• Wednesday, November 13, 2019

GCC States Economy & Development

Discussion in 'Arab Defence Forum' started by Arabian Legend, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Arabian Legend

    Arabian Legend SENIOR MEMBER

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    :cuckoo::lol::lol::lol:
     
  2. Hakan

    Hakan RETIRED MOD

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    Saudi Arabia may close shops early to boost employment - paper

    (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is expected to make shops close at 9 p.m. instead of midnight later this year, Saudi Gazette reported on Sunday, in a move aimed at encouraging employment by making sales jobs more attractive.

    The policy, first announced last year, has been approved by a government committee, the English-language daily reported. The move might face some public criticism in a country where many people prefer to shop late in the evenings.

    The conservative Islamic kingdom is trying to push young Saudis to take jobs in the private sector by closing a gap in pay, benefits and working hours with government posts, which has been the main source of national employment for decades.

    Sales jobs, traditionally held by expatriates, have often been seen as menial in Saudi Arabia, but the government is trying to encourage young people to take such positions to address long-term unemployment.

    The official unemployment rate for Saudis is around 12 per cent. However, economists estimate that only 30-40 percent of working age Saudis participate in the workforce, either by holding jobs or seeking employment. Most working Saudis are employed by the state.

    Despite years of successive fiscal surpluses and foreign currency reserves greater than the kingdom's gross domestic product, economists often warn that high government spending, particularly on salaries, is unsustainable.

    A committee composed of officials from the commerce, municipal and rural affairs, Islamic affairs and electricity ministries has finished studying the issue and will soon report, the English-language daily reported.

    "Sources close to the committee expected the closure of shops to be effective before the advent of Ramadan in early July," it said.

    Saudi Arabia may close shops early to boost employment - paper| Reuters
     
  3. Bratva

    Bratva PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    @al-Hasani It seems thread already exist? Besides the Metro project, some upcoming projects in Qatar

    Summarizing major infra projects in Qatar

    Brief description of each project given in below link

    Upcoming Projects In Qatar | Latest Projects In Qatar, Major Projects in Qatar, Qatar Projects, Oil & Gas Projects in Qatar, Qatar Construction Projects, Top Ten Projects - infoqat.com (Some are in cold storage for now)

    $140bn infrastructure projects underway


    27
    February
    2013

    Qatar plans to spend an average of over 10% of its national output annually on building infrastructure as it prepares to host the soccer World Cup in 2022. Here is a look at its major projects:

    INTEGRATED RAIL PROJECT
    This features a more than 300km rail system, including a metro network within Doha as well as high-speed passenger lines, a light rail system at Lusail City and a 195km freight line linking Mesaieed port to the industrial city of Ras Laffan; eventually, the project will be linked to a planned rail network across Gulf Co-operation Council countries. The second phase of the project will include a 150km high-speed line to Bahrain.
    Completion date: The first of the metro’s four lines is to be operational in 2019.
    Cost: $36bn.

    NEW DOHA PORT
    A seaport with capacity of 2mn 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) will be built at Mesaieed, which will be expanded to allow additional capacity in the second and third phases of the project.
    Completion date: 2016 for the first phase. The second and third phases will be completed after 2022.
    Cost: $7.4bn.

    HAMAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
    Qatar’s new airport will feature two of the longest runways in the world and a 510,000sq m passenger terminal.
    Completion date: The airport will receive its first passengers on April 1; it will be fully operational in the second half of this year, with the final phase to be completed by 2015.
    Cost: $17.5bn.

    LUSAIL CITY
    One of the Gulf’s largest real estate developments, Lusail will cover 38sq km and house up to 200,000 people. It will contain residential areas, commercial districts including the $275mn Marina Mall project, 22 hotels, four islands and two golf courses. It will feature the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium, where the championship match of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament will be played.

    Completion date: 2020.
    Cost: $45bn.

    STADIUMS
    The country will build nine stadiums and renovate three existing facilities.
    Completion date: Varying from 2015 to 2019.
    Cost: $4bn.

    HIGHWAY PROGRAMME
    The Doha Expressway system will consist of 280km of dual four-lane roads. The 12km Lusail Expressway will connect Doha to Lusail City. The country is also building a 7.5km highway linking Doha and Dukhan.
    Completion date: 2016.
    Cost: $8.1bn.

    ROADS AND DRAINAGE
    Qatar plans to build approximately 150km of roads and drainage systems.
    Completion date: 2016.
    Cost: $14.6bn.

