government

UAE prepares national master plan for infrastructure

Minister optimistic that this National Day will also celebrate UAE’s coveted membership at international maritime body

16:55 November 27, 2017
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Abu Dhabi: A national masterplan for infrastructure, which will help better planning for future and save investments in infrastructure sector, is being prepared by the Ministry of Infrastructure Developemnt, a top official told Gulf News.

The master plan aims at enhancing the efficiency of many projects including the GCC rail project and Abu Dhabi Metro.

“We are working on a masterplan for the UAE for the next two decades,” said Dr Abdullah Mohammad Bel Haif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, and Chairman, Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport. He said, once it is ready, the ministry would submit the masterplan for the approval of the federal government and local governments [of all emirates].

He said the UAE leadership has a national vision and the rulers of each Emirate are looking at the nation as a whole. “The [proposed] masterplan supports that vision.”

Al Nuaimi said the masterplan, his dream project, would be ready within two years.

The master plan will include infrastructure in all sectors — road, rail, marine infrastructure, education and health, etc.” he explained.

Each emirate will implement its own projects but within the proposed UAE masterplan, Al Nuaimi clarified.

It will help the UAE to be a leader in infrastructure development not only in the region but also across the globe, he said.

About the major advantages of the national master plan, he said: “We know what we will do in the future. You have enough data to forecast the future… to build your projects. You can save investments because you know where you don’t need to invest.”

The minister said the master plan would give a clear idea about the proposed investments in each sector which would help save investments and attract more investors into the infrastructure sector.

“Each emirate will know what the other emirates are doing,” Al Nuaimi said.

As the masterplan encourages public transportation, it will enhance connectivity among the emirates. “On mass transport systems, how you plan is very important. If each emirate is doing its own masterplan for this, it will be dealt with locally only.”

The transportation projects on an Abu Dhabi island [such as the proposed Abu Dhabi Metro] and somewhere else in Fujairah will be part of the national plan.

He said GCC rail project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2021, would be part of the masterplan. The rail link between Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be completed on a priority basis. “We have already completed 264 kilometres [of Etihad Rail project].”

Meanwhile, he said, a latest development is expected to further improve the UAE’s maritime infrastructure. The UAE already ranks third in the world in terms of the quality of port infrastructure. “We are vying for the Category B membership of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and it will drive in increased support to this sector, which complements our aim to reach the top and become number one in the world,” Al Nuaimi said.

He said he is optimistic that the UAE can celebrate achieving the membership during National Day festivities next week.