Construction & Real Estate

The government of Abu Dhabi continues to develop its Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, an ambitious long-term blueprint for the development of a sustainable, well-managed Emirate. Launched in 2007, the plan consists of a set of guiding principles for the present and future needs of the Emirate that will help the city grow in a manageable and structured way. The plan represents an unparalleled opportunity for the real estate sector to express their entrepreneurial and creative spirit within the coordinated framework of a strong and decisive plan for the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Many large-scale construction projects are underway in Abu Dhabi. Most of these projects are infrastructure upgrades, like the new Midfield Airport Terminal, a USD3.5 billion program that will double the airport's capacity to 30 million passengers a year upon its completion in early 2019. 

Abu Dhabi is also constructing Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, the first nuclear plant in the UAE that is expected to supply a quarter of the UAE's electricity needs, the USD23 billion project will have four reactors when fully operational in 2020. 

As part of the infrastructure of the plant, Abu Dhabi is also constructing the USD1.5 billion E11 highway, which will connect the Emirate with the Saudi border. 

Plan 2030 includes more than infrastructure construction, though. Commercial developments such as the 36,000sqm community market project planned for Mohamed bin Zayed City and the USD440 million Rahayel City auto hub are examples of new construction sites that are designed to diversify the Abu Dhabi economy through new commercial options. 

Abu Dhabi's construction sector has slowed after the boom of recent years. The current projects in the sector reflect the demands for more affordable and low-budget housing and office space. Participants in the Abu Dhabi real estate sector have recognized the potential of this new sector and have begun to offer new units targeting these middle- and low-income groups. 

The construction sector is expected to rebound in the next few years. With government spending cuts now easing, new public infrastructure projects are set to materialized, with the mid-term pipeline supported by renewable energy, retail, residential and hospitality projects. 

The new AED 50 billion economic expansion plan announced by the Government of Abu Dhabi in June 2018, will help lift gross domestic product growth, increase consumption and revitalize the property market as the Government takes advantage of high oil prices to finance economic expansion. 

Prospects have also been significantly bolstered by the recent approval of new master plans, ongoing economic diversification efforts which emphasize new developments on Al Maryah, Saadiyat, Yas and Al Reem islands, as well as the new planned Zayed City.

The long-term nature of construction projects in Abu Dhabi has given the construction and the real estate industry confidence and purpose heading into the future

Key Statistics of the construction and real estate Activities (2010-2017*)

GDP at constant price - AED billion 2010 2015 2017* % CAGR - 2010-2017
Total 587.1 770.0 785.6 100% 4.25%
Construction 83.3 84.7 79.3 10.09% -0.69%
Real Estate 21.8 29.9 31.8 4.05% 5.55%
Construction & Real Estate 105.0 114.5 111.1 14.14% 0.80%

Construction & Real Estate sectors real GDP (2010-2017* - AED billion)

Source: Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi - * Preliminary estimates

Key Players

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