    IDRIS
    Sewage infrastructure project.
    Completion date: 2018.
    Cost: $2.5bn.

    MSHEIREB
    A real estate project that will restore 750,000sq m of downtown Doha, the project will contain residential, retail and cultural areas as well as four hotels, all built in a style reminiscent of traditional Qatari architecture.
    Completion date: 2016.
    Cost: $6.4bn.

    AL-WAAB CITY
    A mixed-use project that will contain residential, retail and commercial facilities plus a hotel.
    Completion date: 2015.
    Cost: $2bn.

    DOHA FESTIVAL CITY
    A shopping mall and entertainment park.
    Completion date: 2016.
    Cost: $1.6bn.

    $140bn infrastructure projects underway





    LUSAIL CITY PROJECT 90-95 Percent completed ( A new coastal city)

    Qatar’s Lusail City to be fully ready end-2014 - Emirates 24/7

    http://www.lusail.com/English/Media/Photo-Gallery/Pages/main-Category.aspx


    Barwa Commercial Avenue. ( 8 KM commercial market. Completed in 2013. Now shops are being given on rent, new stores are being opened)

    Barwa Commercial Avenue’s first outlets set to open this year

    Barwa Commercial Avenue’s first outlets set to open this ye..


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Project cost: 2 billion dollar ( The Peninsula Qatar - Construction of QR7bn Barwa Commercial Avenue on track )






    Qatar FIFA 2022 stadium status ( ambiguity,confusion,delays yet construction is moving ahead )

    Qatar Cuts Number of World Cup Soccer Stadiums as Costs Rise By Zainab Fattah and Robert Tuttle Apr 21, 2014

    Qatar Cuts Number of World Cup Soccer Stadiums as Costs Rise - Bloomberg

    Fifa World Cup 2022 stadiums


    Qatar Bahrain Causeway Project ( in cold storage for now)

    Bahrain and Qatar set to resume talks on building 40-km bridge (
    October 2013)

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/bus...to-resume-talks-on-building-40-km-bridge.html

    [​IMG]




    Sharq Crossing-Doha Bay crossing (sensational tunnel-and-bridge sea link)


    Sharq Crossing construction to commence in 2015 (Updated)

    Complete In Depth report

    Sharq Crossing construction to commence in 2015 (Updated) - Doha News ( click link to read)


    (Sharq Crossing is a marquee program in Qatar’s ambitious development plans ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The project will traverse Doha Bay and will comprise bridge sections interconnected by an immersed tube tunnel to create a new passageway beneath the waters of Doha Bay. Completion of the system is required by 2020 to support the run-up to the World Cup event

    Fluor Corporation has been awarded a $185m contract with Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) to provide program management and construction supervision services for the $5bn Sharq Crossing program – previously known as the Doha Bay Crossing program)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    And for all the major road construction, overhauling, education related developments, New doha Port project and associated things would be found here


    Qatar Infrastructure Thread - Page 80 - SkyscraperCity (Qatar Infrastructure Thread)




     
  4. Black Eagle 90

    Black Eagle 90 BANNED

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    GCC has vast investment opportunities in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh along with all over African countries in minerals, industrial and power sector along with Agriculture as well.
     
  5. random123

    random123 BANNED

    New Recruit

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    Why not invest in Pakistan, Yemen, North and Central Africa along with South East Asian countries...
     
  6. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    From Kuwait to Oman – no border posts

    Passengers will have to be prepared before boarding, and have the required visa at hand, much like when travelling by train

    Travelling by train will be like travelling by airplane once the GCC Railway is completed and operative, said representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

    The member states are cooperating and working towards open access between the countries when the anticipated railway crosses through the borders, therefore omitting the border posts, elaborated Ramiz Al Assar, World Bank resident adviser of the GCC Secretariat-General.

    [​IMG]

    “It will be like traveling by train. If you get on board in Kuwait and get off in Oman, you will go through the border procedures in Oman,” added Ibrahim Al Sabti, Director of Transportation Department of the GCC Secretariat-General.

    Procedures that normally take place at the physical border will be omitted from the trip, as to guarantee a smooth travel. “If the train had to stop at every border and go through the border procedures, this may take four hours every time and that is not convenient. In this way, only people getting off will go through the border procedures of a country,” explained Al Assar.

    The GCC representatives spoke about the rail network in length at the Arabian World Construction Summit that was held by Meed in Dubai last week.

