The Report: Abu Dhabi 2017

  • ID: 4437458
  • Country Profile
  • Region: United Arab Emirates
  • 332 Pages
  • Oxford Business Group
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The wealth generated by Abu Dhabi’s significant hydrocarbons reserves has allowed the emirate to substantially increase its economic and political clout, both on a regional and a global level, over the past couple of decades, and although the Gulf region has faced a challenging economic environment since the second half of 2014 when oil prices began to slide, a more optimistic outlook for international oil prices in 2017 has offered some welcome relief.

The authorities are, however, continuing to push ahead with the process of fiscal reform precipitated by the price drop, with measures long-called for by international bodies such as the World Bank including subsidies reduction and the introduction of new taxes now moving ahead as the government looks to boost revenue streams.

Meanwhile, efforts towards economic diversification continue to develop apace as the emirate progresses towards the goals laid out in Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, namely the realisation of a sustainable, knowledge-based economy fuelled by private sector activity and investment across a range of sectors.

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COUNTRY PROFILE
Capital gains: The emirate continues to be an engine for growth
A helping hand: The UAE has increased its aid commitments around the world
Viewpoint: Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-Chairman, Abu Dhabi Executive Council
Youth in focus: Demographics present an opportunity for policymakers
Viewpoint: Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK
East meets Middle East: Changing times call for new relations with China and Russia
Interview: Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC

ECONOMY
Going strong: A solid foundation for growth
Interview: Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development
Think big: A new five-year plan aims to expand on previous successes and create new ones
Interview: Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO and Managing Director, Mubadala Investment Company
Interview: Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade
By the book: A new procyclical fiscal policy
Adding value: Introduction of a new tax is set to bring in more state revenue

TRADE & INVESTMENT
In sharp focus: Diversification of foreign trade has become a higher priority
Interview: Mohamed Thani Murshed Al Rumaithi, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Innovate to accumulate: A new financial free zone features a tailor-made regulatory system
Interview: Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Global Market
Life begins at 40: The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is looking to future opportunities

BANKING
Looking up: Cause for optimism in 2017 with consolidation on the cards
Interview: Khalifa Mohammed Al Kindi, Chairman, Central Bank of the UAE
Stronger together: The merger of two of the emirate’s biggest banks will create a global giant
Going for broke: The UAE is set to introduce a much-needed new insolvency framework

CAPITAL MARKETS
Market of ideas: Rapid expansion has led to a host of new reforms and advances
Sovereign state: Bond issuances offer an alternative source of funding for large projects

ISLAMIC FINANCIAL SERVICES
Dynamic growth: A competitive landscape gives way to strong domestic performers
Interview: Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Follow the leader: Islamic finance in the country is moving towards a central oversight board

INSURANCE
Changes ahead: New regulations are raising standards in the increasingly competitive sector

ENERGY
Streamline and strengthen: Profits and efficiency upstream while developing downstream
Interview: Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State; and Group CEO, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
Come together: Consolidation efforts present opportunities to capitalise on potential synergies
Branching out: Subsidy reforms and alternative fuels drive demand for more distribution services
Widening the net: Technology is key for tapping new gas reserves and increasing efficiency
Onshore action: The emirate negotiates new agreements with partners around the world
Optimising output: Efficiency and innovation are central to efforts to maximise production
The smart approach: The role of research and development in energy is rapidly expanding
Harnessing the sun: Increasing the role of solar power and other alternative energy sources

UTILITIES
Constant progress: Innovating for efficiency
Interview: Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman, Regulation and Supervision Bureau
Interview: Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation
Powering up: A nuclear energy alternative
A STEP forward: A new underground system will improve the sewage and wastewater network

SECURITY, AEROSPACE & DEFENCE
Set fair: The sectors’ contribution to economic diversification is set to grow further
Interview: Khalifa Al Romaithi, Chairman, UAE Space Agency
The final frontier: A Mars probe leads the list of upcoming space projects
One piece at a time: New deals pave the way for composite aerostructures manufacturer

TRANSPORT
Network news: Connectivity is on the rise
Interview: Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development; and Chairman, Federal Transport Authority
Interview: Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman, Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport
Urban integration: Moving a growing population
Interview: Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports
Taking wing: Aviation is a high priority for the emirate’s planners

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION
Strength in depth: Reforms and a healthy project pipeline promise much after slowdown in 2016
Interview: Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO, Aldar
In the mix: Al Maryah Island is the focus of retail, residential and financial services developments
Cost conscious: New strategies are required to adapt to changing demand patterns
Building momentum: A strong pipeline of projects bodes well

INDUSTRY
Onwards and upwards: The emirate gets ready to take its diversification strategy to the next stage
Interview: Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO, Emirates Steel
Mettle test: Metals producers focus on integrating downstream
Chemical reaction: Demand for petrochemicals prompts further major investment and highlights the need to diversify feedstock
Banding together: The development of industryspecific free zones continues to be a key goal

AL DHAFRA
Further potential: Varied investments should boost growth and diversify the region’s economy
Interview: Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region
The nation’s first: The Barakah nuclear power plant is set to bolster the local economy

EDUCATION
Learning curve: Ambitious programmes and concrete goals are pushing the emirate forward
Interview: Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education
At a premium: Private institutions are becoming increasingly popular at the K-12 level
Pushing forward: A new merger could encourage more Emiratis to consider the private sector
Planning ahead: New strategies will be needed for an increasingly high-tech job market

HEALTH
Prescription for growth: With a mix of private and public sector support, the emirate is significantly expanding its offering
Interview: Professor Maha Barakat, Director-General, Health Authority - Abu Dhabi
Progressive planning: A government study sheds light on a number of pressing issues in the sector
On the front foot: Preventive care has been moved to the top of the agenda

TOURISM & CULTURE
Strong appeal: The emirate has a wide range of attractions and first-class facilities
Interview: Noura Al Kaabi, Chairwoman, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company
Destination - business: The MICE segment benefits from high-quality infrastructure
Interview: Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director-General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
A taste for culture: The heritage sites of Al Ain are the subject of a wave of new projects
Jewels in the crown: Major cultural institutions are taking shape on Saadiyat Island
Formula for success: Yas Island hosts a rising number of recreation and leisure developments
Global showcase: A range of art and cultural events, live entertainment and local talent

ENVIRONMENT
Treading softly: Mitigating the impact of rapid growth on the ecosystem
Smoother seas: Protection of the marine environment is a high priority
Interview: Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi
Balancing act: A new plan for protecting biodiversity has been released

ICT
Hold the phone: Consumers have more choices following new investments and regulationsSmart cookie: Innovative ICT solutions are set to cut costs and transform government services
Tough on crime: Tackling a new criminal trend

MEDIA
Two thumbs up: Investment in a media free zone has led to numerous international partnerships
Interview: Maryam AlMheiri, CEO, twofour54

RETAIL
Upward bound: Sales remain robust as shopping outlets continue to expand

AGRICULTURE & FOOD SECURITY
Cultivating sustainability: Shoring up supply leads to a more stable economy and food security
Water works: Harnessing innovative solutions to increase production and maintain resources

TAX
Straightforward system: A simple and clear tax system has been a staple of the emirate
Viewpoint: Dean Kern, Middle East Tax and Legal Services Leader, PwC

LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Inward investment: Guidelines for setting up a company and carrying out business

THE GUIDE
At your service: Select hotel accommodation
Listings: Government and business organisations
Facts for visitors: Useful information for new arrivals

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