The sixth edition of the annual MEED Abu Dhabi Conference, in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, concluded successfully today with fresh insights on all key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s economy. Over the two-day conference, project opportunities were discussed across the transport, infrastructure, utilities, oil & gas, heavy industries, real estate, health,education and finance sectors. The event was held at the Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi.
At the MEED Abu Dhabi Conference, the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) announced that the number of passengers passing through Abu Dhabi International Airport is forecast to rise by more than 11 per cent to 12 million in 2011 from 10.8 million in 2010..
“This is increasing pressure on the terminal capacity at the airport. We need to have capacity to handle 8-9 million more passengers in the present facilities by 2017 when the new midfield terminal complex opens,” ADAC Chief Development Officer Haytham Haidar told at the Conference. Haider also said that the opening of the new air traffic control tower in April this year means that the airport's air-side capacity is already sufficient. “From an air-side perspective, we already have the capacity to handle 70 million passengers a year,” Haider said.
Bids from six consortia for the contract to build the new midfield terminal complex in the Emirate were received on November 13. The award of the contract is expected in the first quarter of 2012. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017. Its design capacity is 27.5 million passengers.
The conference also heard about expressions of interest for the 600-kilometre stage two of the Etihad Rail project will soon be invited, Etihad Rail Chief Executive Officer Richard Bowker told the MEED Abu Dhabi Conference.
This comes as work is about to start on the first section of the project's 266 kilometre-long stage one. Stage one calls for the construction of a railway line from around Shah in the interior of Abu Dhabi to Habshan and finally to the port of Ruwais. Stage one will deliver 7 million tonnes of sulphur a year.
“Preliminary engineering for stage two is nearing completion,” Bowker said. “Expressions of interest will begin in the next few weeks with contracts to be awarded next year. Construction will be able to start at the back end of next year.” Stage two will see completion of the rail network within Abu Dhabi and involve building lines to Al Ain and the border of Oman and to Jebel Ali. Etihad Rail’s third and final stage will involve connecting the railway to Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
Bowker said that the UAE will have a network connecting all seven emirates by 2018.
In the real estate sector, Aldar Properties Chief Executive Officer Sami Asad told the MEED Abu Dhabi Conference that Aldar is completing its major projects in Abu Dhabi. Asad said that 1,220 units have been completed this year in the Al Raha Beach development and a further 800 units will be finished by the end of November. A total of 116 show rooms have been completed in Motor City and tenants are moving in soon.
Asad said that Aldar is working on the Yas Mall on Yas Island and that work on this scheme will be completed in 2013. The Yas Island water park project is due for completion in 2012.
The conference also featured discussions from leading stakeholders from Urban Planning Council, EMAL, Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, Masdar, ExxonMobil Affiliates Abu Dhabi, TAKREER, ZonesCorp, Western Region Development Council, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company, Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.
The MEED Abu Dhabi Conference 2011 was held from November 15-16 in partnership with the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, Associate Sponsor Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, in association with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Technology Partner Huawei, Official Carrier GMC, Lunch Sponsor Morganti, Welcome Reception Sponsor Baker Botts, Breakfast Sponsor Bentley Systems International, Conference Sponsor Ducab, and exhibitors are BASF, Drake & Scull, Metito, Parsons, Hill International.