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United Arab Emirates (UAE) Outlook 2021 - Opportunities and Challenges in the Middle East's most Dynamic Market after COVID-19 - MEED Insights

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    Country Profile

  • 409 Pages
  • September 2020
  • Region: Middle East, United Arab Emirates
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 5180203

As the world recovers from the ravages of COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the UAE will celebrate its 50th anniversary. It also host Expo 2020 Dubai.

With one of the most diversified economies among regional oil producers, vast sovereign wealth and easy lines of credit, the UAE already had an economy that was better positioned to roll with the punches of the COVID-19 crisis than many others in the region and around the world.

While the global pandemic has slashed oil prices and devastated specific industries - especially aviation - the UAE has responded decisively to the crisis. It has curbed case numbers, enforced basic COVID-19 hygiene, ramped up test capacity, and invested heavily in test and vaccine development.

The no-nonsense approach has been confidence building, despite the inherent vulnerabilities of the UAE economy to the COVID-19 pandemic, with deep impacts to the finance, travel and hospitality sectors. The UAE’s financial sector, which will be pivotal to future growth, has been well supported.

The government’s efforts to move back to a new economic normality swiftly but safely is also positive. Economic activity shows signs of improving, driven in large part by domestic demand as the country’s large expatriate population gets back to spending after months of restrictions on everyday activities.

Project activity, while reduced, has continued to rumble along in the background, with activity in upstream energy and the utilities sector providing ongoing opportunities for contractors.

Project opportunities

With some $868bn worth of projects planned or underway, and about $132bn under execution, the UAE is the second largest projects market in the MENA region. The big challenge for the UAE’s projects market over the coming year in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak will be dealing with the paradox of government stimulus spending coupled with a drive to cut costs and project spending.

In this challenging environment firms will have to be smart in order to prosper. Selecting the right clients, specialising in niche sectors, and introducing novel technologies are all tools companies can harness in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Although there are undoubtable challenges in the short term, the long term prognosis is still healthy. Regardless of what happens, the UAE market will remain one of the largest projects markets in the region.

The pipeline of projects in the UAE sits at more than $672bn. Of this total, $417.7bn is for construction project, $82.9bn for transport projects, and $95.3bn in oil and gas. The pipeline consists of $63.7bn projects in bidding, $492.9bn in design or FEED, and $114.8bn under study

Post-Covid recovery

When travel resumes, even if international tourist traffic and inbound visitors remain curbed, the role of the UAE’s airports as transit hubs for business and leisure travellers should ensure a ramp up in passenger volumes again, potentially ahead of the global curve.

As other regional economies continue to wobble, the UAE will remain an attractive place to do business. The postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai increasingly looks like a boon that will allow Dubai to ride a wave of post-COVID-19 enthusiasm for new business opportunities augmented rather than diminished by the global pandemic.

The signing of the Abraham Accords in September 2020, and the normalisation of relations between the UAE and Israel, the region’s two leading players in technology, introduces the potential of previously unexplored opportunities in areas such as technology, tourism, security, healthcare and water and food security and adds a completely new dimension to the UAE market.

Written by MEED, the Middle East market experts within the publisher's group, "UAE Outlook 2021" is this latest research report from MEED Insight. It examines the outlook for the UAE market in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook for projects and investment in the region’s most dynamic economy.

The report is a powerful resource for anyone seeking to find opportunities, understand risks and set strategy in the UAE.

The report is of very high-value to anyone seeking to identify opportunities, understand risks and set strategy in the Middle East’s most dynamic and innovative projects market, and it provides a comprehensive guide for companies seeking to work in oil & gas, petrochemicals, power, construction, water, manufacturing, renewables and transport.

Reasons to Buy

  • Detailed analysis of the opportunities for business and projects in UAE
  • Comprehensive review of the impact of COVID-19 on the UAE market
  • Outlook for policy and investment in the kingdom
  • Project opportunities with client and procurement details
  • Investment drivers and client spending plans
  • Understand risks and set strategy in the UAE market
  • Complete assessment of the economic outlook for the UAE
  • Updates on the Vision 2021 and Centennial 2071 development visions
  • Analysis of all major business sectors in the UAE including: oil & gas; power & water; construction, petrochemicals, transport and renewables
  • Detailed analysis of the markets in each of the UAE’s seven emirates