    The omitting of border posts does not mean leniency in visa requirements, they informed. Passengers will have to be prepared before boarding, and have the required visa at hand, much like when travelling by train.

    [​IMG]

    As soon as 2018, travelling by train through the six Gulf countries will become a reality, as the GCC Railway project is mandated to be completed in the beginning of that year, according to Al Assar. The railway will form a link between Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait on a 2177km-long track carrying freight as well as passenger trains.

    Currently, the first freight trains are running on a trial basis on a 150-km route between Ruwais and Habsan in the UAE, a route which is soon to be opened as the first operative part of the railway.

    Etihad Railway, the authority responsible for the network in the UAE revealed earlier that it had secured the connection to Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, and that the railway would connect to neighbouring countries Saudi Arabia and Oman early-2017. In the final stage of the project the rail network in the UAE will connect to the Northern Emirates of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

    Possible extensions

    Further, possible extensions are under review as we speak. In 2010, the extension of the railway to Yemen was approved and Oman is currently looking at the options,” explained Al Assar, elaborating that the railway could be drawn to Salalah on a side track.

    [​IMG]

    A feasibility and engineering study is carried out to realise the proposed new causeway to link Saudi Arabia and Bahrain with the GCC Railway, a link which would form an important contribution to the rail network, he added.

    Regionally, plans to link the existing rail network of the Mashreq (eastern) and the Maghreb (western) region of the Middle East are under discussion, with possible links between Kuwait and Iraq, and Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

    [​IMG]

    In an update of the latest developments, Al Assar said that Saudi Arabia has commenced the construction of about 200 km, and tendered the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) for the rest of the GCC Railway (450 km), while the UAE is about to award another 150 km of rail network. Oman and Qatar have awarded the Building and Design (DB) contracts, and Bahrain is expected to take steps this year.

    In all likelihood, the GCC Railway Authority will be formed in 2015, which will to ensure successful implementation of the GCC Railway.

    From Kuwait to Oman – no border posts - Emirates 24/7
     
  7. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    20 August 2014

    [​IMG]
    Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi. The UAE’s non-oil trade in terms of weight reached around 40.7 million tonnes in the first quarter.

    UAE's non-oil trade hits Dh256 billion


    Momentum driven by strong performance across all economic sectors in UAE

    The UAE’s non-oil trade reached Dh256 billion in the first quarter of 2014, reflecting the continuous momentum of the country’s non-oil foreign trade in 2013, driven by stronger performance in all economic sectors and the country’s more advanced position on many global indices, preliminary data of the Federal Customs Authority, or FCA, showed on Tuesday.

    “The FCA’s statistics show that imports accounted for 65 per cent, or Dh166.4 billion, of the non-oil trade in the first quarter, while exports accounted for 11.8 per cent, or Dh30.2 billion, and re-exports that represented 23.2 per cent, or Dh59.4 billion of non-oil trade,” the FCA said in a Press release affirming that the UAE has continued to enhance its prime position on the world trade map and enhance the role it plays in facilitating trade across the world in the first quarter of this year.

    The UAE’s non-oil trade in terms of weight reached approximately 40.7 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2014, of which imports accounted for 15.5 million tonnes, exports 22.7 million tonnes and re-exports 2.5 million tonnes.

    The FCA said the first-quarter statistics represent a significant launchpad for the UAE’s trade balance with other countries, after the foreign trade indices returned last year to the normal levels of pre-global financial crisis era that hit the world hard in 2008. The country’s federal customs regulator added that the non-oil trade in 2013 saw relative steady growth rates throughout the year, which in turn mirrors the sound economic and trade policies of the UAE.

    In the first quarter of 2014, the Asia-Pacific and Australia region maintained its leading position among the UAE’s trade partners in terms of non-oil trade, accounting for 43 per cent, or Dh106 billion of total direct trade volume.

    The remaining regions maintained their relative weight in terms of total trade during the first quarter, as Europe took the second position contributing 27 per cent, or Dh67.2 billion, to total trade, followed by the Mena region with 14 per cent, or Dh35.1 billion.

    The US and Caribbean ranked fourth with 10 per cent of the total non-oil trade, or Dh24.1 billion, followed by West and Central Africa (four per cent, or Dh9.4 billion) and East and South Africa (three per cent, or Dh7 billion).

