In recent years, significant real estate development has been a signature feature of the UAE. From the tallest buildings in Dubai to the world-famous architects in Abu Dhabi, the UAE has meant development.
Development is much deeper than these high-profile projects. Physical infrastructure has transformed, with dedicated industrial areas, commercial clusters, free zones and massive mixed-use developments designed to provide additional tourist facilities and vastly increase retail and office space. Liberalized real estate and property laws generated unprecedented development in this sector.
In addition, existing airports are being extended and new airports and ports built
to cater for the projected rise in tourism and trade. There are also corresponding, significant investments in transport, sewerage, electricity, water and telecommunications to service these projects.
While the current financial crisis has slowed the pace, the Emirates are continuing to move forward on plans for growth and diversification. In fact, the UAE accounts for the bulk of the ongoing and planned infrastructure projects in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, amounting to an estimated US$1.3 trillion plus of investment over the 2007-2012 period.
In addition to the Burj Khalifa and Saadiyat Island, some of the most significant projects include:
- Man-made islands in Dubai, including the World, the Palms and the Palm Jumeirah
- Dubailand®, a series of theme parks in partnership with Universal City, Marvel, Six Flags, DreamWorks, Dubai Sports City and more
- Masdar City, a zero carbon, zero waste city
- Ferrari World, a theme park in Abu Dhabi