The UAE has a growing demand for energy as its economy expands.
It is trying to develop new techniques to enable it to drill for oil in previously unexplored depths and pockets. UK companies have the opportunity to research and develop these new techniques. It also has the world’s seventh largest natural gas reserves producing around 7.8billion cubic feet per day.
It is also aiming to develop a nuclear power programme to supply around a quarter of its power supply. The first plant is set to go live in 2017 so opportunities for British firms lie in support services contracts, training and security.
The UAE is looking to build more hospitals and clinics to meet the growing healthcare needs of its population.
UK projects in the UAE already include Imperial College’s Diabetes Research Centres in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and Moorefield’s Eye Hospital in Dubai.
Recent discussions have shown emergency preparedness and healthcare financing as real areas of interest with health leaders in the UAE. Other areas include the development of primary healthcare and education for medical professionals.
ARCHITECTURE, CONSTRUCTION AND ENGINEERING
UK companies have been involved in a number of architecture, construction and engineering consultancy projects across the UAE over the last 50 years. Projects include: the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Ferrari World. The UAE is currently focusing on real estate, social and tourism infrastructure and road transport projects.
Dubai has also been awarded the World EXPO 2020 trade convention which will open up more construction and hospitality contract opportunities.
The UAE plans to spend at least £15 billion on developing air transport infrastructure over the next 10 years. This includes the expansion of Abu Dhabi airport passenger capacity to 20 million passengers from the existing 12 million by 2015 and upgrades and expansions of airports in Sharjah, Ras Al Kahaimah and Fujairah.
DEFENCE AND AEROSPACE
The UAE-UK Defence & Aerospace working group was launched last year. It is focused on growing and incubating successful businesses in the UAE for the UK defence industry.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE together imported $8.6billion in defence systems in 2014 and the Emirates is keen to develop new techniques and innovations.
Earlier this year it formed the Emirates Defence Industries Company – its first integrated national defence supplier.
A significant proportion of UAE’s population is under the age of 14. As a result the government spends more on education than on any other sector investing in new technologies, facilities and teachers.
Dubai has also created specialist free zones to attract international colleges and training bodies.
Keep an eye out for our UAE series as we take a closer look at one company, Amec Foster Wheeler…