    Based on the FCA figures, the value of non-oil trade between UAE and the GCC reached Dh22.9 billion in the first quarter, of which GCC imports accounted for Dh7.4 billion, while exports and re-exports represented Dh7.7 billion each.
    GCC countries maintained their relatively flat positions among trade partners of the UAE, with Saudi Arabia on top.

    The total value of UAE-Saudi non-oil trade recorded Dh8.3 billion, accounting for 36.2 per cent of total trade with GCC countries. Oman came second with Dh6 billion (26.4 per cent), followed by Kuwait and Qatar with Dh3.2 billion (14 per cent) each, and Bahrain with Dh2.2 billion (9.4 per cent).
    Non-oil trade with Arab countries hit Dh35.9 billion in the first quarter, to which imports contributed Dh11.9 billion, exports and re-exports Dh11.7 billion and Dh12.3 billion, respectively.
    The FCA said gold, motor vehicles, diamond, jewels and jewellery, telephone sets, aerial and space vehicles, data processing devices, pure copper and copper mixes were on top of the UAE’s imports in the first quarter.

    Gold, jewels and jewellery, ethylene polymers, crude aluminium, copper wires, petroleum oils and processed mineral oils, iron scrap, sugar cane or sugar beet came at the first place in the list of exports.

    Top re-exports in the said period were diamonds, jewels and jewellery, motor vehicles, mobile sets, reciprocating engines, data processing devices, magnetic and optical readers and transport trucks.

    “The UAE is keen on facilitating world trade and removing customs and non-customs hiccups before mutual trade with peers worldwide. This in turn would cement bilateral international relations, contribute to meeting national expectations and consumer growing demand while the UAE seeks to protect the society from illegal trade practices and maintain the economic interest of the business sector locally and overseas,” the FCA said.

    https://defence.pk/threads/uaes-1st-quarter-2014-non-oil-trade-dh256-billion.329822/
     
  8. Arabian Legend

    Arabian Legend SENIOR MEMBER

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    ABU DHABI // More than 55 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s first nuclear reactor at Barakah, in the Western Region, is complete, said the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation.



    [​IMG]


    The government body released exclusive video footage to The National showing the work completed so far.

    International nuclear energy experts have called the work carried out at Barakah impressive in both quality and safety.

    “On-time and on-budget advancement of the construction work in the Barakah nuclear plant is yet another successful milestone of the UAE’s well-thought plans,” said Hamad Alkaabi, the UAE ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    “After more than five years since the start-up of the UAE programme it is quite an achievement for the UAE, and the global nuclear sector, to be able to advance to such a stage in a steady and quality manner.”

    Last November, Kristine Svinicki of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission toured the site where the country’s first nuclear plants were being built.

    “The UAE indeed has an inspiring story to tell about their nuclear energy project,” Ms Svinicki said at the time. “It truly makes it a model for other nations to follow.”

    Fahad Al Qahtani, Enec’s External Communications Director, said the body was hoping to pour concrete for Unit 4 next year, pending regulatory approval.

    “2016 would also be the arrival and installation of the first fuel load,” said Mr Al Qahtani. “We are happy and proud that it is happening and it is on schedule.”

    Construction of Barakah Unit 2 is under way, with an entry into commercial operation scheduled in 2018.

    Enec plans to apply for an operating licence for the first two reactors in 2017.

    With four plants operational by 2020, nuclear energy is expected to deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs, saving up to 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.



    Read more: More than 55 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s Unit 1 nuclear power plant complete | The National
    Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook


    Source: More than 55 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s Unit 1 nuclear power plant complete
     
  9. Horus

    Horus ADMINISTRATOR

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    Who's building the reactor ?
     
  10. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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  11. Arabian Legend

    Arabian Legend SENIOR MEMBER

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    Korea Electric Power Co. in conjunction with Samsung, Hyundai and Westinghouse Electric Co.
     
  12. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    September 3, 2014

    [​IMG]
    The UAE's performance in the Global Competitiveness Report.



    UAE 12th most competitive nation in 2014

    Country advancing dramatically across development indicators, Shaikh Mohammad says

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) named the United Arab Emirates the 12th most competitive nation globally for 2014-2015, a jump of seven ranks from last year.


    That ranking puts it ahead of countries such as Canada, Denmark and South Korea. The nation also leads all the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries.

    The UAE ranks first for the absence of inflation and the absence of organised crime globally, second for the effectiveness of government spending and third in terms of absence of government bureaucracy. It also rated as having the third best infrastructure in the world.


