United Arab Emirates (UAE) 2022 – Opportunities and Challenges as the UAE Rebounds from COVID-19 and Delivers its Vision for the Next Fifty Years – MEED Insights

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The UAE is one of the best-placed countries in the world to lead the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. While sectors such as aviation and tourism remain deeply impacted, other key areas such as Dubai real estate and Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas projects sector are already returning to growth.

The UAE boasts the highest sovereign credit rating of any country in the region and has made the most progress on Covid-19 vaccination. It led the world throughout the pandemic in terms of the scaling-up of its testing infrastructure.

In October, the country will be further boosted when it opens the gates on Expo 2020 Dubai, which is set to symbolise the world’s return to business in the wake of the pandemic. The IMF forecasts that the UAE’s GDP will rebound to 3.1 per cent real growth in 2021, after crashing by -5.9 per cent in 2020. And it projects 2.6 per cent real GDP growth in 2022.

Outlook for projects

The main caveat to the optimistic outlook for the UAE is the current weakness in projects market activity, which fell off markedly in 2020 and has remained subdued despite high expectations at the start of the year.

The slow return to project spending is to be expected. As a hub for travel, trade and business, as well as being one of the world’s biggest exporters of oil and gas, the UAE was doubly exposed to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The strain on government finances from the fall in oil revenues and tourism receipts, as well as the focus on supporting the healthcare sector, had a dramatic impact on the UAE’s projects industry as spending was shut off to all but the most important projects.

As a result, the value of project contract awards slumped 37 per cent to about $19bn of awards in 2020, compared to $30.5bn in 2019, and an average annual spend of $34bn a year every year since 2011.

Companies can expect to see a recovery in projects spending in the UAE in the final quarter of 2021 and throughout 2022 as confidence returns. The UAE has a pipeline of more than $500bn of planned projects, and many of them are strategically vital if the country is to achieve the diversification, investment and job creation objectives of its national visions. They must go ahead.

New approach, new opportunities

The challenge is finance. While the UAE is well-positioned to increase borrowing, or to draw from its national reserves, the fiscal legacy of the pandemic will force the authorities to keep a tight rein on spending. This will accelerate the shift to alternative models such as public private partnership (PPP).

Spending will be spurred by a number of new oil and gas projects in Abu Dhabi led by the multi-billion-dollar Hail & Ghasha sour gas programme. However, construction sector expenditure is expected to remain muted in 2021 and even beyond until demand begins to pick up and oversupply dwindles.

UAE 2022

In this latest MEED Insight research report, MEED assesses the outlook for the UAE projects market in the wake of Covid-19 along with its history, policy, targets, sectors, key clients and contractors. The report highlights the opportunities for those working in the UAE and the drivers of investment plans.

Written by MEED, the Middle East market experts within the GlobalData Group, “UAE 2022” is a comprehensive guide for companies seeking to work in the UAE. Covering oil & gas, petrochemicals, power, construction, water, manufacturing and transport, the report will help you find opportunities, understand risks and set strategy in the UAE. As the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary, UAE 2022 provides an update on the UAE’s Vision 2021 and Centennial 2071 economic development plans.

