Utilities projects worth $1.6bn (AED5.8bn) have been announced for the Northern Emirates – including a federal scheme to link water developments with Abu Dhabi and Dubai – by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.
Of the total amount, $653.4m (AED2.4bn) has been allocated for the construction of dams and a federal water network to link the Northern Emirates’ supply with Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
As part of the plan, storage tanks, pipelines, and networks will be built under the oversight of Federal Electricity and Water Authority. These projects are due to complete within two years.
Also approved was a $326.7m (AED1.2bn) solar power station in Umm Al Quwain, as well as a water desalination station with a capacity of 150 million gallons per day (MIGD). Both developments are due to complete in the next two years.
Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to the Northern Emirates included a review of the $8.4m (AED31m) Kalba Dam in Sharjah, which was built in 2017 and has a capacity of 541,000m3. During the tour, he was also briefed about the UAE’s strategic water security plan that is to be implemented from 2019, and aims to diversify the country’s water resource mix to include non-conventional sources, all with the aim of improving the water scarcity index by 2036.
The UAE has built 105 dams since 1982, with an investment of $435.6m (AED1.6bn), and the national water security plan is expected to save the country $20.4bn (AED75bn) over the years. Water desalination projects alone are expected to result in savings of $2.4bn (AED9bn) for the UAE.
HH Sheikh Mohammed’s approval of a water project budget follows similar commitments to develop schools, roads, and citizen homes since the start of 2019. The Dubai Ruler said that constant development and megaprojects are “a characteristic of the UAE”.
According to state news agency, Wam, he added: “Water, electricity, and roads projects are key to the national economy, and we are currently investing in them to ensure the continued growth of our economy.
“My field trips reflect a style of administration that I have inherited from Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid, and I will continue with them.”
During the tour, Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, the UAE's Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future; Suhail Mohammad Faraj Al Mazroui, the UAE's Minister of Energy and Industry; and Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the UAE's Minister of Infrastructure Development.