end of the year. Al Ain New Hospital: The 719-bed hospital will have cost $1.2 billion when completed in December 2018. Al Ain is the second biggest city in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the fourth-largest in the UAE after Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Ain Al Faida Residential Development: Another residential project in Al Ain, the $1.14 billion government project includes homes for 2,000 people, and will be completed by the end of July. Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City: The first UAE hospital to provide advanced treatment for burns, it includes 739 beds when it opens at the end of January at a cost of $1.1 billion.
DUBAI ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTSA total of 4,000 construction projects worth $313 billion are active in Dubai. Dubai’s strong construction trends look set to continue through 2017 with 39 percent of the UAE's total projects that are in the concept, design, tender, under construction and on-hold phases. Data from BNC’s Construction Analytics showed Dubai's urban construction sector has more than 3,200 active projects amounting to a combined estimated value of over $245 billion. This is followed by the transport sector with 187 projects valued at $32.4 billion, the utilities industry with 203 projects valued at $24.3 billion, 377 industrial projects valued at $5.8 billion, and 12 projects in the oil and gas sector totalling $4.6 billion. December 2016 saw 37 active projects worth an estimated $2.2 billion moving to construction in Dubai. As of the end of 2016, the total number of projects under construction was 2,508 with an estimated worth of around $92 billion.
Some of Dubai’s current multi-billion dollar projects include Dubai Metro Red Line Extension which is a part of the Expo 2020 initiative, Container Terminal 4 of the Jebel Ali Port Expansion project and the Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences located in Palm Jumeirah. Last month, Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also announced the Dubai Harbour project which will see the construction of an impressive waterfront development spanning more than 20 million sq ft. The forecast comes as Dubai is expected to award 47 construction contracts worth 11 billion dirhams ($3 billion) to local and foreign companies this year as it prepares to host the 2020 World Expo. Development of the expo site, which the government expects to require $6.8 billion of capital spending, is one of the biggest projects in Dubai's history.
TOP 11 DUBAI MEGA-PROJECTS1. Dubai Water Canal Project - 2. Museum of the Future - 3. Jewel of the Creek - 4. Al Habtoor City - 5. Deira Islands - 6. MBR City – District One - 7. Aladdin City - 8. Dubai amusement parks - 9. Dubai Frame - 10. Bluewaters Island - 11. Mall of the World
GREEN ENERGY SHIFT
The United Arab Emirates forecasts that savings generated by switching half its power needs to clean energy by mid century will outstrip the investment costs. The Gulf state plans to invest $150 billion in renewable power to 2050, weening the country from dependency on subsidized natural gas power in stages. Clean energy sources will help it save $192 billion. As the costs for solar power fall rapidly, Gulf and Middle East states are reevaluating their power strategies, which currently rely subsidiaries for electricity generated with liquid natural gas. The UAE has set an “incredibly ambitious” clean power target, starting from scratch just a few years ago, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In September 2016, Chinese panel maker JinkoSolar Holding Co. and Japanese developer Marubeni Corp. won a tender for a solar plant in Abu Dhabi with a record bid of 2.42 US cents a kilowatt-hour. About $1 billion has been invested in utility-scale solar in the UAE since 2007.
ECO RESORT LAUNCHED IN UAEBy 2021, UAE expects to welcome 31 million international tourists. A new generation of eco-minded entrepreneurs are looking to transform this rapidly growing sector in a green economy.
Eco Resort Group, a Dubai-based company, has revealed the world’s greenest eco resort. The newly launched Oasis Eco Resort will be located in Liwa, the southern region of UAE, and is scheduled to open in 2020. It is one of several eco resorts the company is planning to launch over the next few years.
Some of the environmental benefits include recycling waste water on site for irrigation, onsite waste management, the enforcement of a zero emission zone and 157,000 square feet of solar panels. The ribbon-like roof is designed to maximize the area for solar panels, which are planned for optimum efficiency.
DUBAI'S 2050 GOAL:
Once the city with the largest ecological footprint in the world, Dubai is set to have the smallest by implementing the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.
