From the 1950's to the present time the towns and villages have developed from a land of small oasis to that of a modern city with full functions as in any modern city.
The infrastructure investment in this area comes to a total in excess of tens of billions of $U.S.. Housing construction has added 1000's of villas, low income dwellings as well as land parcels provided as grants to nationals, residential dwellings as well with a high standard of modern community services. Development in agriculture cannot be missed due to an area in excess of 270000 hectares with more than 40 million standing palm trees and inclusive of vegetable and other crops and fruit crops. The highways are paved surfaces for more than the length of 4000 kilometers and are linked with service roads and highways into the larger cities. The United Arab Emirates is ranked among top countries in the Arab region and 21st worldwide. Alsuweidi (2004) Women compose 41% of the workforce in the education sector and 34% in the healthcare sector. The number of students in school in the 2002-02-year was reported at 556.500 compared to the 1962 total of 4000 and now meet in buildings instead of huts in the sand.
According to the work of Alhameli & Alshehhi (2004) the UAE is becoming on an international basis a:
"Regional and global trade & tourism hub and a center for important exhibitions such as International Defense (IDEX), IT (GITEX) & Dubai Air Show. UAE give $ U.S. 10's millions of aid yearly to poor countries and has funded many projects in over 50 developing countries worth of $ U.S. 6.2 billions H.H. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan initiated the UGS project and it was operational in year 2000, with the help of Space Imaging, the leading world company in high resolution imaging satellites business."
In the case study that was written and reported by Alhameli & Alshehhi (2004) which was accomplished through study of a collection of data, reports and imagery from satellites along with use of municipality maps that had been updated and other images. The study states that it involved the:
"Acquisition of historical Landsat MSS (1973) and TM images (1984, 1990 & 1995) and compilation of references on UAE development. Landsat MSS & TM bands 4, 3 & 2 false color composite (figures 2 & 3) and composite of TM bands 7, 4 & 2 parallel with recently acquired IKONOS images were used for vectorization of built up areas in Abu Dhabi & Dubai cities."
The study further states that: "The Island is almost fully developed." Alhameli & Alshehhi (2004) Recently the Lulu Island was established off Abu Dhabi to the west with plans for development being inclusive of "remarkable recreational and residential/commercial projects." Alhameli & Alshehhi (2004) Areas along the Southwest coast and toward the East has experienced a large expansion. The focus in expansion is toward the areas of tourism, recreation and industry. The following chart labeled Chart l.0 represents the data analysis in this study:
Year / Image Type
Area by Sq. Km.
Area by Sq. Km.
1951 Air Photo
1973 Landsat MSS
15 6 / yr
1984 Landsat TM
1990 Landsat TM
112 5 / yr
1995 Landsat TM
Chart utilizes data from Case Study
Reported by Alhameli & Alshehhi (2004)
The UAE at the federal and local levels in terms of infrastructure development has been a phenomenon as cities have sprung up in the dessert which are interconnected by new roadways and further linked to the world at large via airports and seaports of the most up-to-date available in technological terms.
The Ministry of Public Works and Housing has been very active in the development of the UAE's infrastructure and has supervised many of the construction projects. For example the construction of mosques numbering 13 in all in Fujairah, 16 Sharjah mosques, the Umm Al-Qaiwain Hospital, Fujairah Hospital, Saif bin Ghubash Hospital in Ras al-Khaimah, the Ministry of Finance and Industry in Al Khubeira Palace in Abu Dhabi, the TV building and Abu Dhabi Radio Station and Healthcare Center in Umm al-Qaiwain as well as three healthcare centers in Dubai. Further he has supervised the construction of 27 school buildings, three kindergarten facilities as well as two mosques in Ajman that are being renovated and refurbished.. Finally there are 56 projects that are in the works and 80 other projects at the review stage. Since the inception of the housing committee the department has completed more than 6, 000 construction projects equaling Dh 26 billion. The following lists reflect the construction completed, planned for, under review and underway in Abu Dhabi
- Construction Expenditures
Seaport and Excavation Projects:
Dh 1,150 million
Dh 5,100 million
Dh 70 million
Abu Dhabi Airport Lounge Renovation:
Dh 4 million
Modern road network:
Seaports Excavation works and land cultivation project:
Dh 96 million
Department Government Buildings and Colleges:
Current projects undertakings in Abu Dhabi:
Dh 8,687 million
Allocation for construction of road and bridges:
Dh 3,636 million
Allocation for airports:
Dh 66 million
Allocation for Seaports, excavation and cultivation:
Dh 1,054 million
Allocation for government building projects:
Dh 3,937 million
Abu Dhabi Municipality
- Construction Expenditures
1999 completed projects
Dh 112 million
Al Maqta Bridge
Dh 112 million
Abu Dhabi Corniche
Dh 200 million
Twenty-Seven other Projects totally
Dh 148 million
1998 (14) projects
Dh 938 million
Dh 581 million
Dh 21, 344 million
Meanwhile in Dubai a recent news report states that "Statistics compiled by the DED suggest that the Emirate's GDP rose historically by 16.7% in 2004 to touch almost AED 100 billion, as measured by current prices." (AME Info News Online) The Dubai municipality has played a key role in transforming the emirate into a tourist center complete with modern efficiencies. The numbers of vehicles are expected to double by 2011 and this keeps traffic planning at the top of the list with plans for many new roads to be constructed even after so many having been completed. Stating that: "the phenomenal growth in 2004 is the result of several factors, including the ambitious initiatives launched by HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister"; said the DED Director General continuing by stating that: "The Government of Dubai's unlimited support for the private sector coupled with dramatic increase in local spending, the constant growth of non-oil sectors and the sustained high oil prices have all contributed to Dubai achieving record growth rates." Playing a key role in the 2004 growth are the expansion and development in the non-oil sectors of the industry with a 17% growth in the non-oil sectors.
There is a reported "continuous inflow of foreign capital" according to Mr. Alabbar who stated that "a trend that is expected to be maintained with the prevailing lucrative return on investment in key sectors."
The initiatives launched by the government in coordination with the large corporations and companies in the Emirate have assisted the local and international interest rates in finding stabilization at low levels of rates which has given encouragement to private investors as well as offering a broad range of choice in the investment community at large. Economic indicators, according to the UAE Interact News report, "showed a quantum leap in the construction sector for the third year." (UAE Interact News 2005)
Urban Progress: Construction in Process
In a recent news report entitled "Abu Dhabi plans Emirates Pearl" sated is that a "massive residential and tourist city called Emirates Pearl will be built at a cost of DH35 billion on an island belonging to Abu Dhabi under an agreement signed between the government of the emirate and a consortium of three companies." (Arab News Archive 12 Dec 2004)
The report states that the "Emirates Pearl" will sit upon five million square meters of land on Al Sho'oom Island which is located northeast of Dhabi. Companies in the consortium are Malaysia company BBM, Al Ain based Al Rayan Investment and Abu Dhabi-based National Company for Property Investment. The Emirates Pearl will be inclusive of "luxury hotels, hospitals, and university and family entertainment facilities within a modern city managed by the latest technologies ... " (Arab News Archive 12 Dec 2004) Lastly, the report revealed the fact that Abu Dhabi City will connect with the island via a bridge. The project will move the industry forward a giant step in the area of "highly developed residential projects, business centres, tourist resorts and family entertainment at the regional and international levels and would add a new dimension to the concept of the 21st century, according to BMM. (The Emirates News Agency)
In a December 12, 2004 News Report entitled "Arabtec to build villas in…