    Indicators


    According to the report, the UAE has made a remarkable progress in 78 sub-indicators during just one year.

    His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said in a statement: “The UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is advancing steadily and dramatically across development indicators, reflecting the areas where our economy is progressing ... notably, security and stability indicators are among the best in the world... and the welfare of our citizens is our first priority.”


    Shaikh Mohammad also added that the UAE government is constantly monitoring these global indicators issued by reputable international organisations. “Retreating is not an option in our government.”

    Despite the many challenges facing our region, our main focus has been, and will remain on progressing in our nation, and developing our economy for the on-going welfare of our citizens. Our message to those around us is that the key to true stability lies in the creation of real development,” he said.

    He commented that the UAE has progressed in several areas because of the hard work of federal and local teams who are working as one, equipped with a vision that extends to the year 2021.



    ”Our agendas and sector strategies change continuously as our ambitions keep growing,” he said.

    Teamwork


    Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State, and Chairwoman of the Emirates Competitiveness Council (ECC), commended the efforts made by federal and local government organisations to step up performance of the UAE’s competitiveness.


    Al Hashimy said efforts by different government teams led to the significant improvement in results of competitiveness indicators, with quality of the country’s public institutions climbing four ranks from last year to become the 7th globally.

    “This report is an international testimony to the UAE’s global lead and position among the world’s most advanced and innovative countries and this achievement could have not been achieved without the vision of our leadership who aspires to realise the ultimate goal of the UAE Vision 2021 of making UAE the best country in the world by 2021,” she said.

    She added, saying: “I thank all individual and organisations who contributed in supporting UAE’s competitiveness, as well as the teams in different government institutions. All government institutions deserve to be commended for working together to achieve this remarkable result.”

    More challenges


    Abdullah Lootah, ECC Secretary General, said the surge in the country’s ranking year by year comes with more challenges to maintain this lead.

    “We have a lot to do in holding this top position and in doing better. We will step up our efforts and work with the concerned institutions to ensure that the UAE remains in the top all the time,” he added.

    Rankings of competitiveness in the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) are determined by two main factors: the Executive Opinion Survey and the data measuring performance of countries in vital areas such as healthcare, education, market size, patents, research and innovation programmes.

    Lootah underlined the important role of the private sector in improving the country’s competitiveness rankings.

    The ECC maintains a constant interaction with national and international companies, chambers and business councils in the UAE such as the British and French business councils.

    Comprehensive assessment


    The GCR assesses the competitiveness landscape of different world economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.


    The report series remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide.


    In the WEF report, the UAE also was ranked second globally for government procurement of advanced technology, for the effectiveness of government spending, and for the impact of taxes on investment and the lack of trade barriers. It also ranks second for the quality of its infrastructure in the aviation sector.


    The UAE ranked third globally on indicators such as citizens’ confidence in government and leadership, the absence of government bureaucracy, the quality of ports, efficiency of customs procedures and attracting technology through foreign direct investment.


    Significantly, for the knowledge economy, UAE ranked 3rd globally for attracting professional talent.


    The UAE showed significant success in all overarching pillars of the report, over the last year. It ranked 2nd, up from 4th, in Basic Requirements which measures the readiness of regulations and institutions, infrastructure, health and primary education.


    In Efficiency Enhancers, which evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of higher education systems, labour market, financial market and technological readiness, the UAE ranked 14th globally, up from 20th. It also moved up to 21st from 24th in Innovation and Sophistication.


    The GCR assesses 144 countries on their ability to provide high levels of prosperity and welfare to its citizens, along a series of performance indicators which evaluates the country’s ability to provide suitable infrastructure for investments.

    UAE 12th most competitive nation in 2014
     
  13. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    Some more facts:

    Under a subcategory of institutions, the UAE ranks 1st in the world for absence of organised crime and almost as highly for public trust in politicians (3rd), burden of regulation (3rd), and reliability of police (7th).

    In a country where so much infrastructure development has taken place, it comes as little surprise to learn the UAE is ranked first for the quality of its road network, second for its airports and third for its ports.


    ------

    September 3, 2014

    UAE surges up league of world economies

    The UAE economy is the highest rated in the Arab world after it leapt seven places to 12th in a global competitiveness index of 144 countries.

    The jump is by far the largest movement in the top 30 positions of the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index, and leaves the UAE sandwiched between Nordic powerhouses Denmark and Norway and breathing down the necks of Sweden and the UK.