Reasons to Buy

Analysis of the opportunities for business and projects in UAE

Comprehensive review of the impact of Covid-19 on the UAE

Outlook for policy and investment

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

Understand the Expo 2020 Dubai legacy

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 at 50

1.1 Historical background

1.2 The seven emirates

1.2.1 Abu Dhabi

1.2.2 Dubai

1.2.3 Sharjah

1.2.4 Ras al-Khaimah

1.2.5 Fujairah

1.2.6 Ajman and Umm al-Quwain

1.3 The next 50 years: Visions and plans

1.3.1 National vision

1.3.2 Abu Dhabi vision

1.3.3 Dubai vision

1.3.4 Northern emirates’ visions

1.4 Emerging industries

1.5 Expo 2020 Dubai

1.5.1 Expo 2020 legacy

2. Governance

2.1 Overview

2.2 The challenge of COVID-19

2.3 Domestic governance

2.4 Regional relations

2.5 International relations

2.6 Foreign military relations

2.7 Asian oil diplomacy

3. Economy

3.1 Overview

3.2 Banking and finance

3.3 Central Bank response to the COVID-19 crisis

3.4 Stock markets

3.5 Inflation

3.6 Balance of payments

3.7 Government finances

3.8 Oil and the economy

3.8.1 Oil production

3.8.2 Gas production

3.9 Diversification policies

3.10 Future growth

4. UAE projects market

4.1 Overview

4.2 UAE project trends

4.2.1 Housing

4.3 Cancelled/On hold projects

4.4 Future pipeline

4.4.1 Projects market by status and sector

4.4.2 Contract awards forecast 2021-23

4.4.3 Award pipeline

4.5 The UAE’s biggest project clients

4.6 Leading contractors

5. PPP in the UAE

5.1 Overview

5.2 Dubai

5.2.1 Policy & regulations

5.2.2 Ongoing and planned projects

5.3 Abu Dhabi

5.3.1 Policy & regulations

5.3.2 Ongoing and planned projects

5.4 Northern Emirates

5.4.1 Ongoing and planned projects

6. UAE oil and gas

6.1 Overview

6.1.1 Project awards gain momentum in 2021

6.1.2 Project trends

6.1.3 Abu Dhabi upstream segment starts to rumble

6.1.4 Abu Dhabi pursues downstream growth plans

6.1.5 UAE reserves and production.

6.1.6 Sharjah pivots towards gas self-sufficiency

6.2 Abu Dhabi

6.2.1 Market structure

6.2.2 Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc)

6.2.3 Adnoc IPO

6.2.4 Major Adnoc subsidiaries

6.2.5 Non-Adnoc producers

6.2.6 New upstream licensing round

6.2.7 Adnoc’s In-Country Value (ICV) programme

6.2.8 Adnoc’s pool of engineering service providers

6.3 Dubai and the northern emirates

6.4 Upstream oil

6.4.1 Onshore

6.4.2 Offshore

6.5 Gas

6.5.1 Onshore

6.5.2 Sour gas

6.5.3 Offshore gas and LNG

6.5.4 Adnoc LNG capacity expansion

6.5.5 Dolphin Energy

6.6 Refining

6.6.1 Adnoc Refining

6.6.2 Other refineries

6.6.3 Oil storage

6.7 Petrochemicals

6.7.1 Background.

6.7.2 Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge)