Table of Contents

1. The UAE and COVID-192. Historical Background
3. Politics
3.1 Foreign relations
3.2 Domestic politics
3.3 The seven emirates
4. Economy
4.1 Economic performance and oil
5. Projects market
5.1 Overview
5.2 Key trends
5.3 Cancelled/On hold projects
5.4 Leading clients
5.5 Leading contractors
5.6 Future pipeline
6. Oil and Gas
6.1 Overview
6.2 Abu Dhabi
6.3 Dubai and the northern emirates
6.4 Upstream oil
6.5 Gas
6.6 Refining
6.7 Petrochemicals
6.8 Fundraising and capex plan
6.9 Projects market
6.10 Leading contractors
7. Industry
7.1 Overview
7.2 Aluminium
7.3 Steel
7.4 Cement
7.5 Selected projects
7.6 Leading contractors
8. Power
8.1 Market overview
8.2 Industry structure
8.3 Supply and demand trends
8.4 Demand side management
8.5 Fuel and alternative energy
8.6 Power generation projects
8.7 Leading contractors
8.8 Abu Dhabi
8.9 Dubai
8.10 Northern Emirates
9. Renewables
9.1 Market overview
9.2 Industry structure
9.3 Supply and demand trends
9.4 Renewables plans
9.5 Fuel and alternative energy
9.6 Renewable power generation projects
9.7 Leading contractors
9.8 Abu Dhabi
9.9 Dubai
9.10 Northern Emirates
10. Desalination
10.1 Market overview
10.2 Market Structure
10.3 Demand
10.4 Water supply
10.5 Projects
11. Wastewater
11.1 Market overview
11.2 Market structure
11.3 Wastewater treatment
11.4 Projects market
12. Construction
12.1 UAE construction in 2020
12.2 Dubai
12.3 Abu Dhabi
12.4 Northern Emirates
13. Transport
13.1 Impact of COVID-19 on the UAE transport industry
13.2 Rail
13.3 Metro/light rail
13.4 Airports
13.5 Ports
13.6 Roads
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List of Tables
Table 1: The emirates of the UAE
Table 2: Members of the UAE Council of Ministers
Table 3: Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas field concessions
Table 4: UAE key economic indicators
Table 5: UAE oil production, 2009-19
Table 6: Real GDP Growth (UAE vs Global average), 2009-19
Table 7: UAE Consumer Price Index (2009-2019)
Table 8: UAE hydrocarbons export revenues and oil price, 2009-18
Table 9: UAE exports, imports and current account, 2010-2019
Table 10: UAE consolidated government revenue, expenditure and balance 2015-19
Table 11: UAE total bank assets, December 2016-December 2019 (AEDbn)
Table 12: UAE Key banking indicators December 2019 (AEDm)
Table 13: Biggest contracts awarded in 2019
Table 14: Largest projects due for award in 2020
Table 15: Top UAE brownfield projects in pipeline
Table 16: Top 10 countries by oil and gas reserves at the end of 2018
Table 17: UAE upstream licensing rounds
Table 18: Adnoc upcoming projects
Table 19: Major oil and gas operating companies
Table 20: Abu Dhabi oil producers, 2018
Table 21: UAE refineries by capacity, 2017
Table 22: Projected oil storage capacity in 2018
Table 23: Main construction packages on Borouge 3
Table 24: Selected UAE oil and gas projects under execution
Table 25: Selected unawarded hydrocarbons projects in the UAE
Table 26: Selected UAE industrial projects awarded and completed since 2014
Table 27: Aluminium smelters in the UAE
Table 28: Selected steel production plants in the UAE
Table 29: GCC countries ranking by installed cement capacity, 2019
Table 30: UAE cement producers
Table 31: UAE cement plants location
Table 32: Selected active UAE industrial projects
Table 33: UAE power sector key facts, 2019
Table 34: UAE, Power generation projects (excluding renewables) under construction ($m)
Table 35: UAE, Upcoming power generation projects (excluding renewables) ($m)
Table 36: UAE, Leading contractors by value ($m)
Table 37: Abu Dhabi power sector key facts, 2019
Table 38: Abu Dhabi selected major power plant contract awards, 2010-19
Table 39: Developers and EPC contractors interested for Fujairah (F3) power project
Table 40: Abu Dhabi, Growth of principal demand drivers (GW)
Table 41: Abu Dhabi leading contractors by value ($m)
Table 42: Dubai power sector key facts, 2019
Table 43: Dubai thermal power plants
Table 44: Selected major EPC power projects, 2005-18
Table 45: Dubai upcoming power generation projects
Table 46: Dubai key T&D infrastructure, 2017-19
Table 47: Dubai leading contractors by value ($m)
Table 48: Fewa installed capacity
Table 49: Sewa installed and available generating capacity, 2018* (MW)
Table 50: Northern Emirates leading contractors by value ($m)
Table 51: UAE renewables sector key facts, 2019
Table 52: UAE, Renewable power generation projects under construction ($m)
Table 53: UAE, Upcoming renewable power generation projects ($m)
Table 54: UAE leading renewables sector contractors by value ($m)
Table 55: Abu Dhabi renewables sector key facts, 2019
Table 56: Developers interested in 2GW Al-Dhafra solar power project, Abu Dhabi
Table 57: Abu Dhabi renewables leading contractors by value ($m)
Table 58: Dubai renewables sector key facts, 2019