    The rapid climb shows how far the UAE has come since the low point of the global financial crisis of 2007-09, when it languished in 37th position.

    The top 10 positions in the latest listings, published on Wednesday, are occupied by advanced western economies and three Asian tigers.

    Switzerland, home of the WEF, tops the ranking for the sixth consecutive year, with Singapore in second place for the fourth time running and the US creeping back up to the third slot as it recovers from the financial crisis that sent it down the rankings in 2009.

    The other top 10 positions go to Finland, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden.

    The other five members of the GCC have not fared as well as the UAE. Since last year, Qatar has fallen three places to 16th and Saudi Arabia four places to 24, Kuwait is down four to 40th, Bahrain slips one spot to 44th and Oman is down 13 places to 46th.

    The next nearest Arab state is Jordan, in 64th, followed by Morocco (72), Algeria (79), Tunisia (87), Egypt (119), Libya (126) and Yemen (142).

    India is in 71st position, falling 11 places since last year, and Iran is down one spot to 83rd.

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the UAE’s surge up the league table was a tribute to federal and local teams working as one for the country’s progress.

    “Despite the many challenges facing our region, our main focus has been, and will remain, on progress in our nation and developing our economy for the welfare of our citizens. Our message to those around us is that the key to true stability lies in the creation of real development.”

    The WEF defines competitiveness as the “institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity”, and measures the competitiveness of 144 countries against a dozen “pillars”. These include the quality of its institutions, infrastructure, health care and primary education, the efficiency of its labour market and its technological readiness, business sophistication and level of innovation.

    To measure these pillars, the index uses statistical data such as school enrolment rates, government debt, budget deficit and life expectancy, drawn from sources including internationally recognised agencies, such as the United Nations agency, the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organisation.

    To produce its report, the WEF works with national partner organisations around the world. In the UAE they include the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Competitiveness Office, Zayed University and the Emirates Competitiveness Council.

    This year’s report is published at a time when “the global economy seems to be finally leaving behind the worst and longest-lasting financial and economic crisis of the last 80 years”, Espen Barth Eide, managing director of the WEF, writes in his preface.

    However, he cautions, “this resurgence is moving at a less decisive pace than it has after previous downturns and heightened risks looming on the horizon could derail the global recovery”.

    To guard against this, policymakers and leaders of business and civil society must recognise “the need for economic growth to be balanced by providing opportunities and benefits for all segments of the population and by being respectful of the environment”.

    Set up in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation with headquarters in Geneva, the WEF is an independent international institution “dedicated to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation”.

    It is best known for its annual meeting in Davos, which gathers political, business, academic and other leaders of society “in collaborative efforts to shape global, regional and industry agendas and define challenges, solutions and actions”.

    From November 9 to 11 Dubai will host the Summit on the Global Agenda, which brings together “thought leaders” from the WEF’s Network of Global Agenda Councils, comprising experts from business, academia, government and civil society.

    UAE 12th most competitive nation in 2014
     
  14. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    September 8, 2014

    Developed countries ‘envious’ of GCC economies
    Crucial need to invest in young people, education, training

    The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are in a “very enviable position in comparison with most economies”, Bahrain’s transportation minister has said.

    “Developed countries across the world are dealing with a number of acute challenges such as depressed demand, low inflation; household deleveraging, public deficits and secular stagnation,” Kamal Ahmad said. “At the same time, many emerging markets have had to worry about the possible impact of tightening monetary policy in the US or about domestic credit bubbles. In the GCC, by contrast, we have arguably the strongest fundamentals of any region in the world. We have strong, resilient economic growth, sustainable public finances and household balance sheets, current account surpluses, strong government revenues from hydrocarbons and bright prospects for future growth as those revenues are invested in projects aimed at spurring economic diversification,” he said.

    The minister, who is also acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), was delivering the keynote address at the opening session of the Business Opportunity and Political Risk in the Gulf and Middle East conference in Bahrain.

    He attributed the GCC’s privileged position to a strong oil price and to the hard work of reform.

    “Everyone is aware of how hard these reforms can be to put in place and make effective. Acting in response to a crisis is one thing, but putting in place difficult policies that sacrifice some short-term advantages or upset some domestic constituencies in order to secure prosperity in 20 years’ time is a very different matter,” he said.