6.7.3 Abu Dhabi Chemicals Company (Chemaweyaat)

6.8 Fundraising and capex plan

6.9 UAE oil & gas projects market

6.9.1 Historic oil and gas projects market

6.9.2 Oil and gas projects outlook

6.10 Leading oil & gas contractors in the UAE

7. UAE industrial sector

7.1 Overview

7.1.1 Industrial project trends

7.1.2 Impact of Covid-19

7.2 Aluminium

7.2.1 Alumina refinery

7.2.2 Downstream

7.3 Steel

7.3.1 Emirates Steel

7.3.2 Other producers

7.4 Cement

7.5 Industrial projects market

7.5.1 Projects pipeline

7.6 Leading industrial projects contractors and clients

8. Power

8.1 Market overview

8.1.1 Impact of Covid-19 on the UAE power sector

8.1.2 Ewec Statement of Future Capacity Requirements, 2021-27

8.1.3 UAE Energy Strategy 2050

8.1.4 Project awards

8.2 Industry structure

8.2.1 Government

8.2.2 Private power

8.2.3 Sector reform

8.3 Supply and demand trends

8.3.1 Power consumption

8.3.2 Demand forecast

8.3.3 Installed generation capacity and annual power generation

8.4 Power generation projects

8.4.1 Power generation projects

8.4.2 Fuel and alternative energy

8.4.3 Nuclear power

8.5 Transmission & distribution network

8.5.1 Transmission projects

8.6 International electrical interconnection

8.6.1 Emirates National Grid (ENG)

8.7 Leading contractors

8.8 Abu Dhabi

8.8.1 Market overview

8.8.2 Industry structure

8.8.3 Supply and demand

8.8.4 Major power generation projects

8.8.5 Transmission and distribution network

8.8.6 Leading contractors

8.9 Dubai

8.9.1 Market overview

8.9.2 Industry structure

8.9.3 Supply and demand

8.9.4 Major power generation projects

8.9.5 Transmission and distribution network

8.9.6 Leading contractors

8.10 Northern Emirates

8.10.1 Market overview

8.10.2 Industry structure

8.10.3 Supply and demand trends.

8.10.4 Power generation projects

8.10.5 Transmission and distribution network

8.10.6 Leading contractors

9. Renewables

9.1 Market overview

9.1.1 UAE energy diversification

9.1.2 Renewables integration challenges

9.1.3 Waste-to-energy emerges

9.1.4 Renewable energy project contract awards

9.2 Market structure

9.3 Renewable capacity and generation

9.3.1 Alternative fuel and capacity.

9.4 Renewable energy policy

9.4.1 Other policies

9.5 Abu Dhabi

9.5.1 Overview

9.5.2 Major renewable energy projects

9.5.3 Top renewable power sector contractors

9.6 Dubai

9.6.1 Overview

9.6.2 Solar IPP Programme

9.6.3 Other projects

9.6.4 Renewable energy policy

9.6.5 Top renewable power sector contractors

9.7 Northern Emirates

9.7.1 Overview

9.7.2 Etihad WE (Formerly Fewa)

9.7.3 Sewa

9.7.4 Top renewable power sector contractors

10. Water and desalination

10.1 Market overview

10.2 UAE Water market structure

10.3 Water demand

10.4 Water supply

10.5 Desalination projects

10.6 Leading water contractors

10.7 Leading water clients

11. Wastewater

11.1 Market overview

11.2 Market structure

11.3 Wastewater treatment

11.4 Wastewater projects

11.5 Leading wastewater contractors

11.6 Leading wastewater clients

12. Construction

12.1 Market overview

12.1.1 Impact of Covid-19

12.1.2 Federal Budget

12.1.3 Construction project trends.

12.1.4 Project pipeline

13.1.5 Leading construction clients and contractors

12.2 Dubai

12.2.1 Dubai construction shows signs of recovery in 2021

12.2.2 Project trends and pipelines

12.2.3 Dubai Expo 2021

12.2.4 Dubai budget 2021

12.2.5 Sector Analysis

12.2.6 Dubai’s leading construction clients and contractors

12.3 Abu Dhabi

12.3.1 Market overview

12.3.2 Project trends and pipeline

12.3.3 UAE budget 2021

12.3.4 Sector analysis

12.3.5 Leading clients and contractors

12.4 Northern Emirates

12.4.1 Project trends and pipeline

12.4.2 Ajman

12.4.3 Fujairah

12.4.4 Ras Al-Khaimah

12.4.5 Sharjah

12.4.6 Umm Al-Quwain

12.4.7 Leading northern emirates construction clients and contractors

13. UAE transport and logistics

13.1.1 Market overview

13.1.2 Project trends

13.1.3 Project pipeline

13.1.4 Leading clients and contractors

13.2 Dubai

13.2.1 Project trends and pipeline

13.2.2 Sector Analysis

13.2.3 Dubai leading transport project clients

13.2.4 Dubai leading transport contractors

13.3 Abu Dhabi

13.3.1 Project trends and pipeline

13.3.2 Sector analysis

13.3.3 Abu Dhabi leading clients

13.3.4 Abu Dhabi leading contractors

13.4 Northern Emirates

13.4.1 Project trends and pipeline

13.4.2 Ajman

13.4.3 Fujairah

13.4.4 Ras Al-Khaimah

13.4.5 Sharjah

13.4.6 Umm Al-Quwain

13.4.7 Northern Emirates leading clients

13.4.8 Northern Emirates leading contractors


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