Table 59: Dubai renewable power plants
Table 60: Dubai upcoming renewables power generation projects by value
Table 61: Dubai renewables leading contractors by value ($m)
Table 62: Northern Emirates renewables leading contractors by value ($m)
Table 63: UAE water sector key facts
Table 64: Dubai land used for agriculture (hectares)
Table 65: FEWA water imports, 2010-14
Table 66: Recent underway and planned desalination awards by FEWA, 2018-21
List of Figures
Figure 1: COVID-19 cases in the GCC region since March 2020
Figure 2: UAE oil production (thousand b/d), 2009-19
Figure 3: UAE Real GDP Growth, 2009-19
Figure 4: UAE inflation, 2009-2019 (%)
Figure 5: UAE exports, imports and current account ($bn), 2010-2019
Figure 6: UAE total bank assets, bank credits and bank deposits (AED bn), 2016-2019
Figure 7: GCC contract awards, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 8: UAE contract awards, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 9: UAE contract awards by sector, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 10: UAE contract awards by sector, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 11: Contract awards by sector, 2017-19 ($m)
Figure 12: UAE contract awards by emirate, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 13: Dubai contract awards by sector, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 14: Abu Dhabi contract awards by sector, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 15: Value of contract awards by Dubai vs Abu Dhabi, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 16: UAE projects cancelled and on hold by sector
Figure 17: Most active clients by work under execution ($m)
Figure 18: Most active contractors by work under execution ($m
Figure 19: Un-awarded projects market by status
Figure 20: Unawarded projects by sector and status ($m)
Figure 21: UAE purchasing managers’ index
Figure 22: UAE contract awards by sub-sector ($m), 2015-2019
Figure 23: UAE oil and gas sector contracts awarded and completed ($bn), 2010-2019
Figure 24: UAE oil and gas sector contracts awarded and completed by sector ($bn), 2010-2019
Figure 25: Sharjah licensing concession locations
Figure 26: UAE oil and gas fields
Figure 27: Abu Dhabi Licensing Block bid 2018
Figure 28: Structure of Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas industry
Figure 29: Abu Dhabi second round of oil and gas exploration blocks
Figure 30: UAE crude production - based on direct communications, 2010-19 (million b/d)
Figure 31: Abu Dhabi oil production capacity by field, 2018 (b/d)
Figure 32: Blocks covered by Korea/Adnoc concession agreement
Figure 33: UAE gas production and consumption, 2010-18 (billion cubic feet)
Figure 34: Adnoc Gas Processing’s gas processing plants (t/d)
Figure 35: UAE LNG export and import capacity (million t/y), 2010-2018
Figure 36: Dolphin gas pipeline network
Figure 37: Fujairah oil storage capacity, 2013-20 (million cubic metres)
Figure 38: UAE Petrochemicals production capacity (Mtpa) and market share (%), 2010-2018
Figure 39: Borouge expansions (thousand t/y)
Figure 40: UAE hydrocarbons awards by year ($m), 2010-2019
Figure 41: UAE hydrocarbons awards by year and sector ($m), 2010-2019
Figure 42: UAE biggest contractors
Figure 43: The UAE industrial project contract awards, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 44: The UAE industrial project contract awards by subsector, 2010-19 ($m
Figure 45: The UAE aluminium project contract awards, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 46: Emirates Steel Expansion Programme
Figure 47: The UAE steel project contract awards, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 48: The UAE cement project contract awards, 2010-19 ($m)
Figure 49: Industrial projects planned but unawarded by status
Figure 50: Top 10 industrial contractors in the UAE
Figure 51: UAE, cumulative installed capacity (excluding renewables), MW, 2010-2025
Figure 52: UAE, annual power generation (excluding renewables), GWh, 2010-2025
Figure 53: UAE, annual power consumption (GWh), 2010-2025
Figure 54: UAE, minimum power demand, peak power demand, and available capacity (MW), 2010-2017
Figure 55: Peak power demand and installed capacity (MW), 2010-2019
Figure 56: Peak power demand growth (percentage), 2010-2019
Figure 57: Abu Dhabi electricity exports at peak time (MW), 2011-2019
Figure 58: Abu Dhabi peak power demand forecasts (MW), 2018-2032
Figure 59: Abu Dhabi power consumption by sector, 2017 (Per cent)
Figure 60: Dubai peak power demand and installed capacity, 2009-19
Figure 61: Fewa’s peak power imports from Abu Dhabi (MW), 2011-19
Figure 62: Sewa peak power demand growth, 2008-18* (percentage)
Figure 63: Sewa peak power demand, 2011-18* (MW)
Figure 64: Sewa’s peak power imports from Abu Dhabi, 2011-19 (MW)