    “Of course, the Gulf has long been blessed with resources — but the reforms that we have made have meant that we are now making better use of them than we did in the past. More and more revenues have been invested domestically in sectors that are characterised by increasing productivity and that have helped to create quality jobs for GCC citizens. We have also taken steps to invest in infrastructure that has made the region a key point on global trade routes and creates a strong foundation for regional integration.”

    However, while hydrocarbons are still important to the GCC economy, other sectors such as logistics, petrochemicals, professional services, tourism and others are playing an increasingly central role in supporting economic growth, he added.

    “We have moved from bringing in international firms to export our oil, to building a local role in the hydrocarbon industry and utilising our resources to develop downstream industries such as aluminium, plastics and petrochemicals. Likewise, the wealth that oil and gas generates is increasingly being invested in the local economy through institutions based here in the region, staffed more and more by highly skilled locals. Increasingly, we are transforming wealth below the ground into sustainable industries, such as manufacturing and financial services, and a highly skilled population.”

    The minister said that while there was “good” reason to be positive about the current state of the GCC economy, the challenge is to ensure that “the current prosperity is not something that will be seen in 30 years as a short-lived golden age”.

    “After all, oil will not last forever — we need to make sure that we develop economies that are able to thrive in the post-oil era. As the population continues to expand there will continue to be a growing, number of young people coming into the workforce,” he said.

    Investing in young people who make up 50 per cent of the population and in education are a necessity, he added.

    “As well as giving people an education, we also need to encourage the right attitude. If our children leave school thinking that all they need to do is to wait for the government to give them a job, then we have failed them. Our goal must be a productive, innovative economy that generates ideas, products, and services locally and sells them to other markets. The purpose of economic growth should be to create high quality jobs and opportunities for people in the region — to allow them to share in the nation’s prosperity and to ensure that that growth is sustainable in the long term,”
    he said.

    Developed countries ‘envious’ of GCC economies

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    September 6, 2014

    [​IMG]
    KIng Abdullah receives King Hamad King Abdullah receiving King Hamad in Jeddah

    Bahrain and Saudi Arabia announce new causeway
    Second terrestrial link between two kingdoms to boost GCC relations, cooperation

    A new terrestrial link connecting Bahrain with Saudi Arabia will be called “King Hamad Causeway”.

    “The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz has endorsed the project to construct a second causeway that will link the Kingdom of Bahrain with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported late on Friday. “King Abdullah’s endorsement of the causeway was announced during his meeting with His Majesty King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa in Jeddah. King Hamad expressed his thanks and gratitude to King Abdullah for his generous initiative and his strong support to the consolidation of relations between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).”

    The new terrestrial link is expected to consolidate economic, social and cultural relations and cooperation between the GCC countries, the official news agency added.

    Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates formed their loose alliance in 1981 in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

    Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been connected by the King Fahd Causeway since November 1986.

    The 25-kilometre causeway, the longest in the Arab world, was opened by the late King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia and the late Emir Shaikh Eisa Bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain. It is today one of the busiest traffic areas between Arab countries.

    Drivers who use the causeway pay a two Bahraini dinars (Dh19.2) or 20 Saudi riyals (Dh19.5) fee, but no charges are imposed on passengers, regardless of their numbers.

    Authorities in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have recently issued statements about increasing the number of lanes for cars, buses and trucks to help deal with traffic congestion, particularly during the weekends and holidays.

    Several Saudis and Saudi Arabia-based foreigners who work or study in Bahrain commute daily while a large number of Bahrain-based expatriates and Bahrainis use the causeway daily to go to their work or universities.

    The causeway is also used by trucks, mainly from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, heading towards Bahrain to deliver or load products.

    Queues of long vehicles are often seen at the entrance or exit of the causeway.

    According to official figures, 40,000 people a day use the terrestrial link between the two kingdoms.

    In March, 770,672 people used the causeway during the 10-day break in Saudi schools, Mualla Al Otaibi, the spokesperson for the passports department in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, said.

    In December, Saudi Arabia’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) in a searing report said that a probe it had conducted revealed that the absence of traffic patrols, especially at peak hours, was among the major reasons for delays suffered by drivers and passengers as they attempted to use the causeway.

    However, the traffic police rejected the findings, saying that they had “nothing to do with the congestion at the causeway” and that “the passports department was in charge of the matter”.