BE THE WORLD'S MOST SUSTAINABLE CITY
Dubai was just a small fishing village and trading port before the oil and wild real estate boom transformed it into a city with the world’s tallest building, dense skyscrapers, and the world’s third busiest airport. In 2006 the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) declared the UAE had the largest ecological footprint, per capita, with its high carbon emissions, and claimed Dubai was the highest consumer of the emirates.
Since then, the population has doubled, to more than 2.8 million, and the number of cars has more than doubled, and the population swells with between 8-10 million visitors per year. Outside temperatures can reach 50 (122°F) in summer, and the humidity is very high even though it rarely rains, as Dubai gets less than four inches a year. There are no permanent rivers, and next to no soil suitable for growing crops.
Combining Dubai’s population growth and dramatic climate creates the urgency to develop a more sustainable city of the future to improve the quality of life, and to protect the environment.
One of the major projects being built to implement these goals is Dubai’s Sustainable City, the first net zero energy project created by Diamond Developers, with 500 residential townhouses and courtyard villas. It also has natural ‘biodome’ greenhouses, an organic farm plus garden farms for local food production.
Waste water is recycled, with segregated drainage for greywater and blackwater. It has its own solar farm solar panels across all the parking stations and the residential areas rooftops and there is a 10-megawatt peak solar installation and solar panels across all the parking stations and the residential areas rooftops.
Ways to minimise water use, by increasing efficiency and re‐use:
+ Recycle water.
+ Collect, re‐use rainwater, reduce demand for potable fresh water.
+ Implement efficient & smart irrigation systems.
+ Install water efficient fittings, metres & appliances.
+ Maintain & improve quality of ground, surface water.
+ Design with low-water use landscaping.
+ Reduce water consumption by 50% by increasing environmental awareness.
DUBAI - A TOP CHOICE FOR INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS
Dubai has meanwhile turned itself into one of the top 10 destinations for international meetings (Source: Union of International Associations (UIA). Its latest International Meetings Statistics report ranked 1,157 cities globally based on the total number of international meetings that took place during the year. Dubai has managed to claim the 10th spot with a total of 180 international meetings taking place in 2016, reflecting a growth of 24 percent compared to 2015. So far Dubai is the only city in the Middle East and Africa to show up in the top 25 in the rankings. This is another testament and underlining the emirate’s well-established status as the region’s preferred destination for international meetings and conferences.
Dubai Plans to be the World’s First Blockchain City
Dubai, a global hub for trade, wants to incorporate the blockchain into daily economic life. The country believes blockchain technology could put them on the cutting edge of simplified record-keeping, as well as the transportation of goods worldwide.
Blockchain incorporation into the society there, which joins an across the board effort to place Dubai on the cutting edge of how cities are run, will exist alongside Dubai’s advanced transportation infrastructure and near-zero taxes.
The world’s largest corporations, such as IBM, Microsoft and dozens of big banks, are exploring uses for the blockchain like sharing and tracking information on transactions and contracts.
Dubai cites the many blockchain-focused private businesses appearing in the city as a reason for taking the step towards a blockchain world. Dubai wants business activity to become easier in their country thanks to Bitcoin’s underlying technology.
Dubai is the first country in the world to move forward with blockchain in such a way. Smart Dubai began a citywide implementation in March, working to educate the private and public sectors about blockchain by conducting workshops and working to determine the best way to integrate blockchain technology.
Smart Dubai plans the blockchain implementation for later this year after pilot projects are completed. Smart Dubai will also rollout a shared Blockchain-as-a-Service platform. Blockchain could play a role in the future as Dubai attempts to become a city of the future.
Dubai wants 25% of its fully driverless road transport to use AI by 2030. Rooftop solar power will be mandatory in the nation by 2030 as the nation plans to reach 25% of its goal to generate 75% of the city’s energy with solar power by 2050.
Dubai has also become known for its “Smart Palm Trees,” – 3D-printed copies of trees with Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) that are community tech hubs throughout the city.
The city has also begun building the first 3D-printed skyscraper, and is already home to the first 3D-printed office.
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A blockchain economy could underscore this futuristic vision.