Abu Dhabi has undertaken a series of projects to create new wealth and diversify its economy by encouraging more direct investment. For example, plans are in place to create more than 30 clusters to host industries such as petrochemicals, automotive, metals, construction, building materials and food processing.
The emirate is also moving to create a low-cost manufacturing hub that can supply goods to both the East and the West.
In terms of heavy industry, there are plans to build an aluminium smelter and two steel plants in Abu Dhabi. The smelter’s US$6 billion facility will be operational by 2010 and will see an annual capacity of 700,000 tons rising to 1.4 million tons upon completion; this will make it the largest single-site aluminium smelter in the world.
Other projects that have either been announced
or which are under development in Abu Dhabi are estimated to be worth US$400 billion, and include oil and gas, petrochemicals, energy, manufacturing, real estate, tourism and infrastructure.
Abu Dhabi will invest US$137 billion over the next nine years as it aims to become a premier business and leisure destination. Of this, US$30 billion will be spent on Saadiyat Island, a tourism destination that will feature some of the world most recognized cultural institutions, including the Louvre and the Guggenheim. Also, 2009 marked the emirate's inaugural hosting of a Formula 1 grand prix on the Yas Island circuit.
These are just a few of the major projects that are being planned or developed in Abu Dhabi at the moment. But with the continuing success of the emirate and the climate of confidence that comes with a fast-growing economy, no doubt many more will be announced in the near future.