    Bahrain also has plans to build a causeway with neighbouring Qatar. Negotiations on “Love Bridge” began in 2009 but were suspended soon after. According to Al Arabiya, negotiations resumed again in late 2013.

    https://defence.pk/threads/bahrain-and-saudi-arabia-announce-new-causeway.332941/

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    September 7, 2014

    King Hamad Causeway to be used by trains, vehicles
    Business community welcomes new terrestrial link as a boost for Gulf relations

    The King Hamad Causeway to be built between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will be used by passenger trains, freight trains and vehicles.

    The separate train connections will be part of the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) 2,170-km railway network,
    the minister of transportation Kamal Ahmad said.

    The new causeway, expected to be 25 kilometres long, will run in parallel with the existing King Fahd Causeway, the only terrestrial link between the two kingdoms, which opened in November 1986. Vehicles carrying millions of passengers as well as trucks have been using the busy causeway over the years, with a daily average of 40,000 people.

    The construction of the new causeway was announced during a meeting between King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa and the Saudi monarch King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz late on Friday in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

    Initial estimations believe that the King Hamad Causeway will take about four years to complete, but the business community in Bahrain has welcomed the project as a much-needed boost to the local and Gulf economies.

    Several businessmen said that it would reinvigorate trade and commercial exchanges between the two kingdoms and other countries in the region and beyond.

    “It was a most pleasant surprise and we are confident that the new causeway would consolidate commercial, economic and social relations between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia,” Abdul Rahman Fakhroo, a businessman, said. “It will eliminate the crises and problems on the King Fahd Causeway because of its limited capacity. We are really pleased, but we also look forward to plans and designs that anticipate huge developments in the distant future, and not just within five or ten years,” he said.

    Businessman Kadhem Al Saeed insisted on the significance of the railway link.

    “The railway movement of products has become an urgent necessity, particularly as the region witnesses fast developing rates of commercial activities, urbanism and demography,” he said.

    Yousuf Al Mesh’al said that Bahrain and Saudi Arabia as well as the other countries would benefit from the construction of a new terrestrial link.

    “It will greatly help with economic integration in several areas,” he said. “The Bahraini market, much smaller than the Saudi’s, will benefit greatly while Saudi Arabia will benefit from the know-how of Bahrainis who can commute every day between the two countries without putting pressure on housing or health services in the Saudi kingdom, for instance,” he said.

    https://defence.pk/threads/bahrain-and-saudi-arabia-announce-new-causeway.332941/
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  15. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    September 16, 2014

    Two nuclear reactors to be built in UAE
    Federal Nuclear Regulation Authority authorises Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp to build two more nuclear power reactors at Barakah site

    The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the UAE has authorised the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) to begin building two additional nuclear power reactors at the Barakah site in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi emirate.

    The licence for the construction of units three and four of the Barakah Nuclear Facility and related regulated activities was approved by the FANR Board of Management at its meeting on Monday. The licence authorises Enec to construct two additional Korean-designed, advanced pressurised water reactors of the type known as the APR1400, each capable of producing 1,400 megawatts of electricity.

    FANR granted a construction licence for units one and two at the Barakah site in July 2012; that licence was the first provided to a “newcomer” country in 31 years to authorise the construction of its first nuclear power plant since China did so in 1981.

    The licence permits Enec to construct the reactors but Enec must apply for a separate operating licence before it can begin to operate them. Enec is expected to submit an application in 2015 for a licence to operate units 1 and 2.

    “The latest licence approval illustrates the significant progress the United Arab Emirates has achieved in its nuclear energy programme,” said Dr Ahmad Al Mazroui, Chairman of the FANR Board of Management.

    The granting of the units 3 and 4 construction licence followed an intensive 18-month review by about 200 FANR and other technical experts. They examined all relevant safety factors including the adequacy of the reactor site, the design of the facility, the safety analysis, management systems and quality assurance for construction, radiation safety measures, physical protection and safeguards.

    Furthermore, the review incorporated lessons learnt from the March 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. Throughout its review, FANR has benefited from its close collaboration with both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and nuclear regulatory officials in the Republic of Korea.

    “The FANR team is dedicated to ensuring that nuclear energy in the UAE is pursued safely, securely and peacefully,”
    said FANR’s Director General Dr William D. Travers. “In addition to our detailed review of Enec’s operating licence application, FANR will continue to closely monitor construction at the Barakah site, and will verify that all rules and regulations are followed before it grants any authorisation to Enec to commence operations.”

    UAE Nuclear Regulator invites Public to Comment on Nuclear Facilities Guide