What are the upcoming Abu Dhabi Engineering projects within the UAE?

As crude prices continue to dwell in a slump alongside a bleak economic outlook, contractors are concerned over rising prices as clients have an increasing demand for competitive pricing solutions to finance large scale projects. This is no longer the case with the government’s increase in budget for the construction sector. The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, is now pushing forth stronger with massive construction projects that are set to materialise in the near future.

With Expo 2020 coming up, more pressure is placed on the country to pump up its hospitality, transportation and construction networks which can potentially spark tremendous growth in its economy. Known for their huge outpour of investments within transport, infrastructure and tourism industry, Abu Dhabi commits to diversify its economy away from the oil sector.

Here are the top 5 projects you can look out for.

1. Midfield Terminal

Abu Dhabi Airport Expansion - Midfield Terminal. Estimated value: $2.94 billion.

The Midfield Terminal is expected to host an additional 30 million passengers per year on top of its current 23 million.

Although projected to launch in Q2 of 2017, its opening has now been delayed till 2019 (Source: Gulf Business). Reuters has also reported that there were complexities relating to the design and execution of the roof that had caused the initial delay. Nevertheless, anticipation continues to rise as this 700,000-plus square meter terminal building is set to amaze with their architecturally impressive design and a curved roof that appears to float across 18 steel arches viewable from 1.5 km away.

This project features the world’s longest indoor arch at its centre and you can watch the latest aerial video of its construction progress as of June 2016 here.

2. The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Set to open in November this year, the Jean Nouvel-designed building is in its final stages before it opens its doors to visitors. The centre worth Dh15.35billion is too, faced several technical issues including the placement of the mesh-like 12,000-tonne, 180-metre-diameter cupola and the sealing of building from seawater from the fills basins surrounding it. These have all however, been solved. 3000 workers continue to labour round the clock to put on all finishing touches on the building designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect. The museum is now undergoing testing of the building's stability and security, before their art installation of over 300 works (The Art Newspaper).

3. UAE’s first nuclear power plant: Barakah Nuclear

Operations are projected to begin in May as the project moves into its final phase of its long construction process. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation has power thus far in the plant and has been running systems to check its equipment. Once the plant receives authorisation in loading fuel, there would be a subsequent period of approximately six to seven months of testing and thereby gradually increasing power. Nuclear fuel are to be shipped from South Korea to the UAE before being transported to the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant. The UAE’s path towards nuclear energy took another step forward after the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) signed the licensing for transportation and storage of nuclear fuel at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant. Four APR-1400 nuclear reactors have plans to start operation successively between 2017 and 2020. The site will provide electricity for industrial and residential power including desalinization plants located near the major cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

4. 41km Sewage Tunnel

Part of the sewerage system Master Plan in 2006, the Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme (STEP) aims to address the strategic and conceptual needs in the existing sewerage network. This project is a world-class solution to relieve the hydraulic burden by conveying all wastewater of Abu Dhabi Island and a significant portion of flows from Abu Dhabi Mainland via gravity to a single pump station at the end of the deep tunnel sewer, at Al Wathba. The 41km sewage tunnel, along with other projects that are part of STEP will enable the future elimination of 35 existing sewage pumping stations. This system is anticipated to be operational by late 2017.

5. Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City

Abu Dhabi Public Services Company (Musanada) has announced that it has completed 88.4% of Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City and 15.8% of the Emirati Neighbourhood Project at a total cost of Dh6.5 billion.

The medical city’s total cost is projected to reach Dh4 billion. It will accommodate 732 beds in total including two major suites and 36 VIP suites. There will be 424 beds in post-operative patients’ rooms, 120 in the maternity and child health ward, 32 in the ICU, 30 in the ICU for cardiology, 24 in the ICU of the surgical ward, 20 in the burns ward, 26 in the ICU for preterm infants, 18 in the maternity ward, and special rooms for water deliveries (Source: Gulf Today)

What’s next?

As for this year, the IMF said the country’s non-oil economy is set to rebound on stronger global trade and investment spurred by Dubai Expo 2020. Non-oil GDP is forecasted to expand by 3.3% this year with the budget deficit shrinking to 4.5% of GDP (Source: The National). Given the gradual rise of the non-oil economy, coupled with the above few projects listed, Abu Dhabi’s economy is already showing signs of recovery with an increase of government spending on projects, says a senior economic official in the emirate. In line with this, this sector is expected to see a rise in demand for talent within the construction field for those who possess specialised skill sets. These group of talent will be needed to ensure that the projected dates for launch of those projects can be met without further delays.

As of 2017, talent acquisition within the engineering sector is still a key focus for the Middle East firms as stated in the MENA Recruiting Trends report. What was further emphasised – strategic efforts will be needed to find and recruit the right talent pool.

If you would like to find out more about these opportunities, or if you would like advice on sourcing for the best available talent in the market for your organisation, please contact Sam Hough at [email protected] who will be able to let you in on more information. You may also follow us on our LinkedIn page to find out more industry related insights.